The Andrey Sheptytsky Institute will be moving from Ottawa's Saint Paul University, pictured here in 2006, to Toronto's St. Michael's College in 2017. Photo/courtesy of Peregrine981, Wikimedia Commons

Sheptytsky Institute finds a new home in Toronto

By 
  • October 6, 2016

OTTAWA – Canada’s premier centre for university-level studies of Ukrainian Catholic theology, tradition and liturgy is moving from Ottawa to Toronto’s University of St. Michael’s College.

The Andrey Sheptytsky Institute will move from Saint Paul University, where it has operated since 1990, on July 1, 2017. Toronto classes will begin next September. It will offer Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Theology and PhD programs in Eastern Christian spirituality and doctrine, liturgy, church history and ecumenism.

The move has been in the works for five years and is the third move for the institute, which was established in 1986 by Fr. Andriy Chirovsky at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

“We benefit as a university,” said St. Michael’s president and vice chancellor David Mulroney in a release. “We are allowed to share in a rich history, we gain privileged access to the institute’s library, its publication tradition, and we welcome new scholars and excellent teachers into our midst.”

The official announcement came in a Sept. 28 speech at St. Michael’s by Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the global Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church based in Kyiv, Ukraine.

“This is one of the leading academic centres of the world, and in welcoming the Sheptytsky Institute you make it possible for the institute to complete its mission of furthering the intellectual life of the Church of Kyiv,” Shevchuk said.

The Sheptytsky Institute’s acting director praised the opportunity to place Ukrainian theological scholarship at the University of Toronto.

“The Eastern Churches will now have a think tank at Canada’s premier university,” said Fr. Peter Galadza in a release.

Saint Paul University vows to maintain its program in Eastern Christian studies, but is sorry to see the Sheptytsky Institute go.

“We were blessed with their presence and we are sorry to see them go,” said Saint Paul University’s dean of theology Fr. Ivan Mathieu. “We will keep and maintain and hopefully expand our Eastern Christian Studies program. This doesn’t mean Ukrainians will stop being welcome and continue to attend Saint Paul University.”

Students at the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Holy Spirit seminary attend Saint Paul University for their academic formation. Whether the seminary will also move to Toronto is a decision the Ukrainian Catholic bishops will make.

The Sheptytsky Institute will also be taking its library of about 5,000 volumes to Toronto.

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