Manitoba College was a college that existed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, on Treaty No. 1 territory and the homeland of the Red River Métis from 1871 to 1967, when it became one of the University of Winnipeg's founding colleges. It was one of the first institutions of higher learning in the city of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba. The first graduating class had 12 members.

Manitoba College
Location, ,


Rock of Remembrance commemorates 100th anniversary of Manitoba College, pictured in front of the University of Winnipeg

In 1869, Reverend John Black, a Presbyterian Minister founded "Nisbett Hall" in Kildonan. This school was located east of Main Street near Chief Peguis Trail.[1] In 1871 the school was formally established as Manitoba College, a religious school affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.[2][3] Instructors Rev. George Bryce and Thomas Hart taught a variety of subjects including sciences, modern languages, Latin and Greek.[3]

Manitoba College was moved to Winnipeg in 1874,[2] but it remained a small and financially insecure institution, depending of subsidies from the Presbyterian church organizations in eastern Canada.[4]

In 1877, Manitoba College collaborated with two church colleges, St. Boniface College Roman Catholic and St John's Anglican, to form the University of Manitoba, a degree-granting organization that set educational standards for all three schools.[5][6] Unlike these two colleges, Manitoba College's student body included some who were not studying theological subjects; the new university expanded this secular side and offered courses towards a Bachelor of Arts degree.[7] In 1882, Manitoba College opened a new building on Ellice Avenue.

In 1913, Manitoba College and Wesley College attempted to partner as the "United Colleges".[1] This experimentation ended in 1914 and the colleges reverted to their independence. Manitoba College discontinued its instruction in the Arts though it continued to operate as a college within the University of Manitoba. In the 1900s, the college briefly held missionary training courses for members of the Independent Greek Church.[8] From 1920 to 1939 it offered a program for women studying to be deaconesses. In 1925, it became affiliated with the United Church.[9]

In 1931, Manitoba College sold its property to St. John's College. It continued operations and taught Theology in rental space at St. John's and Wesley College.

In 1938, Manitoba College merged with Wesley College to form "United College."

In 1967, United College received its charter and became the University of Winnipeg.[10] Wilfred Lockhart became the University of Winnipeg's first president and served from 1967 and 1971.

In 2017, the University of Winnipeg celebrated its 50th anniversary.


  1. ^ a b "Manitoba College - MAIN – Manitoba Archival Information Network". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  2. ^ a b J. M. Bumsted. The University of Manitoba: An Illustrated History. Univ. of Manitoba Press; 2001. ISBN 978-0-88755-385-1. p. 5, 11.
  3. ^ a b Religious Studies in Manitoba and Saskatchewan: A State-of-the-Art Review. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press; 1 January 2006. ISBN 978-0-88920-888-9. p. 9–.
  4. ^ Doug Owram. Promise of Eden: The Canadian Expansionist Movement and the Idea of the West, 1856-1900. University of Toronto Press; 1992. ISBN 978-0-8020-7390-7. p. 146–.
  5. ^ Ladies in the Laboratory III: South African, Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian Women in Science: Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. Scarecrow Press; 8 February 2010. ISBN 978-0-8108-7289-9. p. 202–.
  6. ^ "Universities in Canada (Canadian Universities)". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived 2009-08-21 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ J. M. Bumsted. St. John's College: Faith and Education in Western Canada. Univ. of Manitoba Press; 2006. ISBN 978-0-88755-367-7. p. 21–.
  8. ^ "The Seraphimite, Independent Greek, Presbyterian and United Churches" in Orest T. Martynowych, Ukrainians in Canada: The Formative Years, 1891-1924 (Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, University of Alberta, 1991).
  9. ^ "The Women’s Program, Manitoba College, 1920 – 1939". Diakonia of the United Church of Canada (website)
  10. ^ "The History of The University of Winnipeg | $_EscapeTool.xml($node.getChild("name").value) | , The University of Winnipeg". Retrieved 2018-03-03.

Coordinates: 49°53′38″N 97°09′04″W / 49.89389°N 97.15111°W / 49.89389; -97.15111