University chaplaincies supported by Niagara

Three ecumenical university chaplaincies — Brock University St. Catharines, McMaster University Hamilton and the University of Guelph in Guelph — have received funding from Niagara Diocese to support their unique ministries at their local campuses.

University chaplaincies are an excellent example of ecumenical co-operation among Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches. It allows chaplains to undertake ministry in a way that none of the denominations could offer alone.

Each chaplaincy — rooted in the context of its campus community — provides personal support, a variety of programs ranging from social justice to faith formation and opportunities for theological reflection or worship.

“There is great need for a tenable, intellectually responsible, expression of Christianity not only at Brock but in society as a whole,” said Brock’s Ecumenical Chaplain David Galston.

He added, “Without the support of the Anglican Church, many key services provided to students, especially related to counselling and mentorship, simply would not exist.”

Chaplaincy grants are awarded for a two-year period to a maximum of $8,500 per year. Since its creation in 2014, a total of $30,000 has been disbursed to support the core work of these chaplaincy ministries, including program expenses, salary and ministry-related capital costs.

Funding is made possible through Niagara’s Survive and Thrive Outreach Endowment Fund.

“The Chaplaincy depends on the generosity of supporting denominations,” stated David.


University of Guelph

Guelph 1
A big initiative of Guelph’s Ecumenical Campus Ministry is Campus Church which meets for worship on Sunday afternoons and is open to people from the campus and wider community. Photo: Submitted

Chaplain Andrew Hyde writes …

Our big initiative these days is Campus Church, which is our weekly worship service that happens Sundays at 
4:00 p.m. in the University Centre.

Guelph 2
Students and staff at University of Guelph walking the Labyrinth, a new initiative for the Ecumenical Campus Ministry. Photo: Submitted

Those are open to people from on or off campus, so we’d love if the invitation could be shared in your write up.

Guelph 4
Students gather for formal and informal discussions as part of the Ecumenical Campus Ministry at Guelph University. Photo: Submitted

Labyrinth walks are another new initiative we’re offering the campus community.
We have a couple portable canvas labyrinths available to be borrowed, if anyone would like to use them.

Andrew Hyde, MTS
Campus Minister, Ecumenical Campus Ministry
Anglican, Presbyterian, United
University of Guelph
206 Raithby House, 50 Stone Rd., Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1
519-824-4120 (52390) | hydea@uoguelph.ca


Brock University

Brock big questions
Brock University’s Big Questions Club, started with an Anglican WOW grant, enables students to discuss faith and other issues of today in an open and honest way. Photo: Submitted

Chaplain David Galston writes …

The Ecumenical Chaplaincy is a university chaplaincy. This means that it is part of Brock Student Life and Community Experience.

Brock 2018 SCM
The Student Christian Movement (SCM) was started at Brock with a WOW grant from Niagara Diocese and continues with a United Church Potentials Fund grant. Photo: Submitted

The Chaplaincy must operate on a professional level with the ability to be either multi-faith or secular as student and university needs may require.

Brock 2018 Toonie Supper (002)
Toonie Suppers are sponsored six times per term by the Ecumenical Chaplaincy and held at The Church of the Transfiguration. Photo: Submitted

At the same time, the Chaplaincy represents the supporting Christian bodies, and staffs Christian groups associated with the Ecumenical churches.

  • The Ecumenical Chaplaincy is about:
  • Making connections on campus and in life.
  • Reflecting on the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual journey of life.
  • Openness and honesty before the “big questions”.
  • Activities like suppers, discussion groups, Christian and multi-faith events.
  • A trusted campus presence on university committees and leading university events.

The Reverend Doctor David Galston
Brock University Ecumenical Chaplaincy
Anglican, Presbyterian, United, Unitarian
Brock Faith and Life Centre
905-688-5550 (3977) | dgalston@brocku.ca


McMaster University

McMaster 2
Administrative Assistant Kristine Sabido of the Chaplaincy Centre (second from left) with students Kaitlyn Lammers and Chris Schankula promote the services available at McMaster University. Photo: Submitted

Chaplain Andy Crowell writes …

Ecumenical ministry is multi-faceted, recognizing that many students today don’t self-identify as we once did. It is challenging and deeply meaningful.

Our ministry cuts across denominational and religious lines. It intersects with those who seek affirmation being LGBTQ2+, those looking for a community associated with being Christian concerned for human rights and social justice, those who want to be listened to without pretense or authoritarian judgement and those who simply wish to have a safe place to “be”.

McMaster 3
“Soup and Selah” brings McMaster students together weekly for a brief reflection followed by a healthy bowl of veggie soup and bread. Photo: Submitted

We enable these needs through any number of daily, weekly, monthly or term programs.

One is “Soup and Selah” (or invitation to pause), a weekly gathering offering a brief reflection followed by a simple and healthy bowl of veggie soup and bread.

McMaster 1
The Chaplaincy Centre welcomes students looking for information and programs available at McMaster. Photo: Submitted

This gathering enables countless other ministries of a formal nature (organized spiritual or social events) or informal nature (the freedom felt to use the Chaplaincy Centre as a place to drop by, hang out or seek counsel) to happen.

The Reverend Andy Crowell
Ecumenical Chaplain, McMaster University
crowella@mcmaster.ca | 905 525 9140 (24127)