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Following a period of uncertainty, discernment, and careful deliberation, the Board of Governors of the United Theological College at their August 13 meeting decided, with regret, to sell UTC’s building at McGill University.

Patty Evans, Chair of the UTC Board of Governors, commented, “We are confident this decision will allow us to preserve our presence in Montreal, in Quebec, and in Eastern Ontario, and to advance our core mission: forming leaders for ministry, in English and in French, in the tradition and ethos of The United Church of Canada.”

The decision was driven by three factors: a mounting debt, a structural deficit, and a 27% cut to the annual grant the College has been receiving from General Council.

“The proceeds from the sale of the building will be used to repay the College’s debt in full, to provide the capital necessary to fund ongoing expenses, and to build toward a viable future.  It will allow us to forge new partnerships that help us continue as a robust presence in the multicultural, multilingual, and primarily francophone context of Quebec,” says Principal Maylanne Maybee.

The Board adopted a six-month budget ensuring that the current staff—principal, director of studies, and administrative coordinator (augmented by the director of French formation, seconded to us by General Council)—will continue full time until at least the end of December 2020.

During this period, UTC will be considering all available options for continuity, including partnerships, mergers, and programmatic changes.  The goal is to reach a decision by the end of 2020 about a structure that will secure the future of UTC’s core vision and mission.

UTC is appealing to alumni and friends of UTC for generous donations to support the College in this time of transition and help to ensure its long-term viability.  “All such support will be greatly appreciated,” said Maybee.

UTC has taken measures to ensure that all current and incoming students will be able to complete their studies without interruption through this transition.

At a recent student forum, Aaron Miechkota said, “UTC has offered me the best education I have received anywhere: the pedagogy, the atmosphere of respect and inclusion, the strong leadership of staff, the experience of worship and faith, are cutting-edge.”

“I am excited,” said Board member Caroline Penhale. “This is a bold move and a faithful one.  I am aware of other congregations and seminaries that experienced similar difficulties and came out the other side. They are now thriving, living into their mission, and finding healing and new life.”

Principal Maybee added, “I am proud of our students and proud to be part of this school.  I am hopeful, confident, and deeply grateful for the exceptional leadership of our Board members, staff and volunteers and the support of the wider community in fulfilling our shared responsibility to take care of the mission of UTC for today and tomorrow.”

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