On July 15, 1975, six brave students and a small group of faculty and staff launched St. Stephen’s University. From the beginning, we have seen the difference between training and transformation. Training has its place. But at its best, education not only teaches people to know more and do more, it also helps them to become better. The process of being “… transformed by the renewing of your mind…” is what Jesus lived and taught. It is our continuing quest.
In 1975 the university’s founders purchased an about-to-be condemned building in downtown St. Stephen, New Brunswick. Gradually, with tender loving care, this once gracious family residence has been brought back to life as Park Hall, the centrepiece of SSU’s campus. In the Italian Renaissance Revival style, with an impressive interior four-storey stairway of black walnut, the building dates from the time of Canadian Confederation in 1867.
SSU’s story includes a vision for restoration and transformation, first of people, but for our surroundings as well. Very few small Canadian towns can boast an University in their midst. As such, SSU has a close working relationship with the town of St. Stephen. The university also has academic programs that reach around the globe, with students returning to St. Stephen each year from study-abroad programs that took them to Paris, Rome, Perugia, Bangkok and Vientiane. Planted firmly in the valley of the St. Croix, looking across the river to welcome our American neighbours, SSU’s original vision for academic excellence continues to inform our life as a Christian learning community. The world is our campus.