The University of St. Michael’s College is an institution founded—and grounded—in hope.
St. Michael’s was established in 1852 by the Basilian Fathers to serve the growing Catholic population in Toronto, educating the children of immigrants who had come to Canada in search of a better life for their families. Historically rooted in the educational mission shaped by the Basilians, the Sisters from the Congregations of St. Joseph and Loretto and other key community members, St. Michael’s seeks to build a transformational faith and learning community committed to the search for truth and meaning in our contemporary world. Our graduates are leaders in their communities, effecting positive change that respects and honours the dignity of all.
As the university looks forward to its 180th anniversary in 2032, it is operating with a strategic plan titled St. Mike’s 180: Rooted in the Future. The plan, which imbues all aspects of university life, is built on three pillars: acdemics, community and sustainability, all stemming from the university’s commitment to the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
Today, St. Michael’s is home to 5,000 students studying everything from astronomy and English to architecture and zoology. Our status as a federated college within the University of Toronto, one of the world’s top research universities, offers students a wealth of academic and extra-curricular choices. At the undergraduate level, St. Michael’s sponsors four programs, including Christianity and Culture, Book and Media Studies, Celtic Studies and Mediaeval Studies. These are linked with University’s first-year seminars: the Gilson Seminar in Faith and Ideas, the Boyle Seminar in Scripts and Stories and the McLuhan Seminar in Creativity and Technology.
At the graduate level, St. Michael’s has recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the local Jesuit theologate, Regis College, that will see Regis and St. Michael’s Faculty of Theology come together to better serve students, increasing course and degree options while enriching an already diverse community with new opportunities. Harmonized programming will begin in 2022. Currently, the Faculty of Theology at St. Michael’s offers MDiv, MRE and MTS programs, as well as a number of advanced degree programs (including a research-oriented MA in theology, a ThM, DMin and PhD) intended to prepare students for scholarly work and careers in academia.
Both the undergraduate and the graduate divisions offer regular extra-curricular programming for students to meet new people nd learn new hobbies and interests, while resource people like our Wellness Counsellor are available to help students manage the challenges of University life.
As we look toward our future, we also recall the past and the tremendous scholars who have worked and studied at St. Michael’s, including media theorist Marshall McLuhan and 20th-century French philosophers Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain. The University’s alumni include many notable figures such as Paul Martin, Canada’s 21st Prime Minister, Victor Dodig, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CIBC group of companies, Tony Comper, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Group, and Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga.
St. Michael’s campus in downtown Toronto draws many visitors to its elegant quad and famous rock gardens green campus. It is home to St. Basil’s Church and the adjacent Odette Hall, the oldest buildings at the University of Toronto. Among the many resources offered to the community is the Kelly Library, one of the busiest libraries in the U of T Libraries system. It is also home to the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute as well as the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.
We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of St. Michael’s College operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.