Archbishop Anne Germond, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario, has announced the appointment of Bishop Susan Bell as chair of the Ontario Provincial Commission on Theological Education (OPCOTE).
“As the shape of theological education continues to shift in these times, OPCOTE will play an ever more important role in bringing together our dioceses and theological colleges to respond the evolving needs of the Church in its next season,” said Bishop Susan Bell about her recent appointment.
Bishop Bell replaces Bishop John Chapman, retired bishop of Ottawa, who stepped down as chair after serving in that role for nearly 15 years.
Created in 1995, the Commission is made up of members representing the colleges (or programmes) in Ontario involved in Anglican theological education and representatives of each of the seven dioceses. The Colleges represented on the Commission are Huron, Canterbury, Renison, the Anglican Studies Program at St. Paul University, Thorneloe, Trinity, and Wycliffe.
OPCOTE’s mandate is wide-ranging and includes everything from the promotion of Anglican theological colleges, fostering collaboration between dioceses and theological colleges, and monitoring the overall state of theological education. In addition, to aid in theological education in Ontario, dioceses collectively contribute over $150,000 in direct support of the colleges. The Diocese of Niagara’s contribution is $17,500 in 2023.
In recent years, OPCOTE has also encouraged all formation, training, and education centres within the province to examine and evaluate the Church’s collective response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, especially as they relate to fostering learning about the Church’s role in colonization and the history and legacy of residential schools.
Looking ahead, building on a recent provincial vocations conference, the Commission will explore new ways of engaging people in Jesus’ call to ministry and innovative ways to form leaders for ministry.
“In partnership, we’ll be better able to form competent Christian leaders who boldly lead from the heart, inspired by a deep love for Jesus, and equipped for ministry by the Holy Spirit,” said Bishop Bell.