Vision, Mission, and Values


A world where spiritual seekers of all faith traditions and worldviews transform their communities into places of greater acceptance, justice, creativity, flourishing, and hope.


St. Stephen’s College engages and equips compassionate, globally conscious learners and leaders, researchers and practitioners who integrate spirituality into their lives, communities, and professions.


  • Academic, Professional, and Spiritual Curiosity
  • Openness to Self, Neighbour, and World
  • Inter-Personal, Intellectual, and Practice-Based Engagement
  • Relationships rooted in humility, mutual respect, and caring
  • Expansive, Integrative, and Resilient Imagination

Operating Principles

  • We nurture, and open ourselves to, sacred spaces for learning and transformation by respecting and caring for one another, exploring the spiritual complexities of life together, and uncovering sacredness in all our relations.
  • We foster a guided learning community that is self-directed, reflective, relevant, and which prioritizes transformational experiences.
  • We work for justice, belonging, and wholeness in language and practice for all persons,
    respecting diversity of ability, ethnicity, faith tradition, worldview, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
  • We cultivate a spiritually diverse multi-faith community that animates individuals to go deep into their own tradition and/or worldview while simultaneously and respectfully engaging the traditions and/or worldviews of their neighbours. This is enriched through our rootedness in the intercultural mandate and ecumenical heritage of the United Church of Canada.
  • We uphold and commit ourselves to high standards of intellectual freedom, academic pursuit, and professional practice in teaching, research, and practice-based engagement. This complements and aligns with our longstanding affiliation with the University of Alberta.
  • We nurture dialogue, open communication, and a consultative ethos among all members of the College’s community.
  • We honour and understand the need to be in care of one another and in care of the earth, recognizing the reciprocal relationship of our care for the earth and the earth’s sustaining of us.

Affirming Statement of Diversity

affirm-swirlWe 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.


Educating the Whole Person