July 8, 2020

New Faculty Search – Director of Presbyterian Formation



The Presbyterian Director of Denominational Formation (DDF) is seconded by St. Andrew’s Hall, a college of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, to serve on the faculty of The Vancouver School of Theology.  St. Andrew’s Hall exercises its provincial teaching charter through its vibrant partnership with The Vancouver School of Theology.  This is a half-time position and is not tenure track.  The initial appointment will be made for a three-year term.  The appointment may be renewed for a further term or terms in accordance with the provisions of the VST Faculty Handbook.  Compensation will be at the level of the newly appointed Assistant Professor of VST.  The terms of employment are those set out in the VST Faculty Handbook.

The successful candidate for this position must be or be capable of becoming a Minister of Word and Sacraments in The Presbyterian Church in Canada.  If not an Ordained Minister within The Presbyterian Church in Canada, the successful candidate must seek admission through The Education and Reception Committee within the first year of employment.  The Director must remain a minister in good standing of The Presbyterian Church in Canada for the term of the appointment.

Familiarity with the doctrine, polity, ethos and history of The Presbyterian Church in Canada is essential.  A record of effective ministry in The Presbyterian Church in Canada including an awareness of missional leadership in post-Christendom Canada will be an asset.

The candidate must possess a Master of Divinity Degree or its equivalent as a minimum.  The Association of Theological Schools standards (5.1.1) suggest that faculty members shall possess the appropriate credentials for graduate theological education, normally demonstrated by the attainment of a research doctorate or, in certain cases, another earned doctoral degree.  In addition to academic preparation, ministerial and ecclesial experience is an important qualification in the composition of the faculty.

The appointment is made by the Board of SAH, on recommendation of the Search Committee and Dean, and is subject to the approval of the Principal and Board of VST.


ACCOUNTABLE TO:                 Principal of VST and Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall

POSITION STATUS:                  Part time faculty member

WORKS CLOSELY WITH:          VST Faculty, particularly the other Directors of Denominational Formation and the Dean and staff of St. Andrew’s Hall


The successful candidate for this position will become part of a team of staff and faculty at The Vancouver School of Theology called to educate and form thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders for God’s world.  They will be part of a Presbyterian team at St. Andrew’s Hall educating and equipping missional leaders for Christ’s Church of tomorrow, today.  The responsibilities of this position include recruiting, mentoring, supporting and inspiring Presbyterian students with teaching, coordinating community life, worship, pastoral care and prayer support in cooperation with our SAH Chaplain, reporting to presbyteries and other Presbyterian Church in Canada bodies on student progress. The Presbyterian DDF also often has informal care (non-reporting) of other Reformed students studying at VST from the global church.  Regular preaching in Presbyterian churches is encouraged, as is publication on ministry leadership and formation.


More specifically, the Presbyterian Director of Denominational Formation will be responsible for the following duties at VST:

  1. Ensures the development and implementation of plans for meeting denominational formation needs of Presbyterian Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students;
  2. Exercises and/or provides for appropriate pastoral care particularly, but not exclusively with PCC students at VST, and provides informal guidance about the PCC candidacy process while recruiting potential students;
  3. Contributes to Presbyterian worship and community life at SAH, working closely with the SAH Chaplain, as well as participating in VST chapel;
  4. Accompanies PCC students through the candidacy process from recruitment to graduation and first call, ensuring all steps are taking including Guidance Conference, denominational preparation requirements such as training for Leading with Care and SASH as well as Psychological testing referrals, etc.
  5. Completes all reporting on student progress to presbyteries and other PCC bodies;
  6. Convenes and/or participates in denominational caucuses; represents SAH/VST in denominational gatherings and works at the development of denominational relationships including new partnerships at the request of the Principal of VST and in co-operation with the Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall;
  7. Monitors changes in denominational life, polity and resources and keeps the faculty, staff and students apprised of these as they pertain to effective relationships and support for denominational student formation;
  8. Consults regularly with the Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall on PCC students;
  9. Coordinates the periodic visit of officials, guests and representatives of the PCC in cooperation with the Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall;
  10. Participates in discernment of appropriate field placements or internships for students under the DDF’s care, working closely with the Director of Field Education at VST;
  11. Facilitates the educational program of candidates for admission from other denominations to the ministry of the PCC through courses assigned by The Education and Reception Committee;
  12. Participates in VST committees (including but not limited to Faculty Council, Faculty Association, Faculty Student Review Committee, and Awards and Bursaries) as assigned by the VST Principal
  13. Teaches a minimum of two courses per year with Denominational Directed Studies courses as necessary.

St. Andrew’s Hall Duties:

The DDF will serve as a member of the Executive Staff at St. Andrew’s Hall, and as such have a positive influence and contribution to creating an effective staff culture, while being accountable to the Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall.  The DDF will contribute to creating a responsive and effective staff team. The DDF will serve on committees of SAH as directed by the Dean and will represent SAH on the Committee on Education and Reception of The Presbyterian Church in Canada.  The DDF may also be asked by the Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall to serve on other committees of the PCC, or to represent SAH in the wider church and community as needed.

Particularly with respect to these denominational duties, the Presbyterian Director of Denominational Formation is responsible through the Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall to the SAH Board, as well as being responsible to either Westminster Presbytery or the Presbytery of Western Han-Ca as a Minister of Word and Sacraments within the bounds of those Presbyteries.  The new Director of Denominational Formation is expected to become a Minister-in-Association in a local congregation.


  1. Skills and gifts of a pastor with a passion for preaching the Gospel, engaging in mission and evangelism and offering pastoral care, in cooperation with the SAH Chaplain, appropriate to the position.
  2. Familiarity with and/or sympathetic to the vision and mission of the Vancouver School of Theology.
  3. Ability to work creatively and effectively with ecumenical colleagues and our Presbyterian constituencies.

Applicants are asked to provide a curriculum vitae together with a cover letter highlighting the applicant’s fit with the position description, and the names, roles, and contact details of three references.  References will not be contacted without applicant’s express consent.  Applications should be sent electronically in confidence to Dr. Ross Lockhart, Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall, deansoffice@standrews.edu with the subject line “St. Andrew’s Hall DDF Search.”  Closing date for applications is at 12 pm (pacific time) on September 30, 2020.