College of Emmanuel & St. Chad likely to close
Unless a miracle happens – like a donor coming forward right away with at least $600,000 – the 126-year-old College of Emmanuel & St. Chad will close its doors at the end of May.
Principal Walter Deller announced at an April 25 news conference that he has recommended the closure to the Anglican College’s Council, which will meet and decide on the issue May 5-7.
Emmanuel & St. Chad trains young men and women to serve as Anglican priests and confers degrees in theology and divinity.
“This is a sad time,” Deller told reporters. “We have prayed and struggled over the past four years to create a challenging new curriculum, to forge creative relationships with our partners ... and to explore realistic ways forward.”
But in the end, he said, the continuing low numbers of students, the provincial government’s decision to not provide capital funding, and a lack of major donors to a current fundraising campaign all mean there is little choice but to shut down.
Deller said proceeds from the sale of Maclean Hall to the U of S in the mid-1980s have been used to provide about $200,000 per year to subsidize continued deficit budgets at Emmanuel & St. Chad. That money has now almost run out. “We can’t go on incurring debt and liability,” he said.
The College has four faculty members and at this point can really only afford one, Deller said. It has 20 full-time students and 10 part-timers and would need 60-70 full-time students to balance the budget using tuition fees.
Ideally, Emmanuel & St. Chad should have an $8.5-million endowment fund, so the interest could help fund operations. That fund is now $3 million. The current fundraising campaign has brought in $850,000 in cash and pledges, but a request to further potential donors for major contributions has not produced results, Deller said. While a $600,000 contribution would provide “bridge funding” to operate the College for three years, “it is not forthcoming,” Deller said.
Another potential source of revenue would be sale of one or all of the College’s three buildings – the main chapel, the office/residence, and the Rugby Chapel – to the U of S. The parties discussed that idea about four years ago in the context of the possible sale of all three theological colleges’ buildings on campus – Emmanuel & St. Chad, the Lutheran Seminary and the United Church’s St. Andrew’s College. But that bogged down over the high projected expenses to bring the old facilities up to modern building code standards.
Tony Whitworth, U of S Vice-President of Finance & Resources, said April 25 that Emmanuel & St. Chad re-started talks on a possible building sale in recent weeks. He said University officials have again toured the buildings and are looking at possibilities for renovations and uses for the facilities.
“Because of the location, the University could possibly find a use (for the facilities).” Actually, Whitworth said, “the land is of more interest to the University than the buildings.” He added, “We’ll try to get a decision made by the end of May”.
But Deller said sale of buildings won’t likely be enough to save the College’s operation.
He and his Lutheran and St. Andrew’s colleagues all said they are concerned for the welfare of the current students, and will do all they can to ensure that they can complete their studies.
Emmanuel College was founded in Prince Albert in 1879. It moved to Saskatoon in 1911. St. Chad’s, begun in Regina in 1907, amalgamated with Emmanuel in 1964.