Fonds F 710 - Western Christian College fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Western Christian College fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Moving images
  • Sound recording
  • Architectural drawing
  • Object

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Fonds

Reference code

F 710

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1904-2013, predominant 1931-2012 (Creation)
    Creation
    Western Christian College, 1945-2012

Physical description area

Physical description

8.600 m of textual records

ca. 5790 photographs : prints, b&w

6902 photographs : prints, col.

ca. 1980 photographs : negatives, b&w

ca. 3890 photographs : negatives, col.

6013 photographs : slides, b&w and col.

12 photographs : transparencies, col.

52 albums (8199 prints, 5047 negatives, 3490 slides)

14 prints : posters, col.

8 architectural drawings

35 optical discs : DVD

24 videocassettes : VHS

281 audio cassettes

12 audio compact discs

7 audio discs

1 coin

1 rubber stamp

15 objects (fabric preaching charts)

textual records (563.644 MB) on 8 CD-ROMs, 1 flash drive and 4 diskettes

photographs on 14 CD-ROMs, 4 DVD-ROMs, 2 diskettes and 4 flash drives (5083.880 MB)

computer files on 1 portable hard drive (ca. 150000.000 MB)

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1945-2012)

Administrative history

In the spring of 1931, Lillian Torkelson, an educator and member of the Church of Christ, recognized the lack of opportunities for formal bible study in southern Saskatchewan. Together with her friend Frances Black, Torkelson organized a summer bible school held at Minton. Classes commenced on July 13, 1931 and were held for three weeks. The following year, the summer bible school was relocated to Radville and continued annually until 1945. In addition to the summer schools, a winter bible school commenced in December, 1932 at Ogema. After three winters at Ogema, the winter school was also relocated to Radville and continued annually there until 1945 (with the exception of 1937 when it was held at Perryville.)

Throughout 1944 and early 1945, interest grew for the establishment of a residential and day school that would offer a Christian education, with an additional expanded curriculum for high school students. Radville was agreed upon as the most suitable location for the school. On July 2, 1945, a provisional board of directors was appointed: Gordon Pennock, chair; Wilfred Orr, vice-chair; J.C. Bailey, treasurer, Hjelmer Peterson and Manley Jacobs, members; and Liilian Torkelson, secretary. Radville Christian College was incorporated under the provisions of the Government of Saskatchewan's Benevolent Societies Act on August 4, 1945. The mandate of the Western Christian College Society was the promotion, establishment, maintenance and conduct of schools of Christian and secular education. Funds for the establishment of the school were raised through the sale of five-dollar shares in the society to members of the Church of Christ who were in good standing.

Radville Christian College offered a winter bible session in the winter of 1945-46. On September 16, 1945, a high school program commenced and was attended by eleven students in its first year. From 1946 to 1957, enrollment in the high school program grew to forty-six students, while enrollment in the bible studies program decreased to five students. In March 1953, Radville Christian College was incorporated by An Act to incorporate Radville Christian College (S.S 1953, c. 123).

In early 1957, a special committee of the College's board of directors was struck to examine the possibility of relocating the school to buildings north of Weyburn. The buildings, formerly occupied by the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, provided for expanded accommodations and close proximity to services in Weyburn. Shareholders voted in favour of relocation of the school, which was officially opened on November 8, 1957. At a meeting the following day, shareholders voted to change the school's name to Western Christian College. The name was changed formally through an amendment to An Act to change the name of Radville Christian College (S.S 1958, c. 104). In 1958, The Western Christian Foundation, Incorporated, based in Texas, was established to receive donations from American supporters of the College and to administer the finds to the school. It remained in operation until 1984 when responsibilities transferred to the Cedar Foundation.

Enrollment in the high school program at Western Christian College grew steadily throughout the 1960s and 1970s, peaking in the 1976-77 school year. In contrast, the bible studies program was discontinued in 1960. However, a junior college program was introduced in 1968 and by 1984 was a degree-granting institution. By the late 1980s, the College's increasing debt, aging infrastructure and difficulties in raising necessary capital funds for renovations forced the board of directors to look at alternatives to the school site at North Weyburn. In 1988, the board was informed that Mackay Residential School, operated by the federal government and located in Dauphin, Manitoba, was closing. It was deemed as a viable acquisition for the school. On March 1, 1989, shareholders voted in favour of the acquisition of the Mackay school and a relocation to Dauphin.

Western Christian College commenced classes in Dauphin in September, 1989 with an enrollment of seventy-nine students. Efforts to expand enrollment began with the addition of grades seven to nine in 1993, with grades five and six added in subsequent school years. By 1999, however, grades five and six were discontinued, followed by grade seven in 2001 and grade eight in 2002. In the late 1990s, the board considered relocating to Regina, which was closer to the church's original constituency and offered greater access to post-secondary institutions and air transportation. A decision to relocate the College to Regina was made in 2001, and received approval by a vote of shareholders late in the year. The school ceased operations in Dauphin in June, 2003.

Western Christian College acquired the campus formerly occupied by the Canadian Bible College and Canadian Theological Seminary in Regina. It operated under the provisions of The Independent Schools Regulations (c. E-0.1 Reg 11) and The Western Christian College (Amendment) Act, 2003 (S.S. 2003, c. 1). It offered a high school program for students in grades nine to twelve (Western Christian High School) and a college program (Western Christian College). Due to declines in enrollment and donations, the board proposed the closure of the school at a meeting of shareholders held on January 28, 2012. Shareholders voted in favour of the school's closure, and Western Christian College and High School ceased operations on June 30, 2012.

Presidents of Western Christian College were: Richard Dacus (1958-1960); E. Daniel Wieb (1960-1973 and 1985-1988); Glen Dods (1974-1977); Max Mowrer (1978-1985; Vince Anderson (1988-1992); John McMillan (1993-2004); Kevin Vance (2004-2010). Karen Cooper served as Chief Operating Officer of the school from 2010 to 2012.

Custodial history

Western Christian College donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 2014: 2014-055 (June 10, 2014).

Blanche Fleming donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1983: R83-254 (May 4, 1983).

Linda Sheard, former Western Christian College student, donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1985: R85-335 (August 26, 1985).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by Radville Christian College and its successor, Western Christian College (later known as Western Christian College and High School) in its daily administration and operations primarily as a bible college and high school. Locations of the school
included: Radville, Saskatchewan (1945-1957); North Weyburn, Saskatchewan (1957-1989); Dauphin, Manitoba (1989-2003) and Regina, Saskatchewan (2003-2012). The fonds includes the records of bible schools held at Minton, Ogema and Radville that preceded the establishment of Radville Christian College. It also includes records accumulated and used by the school that pertain to the history and doctrine of the Churches of Christ in western Canada. Additionally, records of the school's board of directors are included in the fonds.

R-E1492 consists of a copy of Radburn's Memoirs, a history of Radville Christian College and Western Christian College (1945-1970) written by Lillian M. Torkelson. R-E2153 consists of copies of the school's Northern Lights yearbooks for 1962-63 and 1963-64.

The fonds was arranged into four series: Churches of Christ; Radville / Western Christian College; Graphic Items; and Board of Directors.

The types of records in this fonds include: photographic prints, negatives, slides, transparencies and albums; newspapers and periodicals; yearbooks; minutes and agendas; publications, including church and school histories; newspaper clippings; programmes; invitations; constitutions and by-laws; certificates; event planning files; school catalogues; school records and class lists; church minute and attendance books; guest books; scrapbooks; fabric preaching charts; objects; architectural drawings; audio and moving image recordings; and digital photographic, textual, audio, video and multi-media records.

Notes area

Physical condition

Records are in good physical condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Order imposed by archivist.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some of these records are subject to access restrictions according to the terms of an agreement with the donor dated August 8, 2013. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Finding aids

SAFA 529 consists of fonds and series descriptions, item descriptions for certain photographs and a box listing of records.

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Accruals

Future accruals are expected.

General note

To consult the records, visit or contact the Regina office.

General note

The majority of images from this fonds were originally published in yearbooks, newsletters, or other publications. If you do not wish your likeness or identity to be made available online, please contact the Saskatchewan Archives Board.

General note

Certain non-textual records were retained in the textual records to preserve context.

Alpha-numeric designations

Photographs: GM-PH-2746 (1)-(2) to GM-PH-2834 (1)-(27). Audio cassettes: SR-177 to SR-448. Audio discs: SR-449 to SR-456. Videocassettes: MI-4404 to MI-4415; MI-4417 to MI-4418; MI-4420 to MI-4428. DVD: MI-4404; MI-4406; MI-4411; MI-4413; MI-4416 to MI-4419. Textual records: R-E1492; R-E2153.

Conservation

Loose textual records and photographs were placed in acid-free file folders. Certain photographs were placed in sleeves.

Location note

Location for retrieval: Regina - Maxwell

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