St John's College History

History of St John's College

Bishop Robert Machray officially opened the present St John’s College on November 1, 1866, but the College’s roots lie in the early years of the Red River Settlement. Starting in the 1820s, the Anglican church began founding schools to educate the children of local settlers and to provide theological training to Indigenous people. When the Diocese of Rupert’s Land was established in 1849, the first Bishop, David Anderson, created the first school to bear the name “St John’s.”

Robert Machray became the Bishop of Rupert’s Land in 1865 and arrived in the Red River Settlement later that same year. He recognized a need for an Anglican college and set about finding the necessary funds to re-open St John’s. The buildings from Bishop Anderson’s school were renovated and others acquired to house the boarders and faculty of the new school. The Reverend John McLean came from London, Ontario to become the College’s first Warden. When the school was re-opened on All Saints Day, 1866, it had nineteen boys attending as either boarders or day students and three students enrolled in theology courses.

The College grew with the community it served. After the creation of the province of Manitoba in 1870,the Manitoba Schools Act (1871) created separate school boards for Roman Catholic and Protestant schools. At the time, St John’s College was one of only three secondary colleges in the entire province, still maintaining its focus on training young men for Anglican ministry.

In 1877 St John’s College, St Boniface College and the Manitoba College became the founding colleges in the University of Manitoba. In the early years of the University the colleges provided all the instruction to their students: the University itself was limited to granting degrees in fields other than theology. During this period St John’s was housed in locations on Main St and Broadway Avenue before moving to the Fort Garry campus in 1957.

In 1970, an agreement was reached between the University and the College whereby the two institutions’ separate academic programs (excluding theology) were merged. From that point on, the College’s students and faculty fellows have all been admitted to or employed by UM but choose to affiliate with St John’s. By the terms of the 1970 Agreement, the College continued to operate independently with respect to the residence, food service, and chaplaincy. In 1992 the College launched a major fundraising campaign called “Founding the Future. The goal of the Founding the Future campaign was to raise one million dollars for the continuing support of the College’s theology program, academic programs and residence renewal. This was also when the College’s development office was permanently established, and it has continued to fundraise to sustain the work of the College and towards capital projects like the Robert B. Schultz Lecture Theatre.

Should you be interested in learning more about the history of St John’s College, there are two book-length histories written by Laurence Wilmott and J.M. Bumstead respectively that are available in the General Office.

St John's College
St John's College History


St John's College is an independent constituent college of the University of Manitoba, governed under the terms of the act of its incorporation as Chapter 39 of the Statues of the Province of Manitoba, 1871 and re-enacted in 1990 as Chapter 171.

College Council Information

What is College Council? 

The College Council determines the overall direction and policies of the College, subject to the responsibility vested in Assembly for academic affairs. The Council is charged also with maintaining a direct formal connection with the Diocese of Rupert's Land, and is ultimately responsible for the financing of the College. Council has representation from both the Diocese and from Assemble, including at least on student.

Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Please find below the meeting minutes and agendas from previous meetings. 



Council Minutes - May 18, 2022 (PDF)
Council Agenda - May 18, 2022 (PDF)
Council Minutes - March 23, 2022 (PDF)
Council Agenda - March 23, 2022 (PDF)
Council Minutes - January 26, 2022 (PDF)
Council Agenda - January 26, 2022 (PDF)
Council Minutes - November 24, 2021 (PDF)
Council Agenda - November 24, 2021 (PDF)
Council Minutes - September 29, 2021 (PDF)
Council Agenda - September 29, 2021 (PDF)


Council Minutes - May 20, 2020 (PDF)
Council Agenda - May 20, 2020 (PDF)
Council Minutes - January 22, 2020 (PDF)
Council Agenda - January 22, 2020 (PDF)
Council Minutes - November 20, 2019 (PDF)
Council Agenda - November 20, 2019 (PDF)
Council Minutes - September 25, 2019 (PDF)
Council Agenda - September 25, 2019 (PDF)


Council Minutes - May 22, 2019 (PDF)
Council Agenda - May 22, 2019 (PDF)
Council Minutes - March 27, 2019 (PDF)
Council Agenda - March 27, 2019 (PDF)
Council Minutes - January 23, 2019 (PDF)
Council Agenda - January 23, 2019 (PDF)
Council Minutes - November 21, 2018 (PDF)
Council Agenda - November 21, 2018 (PDF)
Council Minutes - September 26, 2018 (PDF)    
Council Agenda - September 26, 2018 (PDF)

Assembly Information

What is Assembly Information? 

The College Assembly has responsibility for academic matters within the College and for the day-to-day operation of the College, including approving the annual budget, within the fiscal policies established by Council. All College Fellows and College Officers are members of Assembly, which also includes representation from students of the College and Diocesan Council.

Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Please find below the meeting minutes and agendas from previous meetings. 



Assembly Minutes - May 3, 2022 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - May 3, 2022 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - March 16, 2022 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - March 16, 2022 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - January 18, 2021 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - January 18, 2021 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - November 17, 2021 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - November 17, 2021 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - September 21, 2021 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - September 21, 2021 (PDF)


Assembly Minutes - May 4, 2020 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - May 4 2020 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - November 20, 2019 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - November 20, 2019 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - September 17, 2019 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - September 17, 2019 (PDF)


Assembly Minutes - May 7, 2019 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - May 7, 2019 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - March 19, 2019 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - March 19, 2019 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - January 15, 2019 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - January 15, 2019 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - November 6, 2018 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - November 6, 2018 (PDF)
Assembly Minutes - September 18, 2018 (PDF)
Assembly Agenda - September 18, 2018 (PDF)

Contact Us

St John's College
92 Dysart Road
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2M5 Canada

Our office is open Mon - Fri, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm