Tyndale has a 120 year history of faithful service to God’s mission in Canada and the broader world. This period of twelve decades produced profound changes in technology, lifestyles and the social composition of Canada. While the mission of the church has remained the same, each generation has been challenged to discover new ways for Christians to engage with the world in which they lived. Tyndale’s story shows a restless passion to be ahead of the curve. The faithfulness of God, who has always gone before us, is written into each page of Tyndale’s history.
Toronto Bible College
The Toronto Bible College (TBC) was founded in 1894 by a working coalition of church leaders. TBC was the first institution of its nature in Canada dedicated to equipping young men and women for local and global mission. Existing seminaries restricted their mandate to training men for parishes of their respective denominations. TBC offered accessible theological education for multiple branches of the Christian church.
London College of Bible and Missions
The London College of Bible and Missions (LCBM) began classes in 1935. The economic depression that had gripped Canada had not diminished the mission commitment of church leaders in southwest Ontario. International mission organizations sent students to LCBM to prepare for witness in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Ontario Bible College and Ontario Theological Seminary
Young women and men were shaped in the classrooms of TBC and LCBM to witness effectively in a variety of social settings. Some served in Canada while others planted churches, established schools and built clinics in the developing world. During the social upheaval of the 1960s, God inspired a vision for integrating the strengths of the two colleges. Ontario Bible College (OBC) was formed in 1968. It was located in the downtown core of Toronto on the former TBC campus.
Professors and students at OBC could already see signs of the profound changes that would transform Toronto in the coming decades. The population of the city and adjoining municipalities expanded as immigrants and people from other areas of Canada moved to the GTA. Construction teams built new offices, residential areas, schools and highways. York University was established in north Toronto and the University of Toronto launched campuses in suburban areas. Through a process of discernment, in 1976 God led the leaders of OBC to relocate in North York and to begin a graduate school of theology (Ontario Theological Seminary). The Ballyconnor Court campus allowed Tyndale to train a larger number of students and develop new programs.
The name Tyndale College was adopted in 1998 as part of a renewed vision to build a world-class centre of Christian higher education. The new name expressed alignment with the vision of the sixteenth century church leader William Tyndale. Tyndale was a trained linguist and theologian. He made the first English language translation of the Bible and used the new invention of the printing press to disseminate his work. Thanks to Tyndale, for the first time ordinary people had access to the message of the scriptures.
Tyndale University College & Seminary
A bill of the Ontario Legislature in 2003 authorized a further name change to Tyndale University College & Seminary. The government act allowed Tyndale to offer Bachelor degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and business. The Seminary programs are recognized and approved by the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada. The Ontario College of Teachers recognized the Bachelor of Education degree program, initiated in 2007, as one of the most innovative and successful teacher preparation programs in Canada.
These selected highlights represent important parts of the heritage of Tyndale University College & Seminary. The three consistent elements are the faithfulness of God, the strong commitment to shaping new generations of women and men for service and witness, and the passionate desire to be innovative and creative in the way we carry out our mission. While we are inspired by our institutional history, we recognize that the real impact of Tyndale is found in the stories of our alumni in Canada and around the world. We are proud to have played our part in preparing them to be agents of God’s transformation in each generation.