Some Things Change and Some Things Stay the Same
Tyndale was founded 120 years ago as the Toronto Bible Training School. This idea was nurtured by a working coalition of leaders from at least four churches: Knox Presbyterian, St. Paul’s Anglican, the Methodist Church, and Walmer Road Baptist Church. In the past, Tyndale had many names: Toronto Bible College (TBC), London Bible Institute (LBI) / London College of Bible and Missions (LCBM), Ontario Bible College (OBC), and Ontario Theological Seminary (OTS). This fall will be the fifth move for the institution in 120 years. Tyndale has grown from 130 students in 1894 to over 1,600 today.
In 1902, you could take medical classes; in the 1970s, there were special courses for teachers and nurses; and in the 1990s, there was a degree in Christian camping and recreational leadership. Some things change. What has stayed the same since 1894 is our desire to faithfully follow Christ and passionately engage the world. Through the ages, graduates have gone into ministry as well as teaching, medicine, business, and social work. No matter what era Tyndale found itself in, there was a strong and vibrant community of believers committed to Christ and God’s work in the world. Some things do stay the same.
Tyndale’s deep history is preserved in archives that date back to 1894. In this edition of Tyndale Magazine we sought to capture our rich 120-year history; whether it included a memorable article from the Recorder newsletter written in 1895 or a page of hand-written students’ notes from a History of Christian Mission course in 1944.
When I reflect on the past, I see a digitally enhanced collage of photographs. There are pictures of volleyball, ice hockey, football, and floor hockey teams – a testament to a rich history of student life and athletics. There are even pictures of people playing ping pong in full suits in the 1930s and in short-shorts in the 1980s. There was a college orchestra in 1939. In the 1970s there was a chorale that toured. And today you will find over 90 students who make up multiple chapel worship teams. What an amazing picture Tyndale’s history paints for us!
In this edition of Tyndale Magazine, you will find an interview with Ruth Harrison, a 1952 graduate, talking about her experiences in the post-war culture. In another article Tyndale helped reconnect the student council copresidents from LCBM and TBC in the year that LCBM merged with TBC in 1969 to form OBC. It was the first time they had seen each other in 44 years! Dr. Bob Morris reflects how they were taught at TBC to think critically in a school that had a vision to become a publicly-chartered Christian university. This vision continues to unfold today.
Join with us in celebrating Tyndale’s 120th anniversary as we reflect on our cherished past and look forward to a future rich with hope and anticipation for God’s faithful presence in this year of transition.