At the time of its creation, on the 2nd of June 2000, the “Chair Monseigneur-de-Laval for the teaching and research on the understanding of faith in modernity” was the fruit of a consultation among three partners:

  • L’Oeuvre du Grand Séminaire de Québec, a legally incorporated corporation, then represented by Mgr Jean-Pierre Blais, vicar-general of Québec City’s Diocese and president of the council of l’Oeuvre.
  • The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of Université Laval, then represented by Mr. Dean Marc Pelchat and for which Mr. Marc Trudel served as a Vice-Rector of Development
  • The Fondation de l’Université Laval, a legally incorporated corporation represented by Mr. Luc Gosselin, then manager of the Fondation.

Many formulaes have been examined in order to meet the objectives for the training to priesthood, suitable for the university level, and the objectives of research in the area of Catholic Theology. Thus the possibility for the Oeuvre du Grand Séminaire de Québec to put aside something amounts to capital funds, the income of which would be handed over to Université Laval annually for the scheduled activities, was examined. In this case, it was not exactly a Chair for research in the context of university but rather an annual grant supporting the teaching and research activities. These activities have to meet the training objectives of Grand Séminaire de Québec and have to be handled by the Faculty. That hypothesis, though it was theoretically possible, was ill-suited for the targeted objectives.

But, right from the first few discussions about on this issue, the aim of the project consisted in providing the University and its Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies with an enduring tool for ensuring the development of the teaching of Catholic Theology in the University and so, in the best interest of the University, of the Grand Séminaire, and of Québec City’s Diocese. The creation of a Chair guaranteed, for the partners, a firm commitment to the strengthening of the theological teaching. By this action, a clear signal also was given to Québec City’s Church, to Université Laval and to the society of the province of Québec about the place of theology in the University and the support that that training in a university setting received from the milieu.

The first Chairholder was professor Anne Fortin (2000-2006). Professor Marc Pelchat is the second Chairholder since 2007 and it is at the moment that the Chair received its actual name.