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St. Paul University: The Facts about the School
No Author listed - possible Vicki Davis
Mainstreeter - June 1988
St. Paul University, located at 223 Main Street, is a specialized university, with emphasis on scholarship. While it retains a strong emphasis on Roman Catholic doctrine, there are signs that some aspects of modern life are keeping pace with the traditional.


The Oblate order of Roman Catholic priests from France began working in By town in 1840. Noticing that the city lacked proper education facilities, Bishop Joseph-Eugene Guigues founded the bilingual" College of Bytown" in 1848. In 1866, the" College of Ottawa" was granted university status by the Government of the Union of Canada. In 1899, the college received a pontifical charter. "We will celebrate our centennial next year", says Father Jacques L'Heureux, Vice Rector for Administration.

In 1933, the civil charter was revised by the Ontario Provincial Legislature; the pontifical charter was revised in 1934, creating the University of Ottawa. By 1965 there were nine faculties and four schools, and it became necessary for most of the institution to become a public university with only a provincial charter. The Oblate fathers gave up most holdings, and created Saint Paul University, which holds both a civil and a pontifical charter. "It was an elegant way to split the two," says Father L'Heureux.

The two universities are now au-tonomous, but federated. Both Senates have representatives appointed from the other university. There is a mutual exchange of professors, particularly in the Faculty of Philosophy, and full-time students from Saint Paul's are automatically registered at the University of Ottawa. Certificates, diplomas and civil degrees are jointly conferred by both universities.

Saint Paul's Today

About one half of the students come from Ontario, one-quarter from Que-bec, and the rest from other parts of Canada and foreign countries. In all, 916 students from 32 countries were registered in the past session at Saint Paul's. There are also some 100 professors and 100 support staff at the uni-versity. Saint Paul's remains a bilingual univer-sity. "Each faculty has both French and English programmes," says Father L'Heureux. "There is no overlap, and there are no language courses." 57 francophone.

The number of women studying at Saint Paul's has been gradually increasing, until today they make up 49 says Father L'Heureux. About half of all students are registered on a part-time basis. Another change is the increase in lay students; clerical students now ac-count for only half of the student population.

Saint Paul's is a busy place; the uni-versity is organized on a trimester system. In addition, there are summer programmes in July. The university is financed through its tuition fees, some provincial funds, and the Oblate fathers. "In fact, the Oblates give as much as the government...sometimes more," says Father L'Heureux.

Courses of Study

Saint Paul's largest faculty is Theology, with 206 full-time and 270 part-time students. This number includes evening courses, some of which were given at a community college in Cornwall in the
past year. One year of Theology is a prerequisite for both Canon Law and Pastoral Studies. Theology is offered at the Certificate, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral levels. The Anglican Studies Programme, offered only in English, is a recent development. It meets require-ments for a Bachelor of Theology de-gree, and accreditation from the Angli-can diocese of Ottawa. The Anglican diocese provides pastoral formation for those preparing for ministry in the Anglican Church.

Linked with the Faculty of Theology is the Institute of Mission Stud-ies, which..." prepares qualified people for mission-evangelization not only in foreign cultures, but also in de-Christianized North American culture," according to the programme brochure. There is either a Certificate or a Master of Arts in Missiology. It is a small programme; only three graduate and twelve undergraduate students. The Institute also offers an evaluation service for potential missionaries and their plans.

"The Faculty of Canon Law is unique in Canada," says Father L'Heureux. The only other faculty in North America is in Washington, D.C. The Code of Canon Law is the legal system govern-ing the Roman Catholic Church. A new Code was instituted in 1984. The programme attracts mainly anglophones from North America, Europe and Aus-tralia. Most students are men; 93 are full-time, 18 part-time. Gradu-ates will perform some regulatory duties within the Church or religious insti-tutions. Both undergraduate and graduate programmes to the doctoral level are available.

The Institute of Pastoral Studies offers a two-year (five trimester) programme for a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies. Students may specialize in four areas of study: 1) General ministry 2) Counsel-ing ministry 3) Pastoral group work in family and community and 4) Pastoral care in health services. There are 93 full-time and 63 part-time students in this programme; the women outnumber the men five to three. Connected with this programme is Saint Paul's Centre for Counseling and Pastoral Studies, where second-year M.A. students pro-vide counseling services under supervision. The Centre works with Ottawa's social service agencies.

In the interest of having only one centre of philosophical studies between St. Paul's and the University of Ottawa, all classes in the Faculty of Philoso-phy are taken at the University of Ottawa. There is a Dean and staff at Saint Paul's, and professors from Saint Paul's teach at the University of Ottawa. Saint Paul University offers eccle-siastical degrees in philosophy at both undergraduate and graduate levels.


The University Seminary, at 249 Main Street, brings together students from 25 Canadian and American dioceses, who are preparing for the priesthood. The Seminary was established in 1937, with the aim of gathering together students from all parts of North America, in a bilingual setting. At present there are 55 seminarians and 30 priests in residence.

The Institute of Social Communications offers two undergraduate certifi-cate programmes; one in animation (French only) and one in social com-munications. The former programme trains people working with small groups in animation skills; the latter in the use of mass media and communication skills. A modern media centre with television studio, sound studio, closed circuit television system and photography darkroom, assists the 12 full-time and 87 part-time students in their courses.

The Deschatelets edifice at 175 Main Street, is primarily a residence for Oblate priests who teach at Saint Paul's. It also provides room and board for some religious students (men and women). There are presently some 80 residents.

Services to Ottawa East

The principal service that Saint Paul's has to offer local residents is the continuing education programme itself. Most of the courses offered are in the Faculty of Theology. Last winter's programme included: "Pentateuch and Historical Books", "Economics and Ethics" and "Special Questions in Ethics: The Basic Christian Communities and the Quest for Social Justice." Some of the social comunication programmes are also offered in the evenings. Persons over 60 years of age are exempt from fees; but only if they register as regular or special students. Auditors pay full fees.

Counseling services are available to the general public. The Centre for Coun-seling and Pastoral Services, in the basement at 223 Main Street, provides counseling for individuals, couples and groups. They give personal, marital, family, religious and grief counseling. Counselors are either supervised students or professionals. For appoint-ments, call 236-1393.

From time to time, Saint Paul's has opened its doors to the community for large special meetings (a recent Ottawa East Community Association traf-fic meeting was held in an auditorium). The university has also provided space for a polling station during elections.

Saint Paul University is a major institution in our neighbourhood. While somewhat apart because of the nature of their studies, over 900 students and 200 staff at Saint Paul's are participants in our community and users of its services.

Anyone needing to do research at Saint Paul's unique library may obtain a pass from Barbara Hicks, the Chief Librarian. The bookstore, located on the main floor, is open to the public. .Hours are generally from 9:00 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Saturdays. Books sup-port the subjects studied at the univer-sity, and provide students with general reference books.

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