Get to Know a Board Member

After 47 years of working on Parliament Hill and a lifetime of involvement with The United Church of Canada, Barbara Reynolds put her expertise to use as the secretary of the board for the United Theological College and now as a member of the Dio Board of Governors.

Before retiring, Barbara spent most of her career as a procedural clerk for the Senate. “I am one of the people that organized legislative committee meetings, making sure all the paperwork was there,” she explains. “I also travelled extensively internationally as an advisor to a parliamentary delegation. I’ve been to countries as unusual as North Korea and Mongolia.” Over the course of decades, she witnessed up-close many significant political events. She was actively involved in the repatriation of the constitution as a principal research director for a committee on persons with disabilities, which advocated for the inclusion of disabled individuals in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Throughout her time on Parliament Hill, she was involved in the governance and maintenance of the United Church on various levels. She has served as the chair of Ottawa Presbytery, spent four years on its Education and Students Committee, worked in pastoral relations, and has been the lay representative on the Canadian Forces’ chaplaincy committee. She became the secretary of the UTC board in June of 2021. She was familiar with UTC from her time as the chair of the Internship and Educational Supervision Committee. “One of the things that I have greatly admired about UTC was the support that it has provided to francophone students or students who wish to study in French which is something other theological schools across the country do not do.”

Barbara joined the board just as UTC was moving into Dio and has been witness to the way each college’s gifts and traditions serve as an asset to the other. “Dio’s size allows United Church education to continue to exist in Montreal, and UTC has given Dio a larger capacity for French ministry and education.” Beyond ecumenical diversity, Barbara feels optimistic about the diverse cultural demographic of students who are currently enrolled. “I think it’s very important for our churches to be open to new ways of doing things, so I think it is such an asset that the current cohort of students comes from many different backgrounds.”
The college is grateful for Barbara’s hard-work over the past two years and her dedication to United Church education and ecumenical collaboration.