Who We Are
The Centre for Christian Studies is a national theological school grounded in the tradition of diakonia. We prepare people for ministries in the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada, and offer lifelong learning for anyone who wants to deepen their faith-in-action. Our roots go back to the 1890s when the Anglican, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches founded schools in Toronto for women to study theology and be trained as deaconesses and missionaries. CCS continues to train and support leaders who emerge from the “edges” to engage in ministry that lives in the world, works with the world and transforms for wholeness.
“Educating leaders for justice, compassion and transformation.”
Our Core Values
1. Acting in faith.
- Approaching theology from a position of inquiry and struggle, striving to extend our boundaries outward in dialogue with other denominations, religious traditions, and spiritual expressions;
- Nurtured by the Anglican and United Church traditions;
- Centred in an understanding of the God of grace, love and reconciliation, for us and all of creation, as set out in Scripture;
- Finding liberation and life in Jesus’ ministry of justice and healing; Empowered by the Spirit of the risen Christ and guided by Wisdom.
2. Living a theology of justice.
- Inspired by Jesus’ reversal of power, his example of service in washing the feet of his disciples, and his rejection of the values of empire;
- Believing that justice includes economic, social, and ecological concerns;
- Founding our work and relationships in values of mutuality, equality, and respect;
- Acknowledging our churches’ culpability in unjust practices and seeking to redress them;
- Responding to the prophetic and gospel call to share resources, to restore what was taken, to reconcile what was divided, to embrace those who have been excluded.
3. Educating through action/reflection, integration, transformation.
- Believing that education is most effective when it engages the whole person, when we are co-learners and co-teachers, and when it is relevant and collaborative;
- Valuing education that is self-directed and relational, affirming and evaluative;
- Dedicated to forming learning communities as the foundation to our approach to education.
4. Grounding ourselves in sacred community.
- Fostering community-building that challenges individualism and egotism;
- Intentional about creating life-giving communities of learning as a context for growth, shared wisdom, hospitality, support, and accountability;
- Seeking to create communities that are inclusive, respectful, and diverse.
5. Living out of a spirit of abundance and gratitude.
- Our beginning was made possible by gifts from major donors who believed in the founding vision of our school;
- Our present and future is made possible by donations from graduates and Friends, and by grants from institutional supporters;
- We rely for our governance and program on a company of volunteers who give and give back to CCS as members of our Central Council, Committees, and working groups; as learning facilitators, mentors, and supporters for our students.
6. Participating in a larger story.
- Nurtured by a worldwide, ecumenical network of deacons and diaconal ministers from many traditions; Sharing values and vision of faith, justice, education, service and community with many movements, institutions, and communities;
- Learning through active involvement in movements for justice;
- Fostering partnerships of solidarity for common cause.
See also CCS’s Education and Justice Stances.