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Our History

The Institute for Christian Studies is a Christian graduate school in the Reformed tradition. Its founders were profoundly aware of the pivotal role universities play in setting directions for culture and society. ICS opened its doors to students in 1967 in a two-storey house on Lyndhurst Avenue in Toronto. There was one professor and no degree programs, but there was the conviction that a Christian graduate school would be vital to generating ideas and developing leaders, and that such a place could enhance the cultural discernment of faithful believers.

By 1972, ICS had moved to its current location on College Street, had added several faculty and had begun granting master's-level certification in philosophy. In 1980, ICS began to develop a doctoral program in cooperation with the Free University of Amsterdam. In 1983, the Ontario provincial legislature authorized ICS to grant a Master of Philosophical Foundations, and to offer a program of doctoral studies in cooperation with the Free University leading to a Ph.D granted by the Free University. In 1992, ICS was authorized to grant a Master of Worldview Studies degree, and in 2004 ICS was authorized to offer its own doctorate and to change its Masters of Philosophical Foundations degree to a Master of Arts in Philosophy.

For more than four decades, ICS has pursued its calling to train Christian scholars by imparting a radical sense of the scholarly task in philosophy, theology, and related disciplines.

Today ICS is a vibrant place of learning. It combines the advantages of a small graduate school with the expertise of an established and widely-published faculty. ICS is affiliated with the Toronto School of Theology, which allows us a unique, faith-based dialogue between the disciplines of philosophy and theology. With alumni in important leadership roles in both the academy and society around the world, ICS continues to foster the next generation of Christian scholars and leaders.