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The Theology of The United Church of Canada

Edited by Don Schweitzer, Robert C. Fennell, and Michael Bourgeois
Subjects Religion
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Hardcover : 9781771123952, 302 pages, February 2019
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771123976, 302 pages, February 2019

Table of contents

Introduction – John H. Young

1. The Triune God – Catherine Faith MacLean 
2. Scripture and Revelation in The United Church of Canada – Robert C. Fennell 
3. The Good Creation: From Classical Theism to Ecotheology – Harold Wells 
4. Sin and Redemption in the United Church of Canada – Sandra Beardsall 
5. The Christology of The United Church of Canada – Don Schweitzer
6. The Holy Spirit – Adrian Jacobs 
7. Ecclesiology: “Being The United Church of Canada” – Gail Allan and Marilyn Legge 
8. What Are People For? In Christian Life, Discipleship, and Ministry – HyeRan Kim-Cragg  
9. Sacraments and Sacramentality in The United Church of Canada – William S. Kervin 
10. Practising God’s Mission beyond Canada – Hyuk Cho 

11. The United Church’s Mission Work within Canada and Its Impact on Indigenous
and Ethnic Minority Communities – Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd 
12. The End of the World as We Know It? (Eschatology) – Michael Bourgeois
Conclusion – In 

Conclusion … a work in progress – Robert Fennell and Don Schweitzer 
Appendix – The United Church of Canada’s Four Subordinate Standards 
List of Contributors 


Gail Allan, The United Church of Canada, Toronto, ON 
Sandra Beardsall, St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon. SK 
Michael Bourgeois, Emmanuel College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 
Hyuk Cho, The United Church, Acton, ON 
Robert C. Fennell, Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, NS 
Adrian Jacobs, Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, Beausejour, MB 
William S. Kervin, Emmanuel College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 
HyeRan Kim-Cragg, St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon, SK
 Marilyn J. Legge, Emmanuel College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 
Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd, Westworth United Church, Winnipeg, MB 
Catherine Faith MacLean, St. Paul’s United Church, Edmonton, AB 
Don Schweitzer, St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon, SK 
Harold Wells, Emmanuel College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 
John H. Young, The United Church of Canada, Toronto, ON


The United Church of Canada has a rich and complex history of theological development. This volume, written for the general reader as well as students and scholars, provides a comprehensive overview of that development, together with an analysis of this unique denomination’s core statements of faith and its contemporary theological landscape.

When the Methodist, Congregational, and Local Union Churches in Canada, as well as most of the Presbyterians, came together as The United Church of Canada, the theological commonalities between them were significant. Over the succeeding decades, this made-in-Canada denomination has continued to define its convictions through consensus-building and large-scale studies. This volume, written by leading scholars, outlines key faith perspectives in areas such as creation, the Trinity, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, sin, mission, and sacraments.

No book like this has appeared in over seventy years, and readers will find insight here that is unparalleled in its scope. In creative tension with each individual member’s freedom of conscience, the United Church as a whole has continued to express its commonly held faith in dialogue, continuity, and critical interaction with the faith of the worldwide, historic Christian community.


The book does not reveal a church that is afraid to be church, but one that is courageous enough to embrace change and acknowledge human mutability in the face of an enduring God. It shows that there is a strong theological bedrock in our tradition, for anyone interested enough to look for it.

- Jane Dawson, UC Observer