Education. Training. Each word conjures a different understanding. For Deaconesses, both starting points informed the curriculum throughout time. The women were being formed for a multitude of roles and a myriad of divergent expectations.
The history of pedagogy is significant, and complex. Watch for more reflection soon.
For an indepth examination of “Training Deaconesses the Manitoba Way” see Sherri McConnell’s paper on Manitoba College Deaconess Program (1920 to 1939).
Also see Weaving a Changing Tapestry, A history of the Centre for Christian Studies, by Gwyn Griffith, 2010. (not available online)
Deaconess School Buildings
Click on the box to read caption , click on the picture to enlarge .
Chicago Training School
Chicago Training School for City, Home and Foreign Missions (American Methodist) and its founder, Lucy Rider Meyer, were extremely influential in the Canadian Methodist Deaconess movement. The first three Superintendents were sent to Canada by Lucy. All three were graduates of CTS.
Photo from Garrett University.
In 1882, Manitoba College (Presbyterian) occupied this elaborate building on Ellice Avenue in Winnipeg designed by architect Charles A. Barber. In 1931, the building was sold to the Roman Catholic Church and became the home of St. Paul’s College, which later moved to the Fort Garry Campus of the University of Manitoba and the school moved into Wesley Hall. This building was demolished in 1964.
Courtesy of Manitoba Historical Society.
Wesley (United) College
This four story stone building (shown here in 1934) was erected on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg and officially opened at a ceremony on 3 June 1896. An annex, Sparling Hall, was designed by architect J. H. G. Russell in 1912.
The College was originally Methodist, after Union it became the United Church School.
Photo courtesy of Sharon Graham
Toronto Deaconess Home and Training SchoolFirst Home McGill Street
The first building occupied by the Toronto (Methodist) Deaconess Home was located at 28 McGill Street. The house was new when the “Home” was officially opened on May 28, 1894 and classes began that fall. Soon classes had to be held at Carlton Street Methodist Church as well as the number of students continued to increase. The building was designed to be a home for probationers (students) as well as Deaconesses working in Toronto.
Toronto Deaconess Home and Training SchoolCarlton Church
Toronto Deaconess Home and Training SchoolSecond Home Jarvis Street
National Methodist Training SchoolSod Turning
National Methodist Training School135 St. Clair Avenue W
The substantial building at St. Clair and Avenue Road, opened in 1911, cost a large amount for the time. There was ample room for missionaries home on furlough and deaconesses, as well as students. This is a 1921 view. The building was never comfortable, too large and too institutional. It was sold in 1942, to the Department of National Defense, to be used to house women in the services. The cost of constructing the building had been $350,000 and it was sold for $200,000. -
Photo courtesy of United Church National Archives 90-115P257
Presbyterian Missionary and Deaconess Training Home60 Grosvenor Street
United Church Training School214 St. George Street
United Church Training SchoolBedford Road
United Church Training School77 Charles St. W.
United Church Training SchoolCornerstone
There are currently two schools offering diaconal education for the United Church of Canada.