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The Rev. Dr. Dorcas Gordon will leave Knox College in 2018 after 24 years, 18 as Principal

dorcas gordonThe Rev. Dr. Dorcas Gordon, Principal of the College, informed the Board of Governors at its February meeting of her desire to take her planned sabbatical during the 2017-2018 academic year with the intention that 2016-2017 would be her final year as Principal of Knox College. The Board accepted her intention to resign as noted above and has begun the process of transition. In the meantime, Professor Gordon is committed to continuing her duties as Principal with the same enthusiasm and diligence that she has demonstrated since she assumed this position at Knox in 1999. The Board and she look forward to this coming year as a time to bring a number of projects to completion.

Before coming to Knox College as Principal, the Rev. Dr. Gordon served as a congregational minister, a lecturer in Knox College in the area of New Testament and Greek, and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program of the Toronto School of Theology.

“I have thought and prayed long and hard about this decision, and I believe now is the right time,” she said. “By July 2017 the capital campaign will have completed the congregational phase and the work of planned giving, a long-term project through which the campaign will reach its goal, will be well underway. The first stage of new academic programming will be complete, our endowments have grown beyond my expectation, and after a decade of balanced budgets we are well-practiced in exercising fiscal responsibility.”

She has skillfully guided the College through many changes and challenges. With the support of the Board of Governors, the Faculty, and the Senior Administrative Team, she has responded successfully to two accreditation visits by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). She has strengthened the College as an academic institution through her recruitment of first-rate Faculty, the modernization of the Caven Library, and the addition of new degree programs. At the same time she has attended to the maintenance and renovation of the building, the annual preparation of a balanced budget, and the installation of a smart classroom. Of particular importance to her is the leadership she has been able to give over the past twenty years within the ATS in the United States and Canada, most recently as its President.

The Rev. Dr. Gordon further commented: “Of great significance for me has been the increased recognition that Knox has gained within the broader field of North American theological education. We are looked upon as a seminary of strength, one that has embraced each opportunity that has arisen and taken bold action when required. We are also recognized internationally as a place of academic excellence, especially within theological education in South Korea.”

“Dorcas Gordon will be deeply missed at Knox College,” noted Dr. Peter Ross, Convener of the Knox College Board of Governors. “She is a person of deep faith, with a strong work ethic and an abiding passion for the Church and College. She has a broad vision for theological education, a vision that includes a focus on providing learning experiences that lead to robust personal formation for students, nurturing an inclusive and welcoming culture for them, and ensuring contemporary programs that are grounded in the Presbyterian and Reformed traditions of the College.”

The Rev. Dr. Dan Aleshire, the Executive Director of ATS, remarked: “Dorcas Gordon, in addition to her exemplary service to Knox College, has made substantive and significant contributions to the broader community of theological schools. Dr. Gordon served a term on the Commission on Accrediting and has been a member of numerous accrediting committees to schools in Canada and the United States. She also served as a member of the ATS Board of Directors and was President of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada for the 2012-2014 biennium. Few persons have served theological education as broadly and well as Dorcas Gordon.”

Through an ad hoc planning committee, the Board of Governors has begun preparations for conducting a search. In consultation with the Faculty and the Senior Administrative Team, the Board will gauge the pressing issues that will face the successor to the Rev. Dr. Gordon, identify the criteria for her successor, appoint a Search Committee that is representative of the College, and complete a successful search in order to submit a recommendation to the General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada in June 2017.

Elias Mendes Gomes awarded the Knox College Gold Medal

Mendes-Gomes EliasKnox College awarded the Gold Medal to Elias Mendes Gomes at the college’s 172nd Convocation on May 11, 2016. The Knox College Gold Medal is granted annually to the graduating student with the highest academic standing in the program. Mendes Gomes graduated with a Master of Divinity Degree (Honours) and Diploma of the College. Mendes Gomes’s home congregation is Toronto Formosan Presbyterian Church.

Thirty women and men received degrees at the Convocation, including master’s degrees in divinity, theological studies, religious education, and theology, and doctoral degrees in ministry.


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