Celebrations and Challenges

By Tyndale Communications  /  Monday, June 24, 2024

Artist rendering of the Tyndale Green property

In this 130th year of educating and equipping students, Tyndale University celebrates the approximately 300 students who graduated last month. It was amazing to hear the testimonies of students and how their Tyndale experience has forever changed them.

Thank you for all the moments you have paused to pray for this next generation of impactful leaders, and for the university, this place that has important Kingdom significance. It is because of your faithful prayers and gifts of time and financial resources that Tyndale has been able to fulfil its mission of impacting generations of students. You have an important role, and we are grateful that you are walking alongside us.

You may be aware of a significant property development initiative that Tyndale University has been planning for our campus. When completed, Tyndale Green will be a development consisting of approximately 1,500 apartments spread across 12 low- and mid-rise buildings on campus. This development sees underutilized portions of the campus developed into a community with a vision that includes both market rate and affordable housing units, ravine preservation, environmental sustainability, excellence in architectural and landscape design, community access and sustainability of the university as driving principles.

Updates have been provided over the past few years at key intervals. We are now able to provide a more detailed update, and it is good news! The necessary development approvals have been secured, and we anticipate construction will soon begin.

Here is how it works. Tyndale University invested certain parcels of unused land into the Tyndale Green Trust, a new entity established for this purpose. Tyndale Green Trust is leasing that land to the Tyndale Green Development Limited Partnership, which, over the next several years, will be building rental apartments that middle-income earners can afford as well as rentals charged at market rates. This will contribute to a pressing and growing need in the GTA, and is consistent with the University’s mission “to serve the church and the world for the glory of God.”

The size and scope of the project is significant, and serves as an example of what redevelopment can look like in an inner suburban site. Many leaders have told us the plan is bold and creative, and they are watching with thoughts of how they might use our model in their ministries.

We expect the first buildings will be completed and occupied by 2028 after which Tyndale University will, through the Tyndale Green Trust, start receiving an annual return. This annual return will grow over time as more buildings are completed and occupied.

In the meantime, the Tyndale Green Trust has provided an advance sufficient to enable Tyndale University to pay off all its existing debt! We invite you to pause in this moment with us and acknowledge just how significant this is in the life of Tyndale University. We celebrate and are so very grateful to God for the provision of these funds and the elimination of our debt!

With all of this wonderful news, this next statement is going to sound odd: Repayment of our debt does not, in itself, put Tyndale into a place of financial security.

Let me explain.

The future revenue stream and outlook is amazing, and the initial influx of funds alleviates some immediate challenges; however, it does not alleviate our need for donors like you.

Tyndale University is in a season of living in the “in-between.” Over the past three years, we have shared with you the challenge of decreased enrolment during the pandemic. We experienced small incoming classes paired with large graduating classes. We are working our way out of this, but it has had a compounding effect and has seriously impacted tuition revenue.

As we look to the future, the enrolment outlook for this fall is encouraging. Following a modest increase in the incoming class last fall, we are pleased to be experiencing our largest applicant pool in several years. The smaller incoming classes during the pandemic will lead to smaller graduating classes in time and, with a re-established pattern of larger incoming classes, we will begin to see a compounding effect of growing enrolment over the next few years.

In the years leading up to the pandemic, Tyndale was blessed to receive significant revenue from the rental of the high school. During the pandemic, Tyndale was blessed to receive significant subsidies from the government. And last year, Tyndale was blessed to receive funds from a generous gift of a mortgage. However, there will be no additional revenue from these sources.

At the same time, Tyndale, like many charities across Canada in this challenging economy, experienced a decrease in donations. Additionally, as noted above, the Tyndale Green development won’t provide additional revenue for at least three years, when the first buildings are completed and apartments are occupied.

This is the “in-between” Tyndale University finds itself in – living without the revenue sources of the past several years, along with smaller enrolments, with a future outlook of growing enrolment, launching new programs that will attract more students, and new future revenue from Tyndale Green.

We are aware of a perception among some in our supporting community that Tyndale no longer has need of financial support. The thinking expressed is that Tyndale Green has provided all that is needed. I trust this communication has provided clarity regarding the university’s financial reality.

As you think about your giving this year, I ask you to continue your support for Tyndale University. If you are not yet a financial supporter of Tyndale students, I invite you to give it your prayerful consideration. This place, where students receive a distinctly Christian educational experience, are challenged to ask and explore difficult questions, and where they develop the ability to think analytically while integrating their theological and biblical understanding, is so desperately needed in these times. Your generosity means the world to our students.

God bless you,

Dr. Marjory Kerr
President and Vice Chancellor

P.S. I would like to answer two questions we are often asked about Tyndale Green. No, Tyndale is not selling any land. And, no, Tyndale is not fundraising for the project. It is funded through the Tyndale Green Trust. Every dollar you give will continue to go directly to educating students at Tyndale University.

P.P.S. If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Kirk, SVP External Relations, by email at kkirk [at] tyndale [dot] ca or by phone 416.226.6620 ext. 6776. Please visit www.tyndalegreen.com for more information about Tyndale Green.