Monday 16 May 2016

The Gift of 229 College: A New Phase

Our supporting community has sustained the Institute for Christian Studies since its inception in many generous ways. One notable instance was through the purchase of 229 College Street. That building became the home of ICS.

For a number of years 229 College also provided a source of revenue for the Institute. This came initially through rental income and later, when considerable and costly renovations were required, through partnership with an investor. Unfortunately, a few years ago our partner declared bankruptcy and the building is being put up for sale.

The ICS Board contemplated purchasing our partner’s shares, but after prayerful and thoughtful consideration decided otherwise. Given the uncertainty of real estate markets today and the current skyrocketing cost of real estate in downtown Toronto, it was deemed that the purchase price of the building would move ICS into precarious territory, and stretch it financially beyond its limits. It seemed fiscally unwise.

The sale of 229 College, while regrettable in a number of ways, will nonetheless continue to benefit ICS. The proceeds received from the sale, when invested, will generate new income. The ICS Board felt this new endowment is the most prudent way to utilise a gift, given many years ago by faithful supporters, to sustain ICS into the future. Also, we will negotiate a lease, so the building can continue to be a home for ICS.

The Global Financial Crisis of the past decade has dealt a severe financial blow to ICS, as it has to many other institutions of Christian higher education. ICS continues to adjust to the new financial realities, thanks to the generous support of our donors. We are committed to remaining debt-free. The Board has sharpened its resolve not only to continue to reduce its expenses but to generate other sources of income. Further, with the investment income from the sale of 229 College, ICS will not only maintain itself, it will turn a corner and grow in a sustainable manner.

It is with heartfelt gratitude to all our supporters that the Board looks forward to finding new and better ways of ensuring the mission of ICS in higher education is fulfilled, in partnership with our faithful donors. Thanks to the dedicated work of faculty and staff, our graduate programs continue to change the lives of those who will, in turn, change the lives of others. ICS graduates work diligently and fruitfully as professors, teachers, campus chaplains, and in many other callings – as agents of renewal in our culture. May God continue to bless the vision and mission of ICS.

M. Ansley Tucker, Chair
John Valk, Vice Chair
Board of Trustees