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The King's University: 40 Years of History

Sep 24, 2019

As you may already know, this year is King’s 40th anniversary! Talks about the need for Christian higher education started in the 1960’s, specifically the need for university degrees from a Christian perspective, but it wasn’t until 1979 that King’s officially opened their doors to students. King’s first campus was located in downtown Edmonton, but the university has been in its current location since 1993.

In 1987, King’s offered its first accredited degree: a three-year bachelor of arts! Prior to that, students attending King’s could only graduate with a diploma or certificate, but for the first time in 1987, four students received a degree upon graduating! Since its founding in 1979, King’s has gone through a few name and accreditation changes. It started off as “The King’s College”, then became “The King’s University College”, and on December 9, 2015 we officially became “The King’s University”.

The faculty and staff are committed to King’s mission, and are here ultimately because they love King’s and everything it stands for. Some of the original faculty from back in the 80’s and 90’s are still around today! Dr. Harry Cook was one of the original faculty members, and you can still catch him here on campus enjoying a coffee in the level. Dr. Peter Mahaffy, Dr. Heather Looy, and Dr. Doug Harink are some of our current professors that have been here for over 29 years! These are only a few examples of the many long-time faculty and staff members at King’s that have helped shape it into the university it is today.

We don’t want to gloss over the fact that King’s has had some rough spots in its past. Many know the story of Delwin Vriend, who was a lab instructor at King’s in the early 90’s that was let go because of his sexual orientation. Fortunately, King’s has changed a lot since then. While the institution does not take an official stance on controversial issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive rights, evolution etc, King’s is welcoming to people of all beliefs and backgrounds! To reinforce this we came up with an official Statement on Inclusion, and our SPEAK club provides a safe and comfortable space for LGBTQ+ identifying students to support one another on campus.

King’s has a long history, full of positives and negatives, but I think it’s important to remind ourselves of King’s mission statement in this time of celebration. The mission statement reads, “The King’s University exists to provide university education that inspires and equips learners to bring renewal and reconciliation to every walk of life as followers of Jesus Christ, the Servant-King.” I think this captures what King’s is about, and what draws students, staff, and faculty to be a part of this institution!

To celebrate this big milestone of 40 years, King’s is putting on a lot of fun events throughout the school year, for both students and alumni. You can see a list of the events here! The next big thing that’s coming up is the King’s Community Banquet, which is taking place on September 28. This evening will feature live entertainment, a silent auction, food, and lots of time to reminisce and reflect on our history of 40 blessed years!

I have one more exciting thing to note: in celebration of 40 years, King’s will be transforming the south field (by the apartments) into a community ice rink lined with hay bales, and laced with mini lights!! The rink will be open late November to early March, and will be open to ALL! Stay tuned for more news to come on that!

Have a great year everyone!

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