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Emmanuel College has its origins in Victoria College, a Methodist college founded in 1836.1 From 1871 it operated a Faculty of Theology training candidates for the ministry of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. In 1884, with the merger of the Wesleyan Methodists and the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) into a single Methodist Church of Canada, the seminary the MEC had established at Albert University in 1857 merged into Victoria.
In 1969 the Toronto School of Theology (TST) was created as an independent federation of 7 schools of theology, including the divinity faculties of Emmanuel College. Within its own federation, U of T granted all but theology or divinity degrees. In May 1974, along with the other federated universities, St. Michael's and Trinity, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the University of Toronto, establishing the terms of their new relationship with the Faculty of Arts and Science. Since 1978, by virtue of a change made in its charter, the University of Toronto has granted theology degrees conjointly with Emmanuel College and other TST's member institutions.1Coordinates: 43°40′00″N79°23′34″W / 43.66667°N 79.39278°W / 43.66667; -79.39278
Emmanuel College was the scene in which the British band, Tears for Fears filmed the music video for their song "Head over Heels" in the summer of 1985.