Vision, Mission, and Values

Vision

St. Stephen's College holds a creative vision of transformative theological and professional education. It is a community of people seeking to explore the spiritual complexities of human life and to meaningfully integrate this learning in society and the world.

Mission

To be a multi-faith community that offers sacred spaces for learning and transformation.

Values

We are deeply committed to the values rooted in our experience and those that shape our response to changing rural, urban, and global perspectives. These values help define our life together and are characterized by:

  • High standards and commitment to scholarship and academic excellence, with academic freedom to explore theology and spirituality;
  • Academic programs and policies that are grounded in adult learning principles and are learner-centered;
  • Accessibility to theological education through a multi-faceted program that creates communities of learners;
  • Integration of theory and practice.

We seek to achieve these values through:

  • Inclusivity and justice in language and practice for all persons, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, and sexual identity or disabilities;
  • Commitment to social justice and ecological responsibility;
  • Honoring and understanding the need to be in care of one another;
  • Resiliency and creativity in the presence of a constantly changing social climate;
  • Consultative ethos, including academic planning and decision-making processes characterized by open communication, widespread consultation, and transparency;
  • Mutual respect for and honouring of diverse cultures, locally and abroad;
  • Openness to risk-taking, innovation and flexibility in offering of programs, in our relationship to the communities around us, and in supporting faith communities as they undertake theological reflection;
  • Shaping of our theology by the contexts in which we live and work and have our being, and solidarity with those who suffer;
  • Financial stability and accountability.

 

Affirming Statement of Diversity

We of the St Stephen’s College community share values that shape our response to changing rural, urban and global perspectives, and define our life together. These values are characterized by inclusiveness and justice in language and practice for all persons, regardless of race, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation and sexual identity or disabilities. We recognize the challenges facing our church, our society, and our world, and we endeavor to dissolve the barriers to deep spiritual reflection and study caused by homophobia and gender restrictions. We strive to create a safe space, within a climate of respect and trust, for all people to be open and honest (personally and intellectually) regarding their life experiences. We open ourselves to Sacred Spirit to guide our lives within this community.

Definition of Multi-faith

"I live my life in widening circles" (Rainer Maria Rilke)

St. Stephen’s College understands that people of all spiritual traditions and explorations are respected and treated with dignity, and encourages the members of its community to experience the sacred by engaging in enriching dialogue from diverse perspectives.

Definition of Ministry

St. Stephen’s College students articulate their vision and practice of ministry using the languages, symbols, and images of the traditions and worldviews with which they identify. Within this diversity of tradition, St. Stephen’s College understands that the practice of ministry includes the self-reflective awareness of the nurturing quality of service to the human community and earth. The St. Stephen’s community consists of practitioners from such fields as education, faith/religious community assignments, chaplaincy, mediation, management, media services, the arts, health care, counseling, multicultural relationships, and care of our planet.