Message from the Principal and Dean

Frederick TappendenEducating the Whole Person

St. Stephen’s College is committed to Educating the Whole Person. Our faculty and students participate in learning that engages not just the mind, but also the body, the spirit, and the communal. In doing this, St. Stephen’s places a particular emphasis on the centrality of healthy spiritual practice in every sector of our lives. We are a community of learners and spiritual seekers from across faith traditions and worldviews, welcoming each other to develop and to grow through the mutual giving of ourselves to each other and to our studies.

Educating the Whole Person means that St. Stephen’s College centres itself on certain key values: academic, professional, and spiritual curiosity; openness to self, neighbour, and world; inter-personal, intellectual, and practice-based engagement, relationships that are rooted in humility, mutual respect, and caring; and the cultivation of imagination that is expansive, integrative, and resilient. These are the foundational components of the College’s life and offerings, and they inform our educational life together.

With intention and great resolve, St. Stephen’s leans into its commitment to curiosity, openness, engagement, relationship, and imagination. The COVID-19 public health crisis has created much uncertainty and challenge in our world. No part of our embodied, intellectual, spiritual, and social selves has escaped the impact of the coronavirus. The long-term effects of the pandemic are yet to be fully known. Already, the mental and spiritual health of individuals and the communities in which they live is being tested. If ever there were a time when our world needs graduates who promote and integrate mental and spiritual wellness into their communities, it is now. 

To all our students, both new and returning, all of us at the College extend to you our warmest greetings, our highest hopes, and our full support through the many twists, turns, and challenges you will encounter through your studies. As you pursue your professional and academic goals, the entire faculty, staff, program committees, senate, and board of the College are here to support you, to encourage you, and to ensure healthy structures are in place to help you succeed.  

Now more than ever, the world is in need of the educational experiences that St. Stephen’s College provides. St. Stephen’s aims to engage and to equip compassionate, globally conscious learners and leaders, researchers and practitioners who integrate spirituality into their lives, communities, and professions. Our graduates have gone out from the College and they have made tangible contributions to fields as diverse as mental health services, spiritual care in the public health system, religious leadership, education, advocacy, and public life more broadly.   

The tenuousness of our world requires leaders and practitioners who are well grounded in themselves and their faith tradition/worldview. Our world requires leaders and practitioners whose bodies, minds, spirits, and relational selves are fully engaged with the physical, intellectual, spiritual, and social complexities of our time. More than ever, St. Stephen’s commitment to Educating the Whole Person is contributing to the transformation and healing of our society and our world.

Frederick S. Tappenden, PhD
Principal and Dean