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The campaign team

Fully supported by the Board of Governors and coordinated through Knox’s Development Office, the College assembled a team of committed volunteers from across Canada. The Rev. Brad Shoemaker serves as National Campaign Chair, and three regional chairs oversee volunteers from coast to coast. The campaign team continues to work tirelessly to bring awareness of the College’s vision to congregations, alumni/ae, friends, and former residents across Canada. They hope to reach out to as many of you as possible.


National Campaign Chair: The Rev. Brad Shoemaker

CR Brad ShoemakerIn my previous career I was a branch manager and vice president of a major investment firm. Now I am a chaplain at the largest maximum-security men’s jail in Canada. People are often taken aback by such a radical change and ask me how that came about. The short answer: God called me to my current role — and God is nothing short of radical. But the longer answer involves Knox College.

As you might imagine, the worldview I held in my previous career was substantially different than my worldview today — thanks in large part to Knox College. Knox College is, at its base, a place for theological study, a place to learn to preach, and a place to learn how to be a leader in the business of the church. But for me — and frankly, for most of the people with whom I went to school, Knox College was so much more. We used to refer to it as a “bubble”; we meant that it was a safe place where we could express our former worldviews and not be judged. It was a place where we could talk about concerns we had, criticisms we had, and misunderstandings. It was a place where our faith was challenged at every corner.

But I now realize that Knox is less of a bubble and more of a cocoon. People don’t lose the best of what they had, but instead the best is carried on and transformed into the person they are to become. Over my 18 years in the investment field, I developed conflict management skills, relational skills, administration skills, business management skills, and an ability to thrive in chaos. Each of these is critically important in the chaplaincy work I now do. However, the worldview and purpose that drove me then have been replaced by a Christian worldview and purpose. What emerged from the cocoon is not a butterfly but a moth. You see, a moth is rarely flashy, and it is often found near the light in darkness.

Your donation is about more than equipping the next leaders; God has chosen leaders who are equipped. Your donation helps Knox refocus their gifts in a way that is pleasing to God, helpful to the confused and newly called student, and highly beneficial to The Presbyterian Church in Canada and beyond.

Please consider joining me and my wife, Kathy, in making a significant pledge to the college.


Regional Chair: The Rev. Dr. J. H. Hans Kouwenberg

CR hansk I am happy to be a part of the Knox College campaign because it is one of my most cherished alma maters. I lived in the East House Residence for two years, right next to the sounds of the organ playing in the Chapel! I had great conversations and prayer meetings there and developed a number of dear lifelong friends.

I also studied theology at Knox for three years and, at the time, the tuition was generously paid by the church. So I feel I want to pay it back a little, or pay it forward, for the next generation of residents and students. Moreover, I was the first student representative on the Board of Governors (then the Senate), which helped me develop my visioning and leadership skills. I was also fortunate in having several godly and great professors who inspired me with their passion for Jesus Christ and their wealth of experience and learning.

I have since those early days also been involved in governorship and leadership opportunities at the Presbyterian College in Montreal and the Vancouver School of Theology/St. Andrew’s Hall in Vancouver. But Knox College will always have a special place in my heart and stewardship intentions because of the professors, staff, and students and friends I met there.


Regional Chair: Mr. John Matheson

CR JMATHESON-3I have a strong belief in theological education. A lifelong Presbyterian, I’ve served our church in a variety of ways — starting out as an elder in my 20s serving in three different congregations, working with Presbytery and National Church task forces, and also as a Convener of the Board of Knox College and most recently joining the Campaign Team.

I’ve come to realize how big a role theological education has played in my life, and how my life has been impacted by those who have been prepared in seminary as ministers and as lay leaders. Four people stand out as mentors during different moments, people who guided and helped me through many challenging days. I see their wisdom and support as a direct result of their learning and preparation at seminary. Knox College holds a special place for me and for all these reasons, I support the re:forming Tomorrow campaign.


Regional Chair: The Rev. Dr. Sandy McDonald

I CR Moderator Sandy McDonald with students, 2003am an alumnus of Knox College. I currently serve on the college’s Board of Governors and lead the campaign efforts in the Atlantic region. In these roles I can see firsthand the future plans that drive Knox to re-imagine theological education and prepare well-trained leaders for the church. I am pleased
to speak with people and congregations about these plans. I tell them about the passion and vision that surround the work of the college; many people have thoughtful and helpful questions about the college’s ministry. The college can have considerable impact on the life of the church in the future, and we have the privilege of joining in that work.




Questions about the campaign? Contact the Principal’s Office at 416-978-4503 or knoxprinc.assistant@utoronto.ca.

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