By Deborah Gyapong
Catholic News Service
Saint Paul University (SPU) is the latest university to enter an agreement with Augustine College in Ottawa to grant academic credit for the college's one-year program for transferring students.
Augustine College offers an year educating students who come from across North America in the foundations of western civilization's intellectual and spiritual traditions.
Founded in 1997 by a group of Christian professors from differing denominations who taught in various disciplines at Saint Paul University, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, Augustine College has endeavored to offer a rigorous intellectual formation while within a deeply Christian community. Faculty have come from Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Presbyterian, and Pentecostal backgrounds, agreeing on the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Apostles' Creed and the authority of Scripture.
Operated as a "labor of love" and on a shoe-string budget, the College draws anywhere from 10 to 20 students a year.
Augustine College began as a vision sketched out on a napkin in a tavern near University of Ottawa where every Tuesday morning, Christian professors, graduate students and interested members of the wider Ottawa community would hold a breakfast seminar, reading together works by John Henry Cardinal Newman, Pope John Paul II's encyclicals, or a book by a modern evangelical theologian. The professors, who came from disciplines as varied as medicine, economics, classics, English literature, Medieval studies and philosophy agreed modern higher education had lost the sense of the university and the integration of knowledge and understanding.
"Christians have always recognized that to achieve a fully articulate faith demands familiarity with the great achievements in the arts and sciences," says Augustine College president and Pediatrician Dr. John Patrick on the college's website Augustinecollege.org. "Augustine College answers the need for a place in which the enduring questions of human life can again be studied at the level they deserve and against the background of the Christian story.”
Saint Paul University Rector Chantal Beauvais and other faculty attended the Augustine College Commencement Sept. 9 where the new agreement was announced to the Augustine College community gathered for the event.
Augustine College has agreements for transfer of credits in Canada with King’s University College (at UWO) London, Ontario; Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario; St. Francis Xavier University Antigonish, Nova Scotia (credits equivalent to more than a year); St. Stephen’s University St. Stephen, New Brunswick; Trinity Western University, Langley, BC (credits equivalent to more than a year).
In the United States, Augustine College has transfer of credits agreements with Baylor University Waco, Texas; Calvin College Grand Rapids, Michigan; Hope College Holland, Michigan (credits equivalent to more than a year); Houghton College Houghton, New York; University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois; and Wheaton College Wheaton, Illinois