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Wycliffe Strategic Plan 2019-2025
With steady enrolments, gifted faculty, strong leadership and healthy finances, Wycliffe College is on the cusp of an exciting future: a future in which we will pursue our renewed mission to God’s glory of educating people for practical ministry and theological scholarship in Christ’s global church and the world.
Our future promises to be one of significant change: in the demand for and delivery of theological education; in the profile of theological students; and in the Church. Anticipating such change, Wycliffe College is embarking on a six-year effort to prepare for that future by:
- expanding our service to the Church
- deepening our transformational impact on Christian leaders
- enhancing access to our educational and program offerings
- creating more capacity for students to pursue advanced theological studies, and
- growing our partnerships with churches, donors, and the academy worldwide.
We make such plans boldly, even as we renew our commitment to being a place where future Church leaders can learn to read Scripture well, hear God’s Word, and in turn, respond to the painful cries of the world.
Our preparations will flow from five strategic objectives, fuelled by prayer, and funded by a significant fundraising effort.
THE FIVE OBJECTIVES
Objective 1: Scripture and Theology
Understanding the Bible as the Word of God written has always been central to the identity and work of Wycliffe College. Therefore, we will be a leading evangelical theological academy for the theological interpretation of Scripture at the doctoral and master’s levels (in preparation for ministry in Christ’s Church) and an internationally recognized voice and resource on Christian thought, and on the Church’s relation to culture.
We will do this by expanding the Wycliffe Centre for Scripture and Theology, increasing the number of conferences, colloquia, and seminars it offers, and adding a more robust publishing stream. Recognizing that the quality of our programs, students, and ultimately also of the graduates we send out into the world will always be a reflection of the Christian character and academic calibre of those who teach here, we will also invest heavily in our faculty, preparing now for faculty succession. Throughout this process, we will emphasize the centrality of the Word so that we will preserve the theological reading of Scripture as a hallmark of a Wycliffe education. Finally, we will preserve and advance Wycliffe’s role as a vital Christian presence in the University of Toronto, by contributing to the larger intellectual life of the University, and continuing to offer public events that engage the most critical issues of our day.
Objective 2: Programs and Leadership
Wycliffe College has a long tradition of developing, nurturing, and supporting Christian leaders, both during the time they are with us, and after they leave to engage in the ministries to which God calls them. Recognizing that the needs of today’s students are changing, we will offer robust yet increasingly flexible modes of learning, while reserving a unique and distinctive residential learning component for a student’s course of study. We will be a leader in formational readiness and standards.
We will do this by investing in online learning and conduct research and development in formational assessment. Incorporating both in-class and distance students, we aim to increase our average Master’s class size over the next seven years through investments in recruitment and new bursaries. To deepen our impact, we will care for the on-going educational needs of alumni by creating a designated suite of online courses to bolster their professional and leadership development. Finally, we will continue to add to, renew, modify, and promote our various programs to ensure we are effectively preparing leadership for the whole Church of today and tomorrow.
Objective 3: Local
A frequent criticism of theological colleges today is that they are absent from the front lines of ministry. In response to this concern, we will be a leading partner in local church development.
We will do this by creating a Centre for Excellence in Ministry to serve and advance church growth and online courses designed specifically to further Christian maturity and service in all persons. We will build two new missional hubs for local learning, training, and leadership in the church. Further, we will establish and resource an Alumni network of mentors willing to coach students and new graduates. Finally, we will increase our appeal as a community of engagement for theologically aligned denominations, churches, and parachurch organizations, and also develop our offerings of services, materials, and faculty speakers/ preachers with a goal of building fruitful, mission-based relationships.
Objective 4: Global
As rapid cultural shifts continue to push the Church to the margins of society, it becomes ever more critical to work with like-minded believers in the pursuit of God’s mission to the ends of the earth. To that end, we will be a leading global partner in theological education.
We will do this by establishing and strengthening strategic relationships with key evangelical church and parachurch organizations in Asia, Africa, North America, and in Indigenous territories, to assist them in the design, teaching, and delivery of appropriate theological curricula. We will create and fund avenues for visiting international scholars to teach and supervise Wycliffe students, and we will also nurture links with organizations that support theological students from the Majority World. Finally, we will renew those programs that revolve around community development work and provide leadership in forming those who will minister in increasingly culturally diverse settings.
Objective 5: Community
More and more, today’s students are desiring to remain in–and contribute to–the building up of their own local Christian communities, even as they study. And yet, there will always be those who seek to be formed in the context of a population of theological learners. With this in mind, we will advance Wycliffe’s heritage and reputation as a growing, vibrant, diverse, and supportive learning and worshipping community.
We will do this by enhancing the appeal of life in community at Wycliffe through endowed residential scholarships, the creation of an intentional residential learning community with a specific missional placement, and upgrading and expanding student housing and learning facilities. Mindful of the growing number of students who wish to study part-time or from a distance, we will implement more flexible course schedules. Lastly, we will seek to increase partnerships and training opportunities for campus ministries.
How We Will Accomplish All of This
The aforementioned objectives have been conceived, developed, and approved by Wycliffe’s faculty, staff, Board, and friends through a year-long process of research, discernment, and prayer.
We invite you to join with us in prayer as we take steps to fulfill this mandate, and at the appointed time, to partner in this work through the sharing of financial gifts, that together we might fulfill this plan and so bring glory to God.