Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
August 24, 2009
Newman receives $4.18M federal grant
Infrastructure monies will fund research library, teleconferencing, distance learning facility, classrooms
WCR PHOTO | GLEN ARGAN
This Aug. 18 photo shows the remains of the chapel and former St. Joseph Seminary.
The government's economic action plan, tabled in January, outlined an investment of over $5.1 billion in higher learning, which includes $1.5 billion towards science and research initiatives, $2 billion for college and university infrastructure, and $1.6 billion in additional education-related investments.
"This funding also ensures Newman Theological College continues its 40-year tradition and remains the centre of moral leadership and moral excellence in our community, which is so required in our world today," said Rajotte.
College president Dr. Bryn Kulmatycki called it a great day for the college and a great day for post-secondary education in Edmonton.
"The federal government has always had the responsibility over all post-secondary education in Canada. It is the incumbent government that has fully accepted this responsibility in a manner that no other previous Canadian government ever has," Kulmatycki said.
Newman is an accredited graduate school with around 250 students, some preparing for the priesthood and lay ministries, and others doing general theological studies.
Dr. Bryn Kulmatycki
"We are the only accredited post-secondary Roman Catholic theological college west of Toronto. We serve a highly specialized niche market of students and we have students from all over Canada and from abroad," said Kulmatycki.
The province, in order to pave the way for the northern extension of the Anthony Henday Ring Road near St. Albert, bought out the school's old home, which also housed St. Joseph Seminary.
The theological college and seminary, while having a symbiotic relationship, are not the same institution, noted Kulmatycki. The seminary is an institution where men go through the process of discernment towards ordination into the priesthood. Newman is a "mini-university" offering degrees in theology.
A new seminary and theological college are now under construction in the city's Forest Heights district, east of downtown. With a surge in construction costs, however, the new seminary came in considerably over budget. A fundraising drive launches in September to come up with the remaining $11 million shortfall.
Academic research has been undertaken since Newman College opened in 1969. Over the decades, many adjunct professors have published academic articles, written books about their disciplines on theological subjects and in order to achieve that, a comprehensive academic library was developed.
The federal funding will allow the college to develop a high-tech research library.
"Beyond being a top-rate theological faculty of St. Joseph Seminary, Newman is looking to re-found itself at the cutting edge of an expansive evangelization and theological education program across Western Canada by developing top-flight technological resources," said Penna.
Kulmatycki concluded, "Our classes will be fully adapted with modern technology and because theology is highly specialized and not found in many places, we will be able to deliver our programs remotely."
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