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30 Years and Counting

01. March 2013

News, Denominational News,


In a recent lecture at our Ottawa seminary, Andrew Quigley, pastor of the Airdrie Reformed Presbyter-ian Church, enthusiastically described his hope of seeing a theological hall developed in Scotland. This was triggered by seven new congregations joining the Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPC) in Scotland, and Rev. Quigley’s desire to see men trained for pastoral ministry in the RPC.

It was exciting. I found myself thinking back to a similar situation in Canada over 30 years ago. There was only one organized Reformed Presbyterian congregation—the Almonte, Ont., RPC. The Almonte congregation was spearheading a new work in Ottawa, to which I had just been called as church planter. At that time, I, like Pastor Quigley, witnessed the need for a theological center for training future Reformed Presbyterian pastors within the country.

This is a history of one of the first Reformed and Presbyterian theological seminaries in Canada.

By 1970, it almost seemed as if the Reformation had bypassed Canada, leaving the “True North Strong and Free” free from much of a solid Reformed witness. What follows chronicles one attempted resolution to this tragic deficiency—the creation of a Reformed seminary in the heart of Ottawa, Canada’s capital.

In response to a call to plant an RP church, my family and I arrived in Ottawa on May 6, 1980. From the beginning, I saw broader issues than establishing a single church. In a nation almost devoid of Reformed ...

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