“Affiliated by Long History”
St. Stephen’s and the University of Alberta have been educational partners for more than 110 years. When the University was founded in 1908, the vision of Henry Marshall Tory and Alexander Rutherford was to establish a public university free from political and denominational control. Working closely with Tory and Rutherford was John Riddell, the first principal of the Alberta College Faculty of Divinity (later renamed St. Stephen’s College). Tory, Rutherford, and Riddell all agreed that the public university should not be too closely aligned with any one religious tradition, and so the university was designed to accommodate and incorporate theological and religious training through affiliated colleges such as St. Stephen’s and eventually also St. Joseph’s College.
From 1908–1968, the partnership of St. Stephen’s with the University was more akin to a teaching faculty within the University. During these years, the University granted degrees in divinity, with St. Stephen’s participating as the primary academic unit for teaching and supervising divinity students. In 1968, the University transferred the authority to grant divinity degrees to St. Stephen’s, thus transforming St. Stephen’s College into the only affiliated, degree-granting college of the University. Since 1968, hundreds of students have graduated from St. Stephen’s with Doctoral and Masters degrees in Ministry, Theology, Psychotherapy, and Art Therapy.
Today, St. Stephen’s College maintains and continually seeks to strengthen its affiliation with the University of Alberta. The University and the College work together in complementary ways to fulfill Tory’s vision of “uplifting the whole people”: where the University offers world-class education in all areas of study, St. Stephen’s educates the whole person by integrating spirituality and the sacred into ministry and therapeutic degree programs. As an affiliated college within the University, St. Stephen’s participates in UAlberta degree programs and offers undergraduate and graduate courses in Multifaith Theology, Creative Arts Therapies, and Spiritual Care. As an affiliated degree-granting institution, St. Stephen’s also offers spiritually-integrative graduate degrees in Psychotherapy, Art Therapy, Spiritual Care, and Multifaith Theology that prepare caregiving ministry and professionals for service in the public sphere.