As faithfully as the birds fly south each autumn, flocks of young Canadians stream down across the border onto U. S. campuses. Although their numbers are not staggering, they are enough to nettle Canadian educators and church leaders. Partly to offset educational migration, Canadians are taking a hard look at how well their college opportunities compare with those in the States.
It has been a long time since a major new religious school was founded in Canada. But this year there are live prospects for such undertakings in two of the nation’s biggest cities: Toronto, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta. The Toronto effort is for an evangelical liberal arts college with a relatively limited enrollment. The Edmonton prospect is by far the more ambitious: it would be an interdenominational university financed by the government and operated by cooperating churches.
After seven months of conferences, agreement in principle was reportedly reached on the desirability of working for an ecumenical campus in the Edmonton area. The discussions have been among Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist, United Church of Canada, and Roman Catholic representatives. Spokesmen for the Alberta Ministry of Education say the government is willing to put up the money for the school if the churches can come up with workable plans.
The idea of an interdenominational university was first suggested by Alberta Premier E. C. Manning, an ordained Protestant minister and an outspoken evangelical. He offered the idea as an alternative to pleas by the churches for independent denominational colleges throughout the province. Some planners have been quoted as saying they want to see the university open for classes by 1972, with 10,000 students a goal for 1975.
Edmonton, capital ...1
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