The establishment of a Salvation Army “university of humanity” was first proposed by The Salvation Army’s co-founder, General William Booth, early in the 20th century. From its early years, The Salvation Army has operated Training Colleges for the preparation of its officers (clergy), but the dream of a “university” devoted to accredited, degree education was left unfulfilled throughout the Army’s first century.
On February 16, 1981, that dream began when the Canada and Bermuda Territory of The Salvation Army announced that it would establish a college in Winnipeg. Catherine Booth Bible College opened in September 1982 with 28 students because of the vision of Commissioner John D. Waldron and others. Under the leadership of Colonel Earl Robinson, the institution grew rapidly with the development of programs. In 1986 the foundations were laid for the institution’s social work program and the move to its current campus in 1988. In 1989 Booth launched its degree-completion program for Salvation Army officers and then in 1997, the name of the institution was changed to William and Catherine Booth College.
Present Day: Booth University College
While the institution was established as a “Bible college” and vigorously implemented that model of post-secondary education, by 2006 the needs of The Salvation Army and society had changed. As a result, the Board of Trustees cast a new vision for the institution as a “growing Christian university college of choice,” with an expanded mission that portrayed William Booth’s dream of a university of humanity.
Since 2006, Booth has undergone a significant transformation. New programs have been developed, existing programs have been redesigned and our enrolment has grown dramatically. In June 2010, the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba passed legislation that gave Booth ‘university college’ status and we officially changed the name of our institution to Booth University College.
Our Future: Booth University
Now it’s time to look beyond the present by envisioning and shaping the future of Booth UC as a growing Christian university of choice. Achieving this next stage of our mission requires a vision designed to move us forward with clarity and purpose. We envision Booth University College in new ways. As a result, we see:
- Booth UC as a growing Christian university with an enrolment large enough and a breadth of programs wide enough to develop graduates who are passionate contributors to a better world;
- Booth UC as a vibrant learning community actively engaged in the process of translating a vision for a better world into reality;
- Booth UC as a vital partner with The Salvation Army in the achievement of its mission through the provision of education and training for Salvation Army personnel;
- Booth UC as a sustainable, effective, and mission-focused institution of Christian higher education.