For more than 40 years, Booth University College has faithfully served students, the City of Winnipeg, and The Salvation Army as a post-secondary institution committed to bringing together Christian faith, rigorous scholarship, and a passion for service. The dedicated women and men who founded this institution were led by the conviction that higher education was a transformative force within society and that its impact was multiplied when guided by a Christian ethos.

Who We Are

The impetus for what is today Booth University College can be traced back to The Salvation Army’s founder, General William Booth (1829-1912), and his dream of a “University of Humanity.” As a Christian institution committed to the mission of The Salvation Army, Booth envisioned that such a school would provide training and education in evangelistic and missionary work and social operations among the poor and disenfranchised. Yet, he also believed it might include instruction in other areas, such as medicine, engineering, architecture, accounting, and literary pursuits. His emphasis was primarily on “training men and women in the Science of Humanity” teaching them “to understand and to deal effectively with those suffering from the most terrible and crying evils that afflict the race.” Unlike the many elite and exclusive universities of his time, Booth wanted an institution where “no distinction would be made, or preference shown with regard to sex, language, nation or color. . . . a University for the working[class], to train on [their] behalf workers whose mission shall be to minister to the poorest poor”—a “worldwide, world-helping University”.[1]

Booth University College stands on the shoulders of such a dream sharing the same vision of Education for a Better World. The first President, Colonel Earl Robinson, wrote, “Through its combination of academic, practical and community pursuits, the College seeks to integrate responsible Christian faith with life in the contemporary world. It attempts to impart to students the vision which will enable them to be workers with Christ in transforming individual lives and society, thus establishing the Kingdom of God.”[2] From its humble beginnings as a Bible College started in 1982, Booth University College has matured and grown to include bachelor’s degrees in Religion, Social Work, English, Interdisciplinary Studies, Behavioural Sciences, Community and Urban Transformation, Psychology, and Business. It has also birthed the School for Continuing Studies, which offers certificates in Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care, Leadership, Not-for-Profit Management, and Community Capacity Building. In our 40-year history, we have graduated nearly 1500 students who continue to have a transformative impact in Winnipeg, across Canada, and beyond.


[1] William Booth, “Memorandum re: The World University of Humanity,” 1903, 2-3, 5, 6, 16, 19.

[2] “The Story Behind the Salvation Army Catherine Booth Bible College,” c. 1984.

Institutional Milestones


On the 16th of February, the Canada & Bermuda Territorial Commander, Commissioner John D. Waldron secured authorization from The Salvation Army International Headquarters to start a Bible College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which would be “open to Christians of all denominations and directed particularly to lay training.”[1] It was originally called the Centre for Biblical Studies and Leadership Training till June 1982.


Early this year, the college purchased its first property at 340 Assiniboine Avenue. In June, Catherine Booth Bible College (CBBC) officially opened under the leadership of the first President, Colonel Earl Robinson. Classes began in September with 28 students.

In black and white, people gather outside the front entrance for a ceremony at the first property.


On the 18th of August, CBBC was incorporated and authorized by an Act of the Manitoba Legislature to grant 3 Degrees: Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Biblical and Theological Studies; Bachelor of Arts Advanced in Christian Ministries; and a Bachelor of Theology.


Early in this year, the college purchase a second property at 356 Assiniboine Avenue to meet the needs of a growing student body. 


Foundations for the Social Work Program were laid with the development of a Social Work concentration within the BA in Christian Ministries. Additional space was rented at 10 Donald Street to meet the demands of a growing student body. 


In September, CBBC moved into its new 7-story building at 447 Webb Place, which was purchased in late 1987. The Hetherington Chapel was named in honour of Major Clifford Hetherington. Renovations to the chapel where made possible through the generous support of Gordon & Jean Fairbank. 

A seven-story brick building with a red sign across the top reading Booth University College.


CBBC launched its degree-completion program for Salvation Army officers.


On the 1st of April, CBBC was accepted as an Approved Teaching Centre of The University of Manitoba.


In July, Lieutenant Colonel Lloyd Hetherington became the second President of the college.


In July, The Salvation Army Ethics Centre was birthed out of CBBC with Dr. James Read as its first director.


On the 15th of May, the name was changed to William and Catherine Booth College (WCBC).


In July, Dr. Jonathan S. Raymond became the third President of the College.


In January, WCBC offered its first online distance education course with students from seven countries in the course. 


On 28th of April, at its 20th anniversary graduation, WCBC conferred its first honorary degree, a Doctor of Divinity, upon Colonel Earl Robinson. 


WCBC launched the 4-year Bachelor of Social Work and the 2-year Social Work After Degree programs. It also began the Extended Learning Network offering an array of distance study options including independent, group, and online.


WCBC launched the Bachelor of Arts major in Social/Behavioural Sciences program, which would later become the Bachelor of Arts in Behavioural Sciences (2009).


In August, the John Fairbank Memorial Library was opened at 290 Vaughan Street and was officially dedicated on April 28, 2006. This was made possible through the generous support of Gordon & Jean Fairbank. 


In July, Dr. Donald E. Burke became the fourth President of the College. In October, the Board of Trustees cast a new vision for the institution to become a “growing Christian university college of choice.”


A major review of the curriculum took place in the preceding year leading to the launch of the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Religion, Bachelor of Arts Behavioural Sciences, and Bachelor of Arts in English and Film.


On the 17th of June, the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba passed legislation that gave Booth ‘university college’ status and the name was officially changed to Booth University College (Booth UC). This year also saw the launch of the Bachelor of Business Administration program.


The School for Continuing Studies was established to replace and expand the work of the Extended Learning Network. It now offers asynchronous online course and services the needs of The Salvation Army. This year also saw the launch of the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program.


Petersen Hall was opened at 290 Vaughan Street and officially dedicated on April 25th. This space includes 3 classrooms and multiple offices and was made possible through the generous support of Bob and Helen Petersen.


In July, Dr. Marjory Kerr became the fifth President of the College. Booth UC also entered a partnership with Tyndale University (then, College and Seminary) to offer a Master of Theological Studies Degree in Salvation Army Studies.


On the 29th of April, 447 Webb Place was named the Waldron Building in honour of Commissioners John and Helen Waldron. In October of this same year, Classroom D received a major renovation thanks to a generous donation from TSA British Columbia Division. 


Launch of the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies.


In June, Lieutenant Colonel (Dr) Susan L. van Duinen became the sixth President of the College. This year also saw the launch of the Bachelor of Arts in Community and Urban Transformation.


In October, Booth UC Launched the Corporate Learning Academy.


In July, Rev. Dr. Rob A. Fringer became the seventh President of the College. This year also included the sale of 447 Webb Place, the purchase of 290 Vaughan Street, and the launch of the Community Mental Health stream of the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. 

A four-story brick building with large windows across each floor.

[1] Earl Robinson, “From the President’s Desk” in The Catherine Booth Bible College Cornerstone (July 1985), 1.

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