Commissioner M. Christine MacMillan
Director, International Social Justice Commission
Christine MacMillan was born in Montreal and grew up in Toronto where, following high school, she trained as a social services worker. Prior to entering The Salvation Army Training College in 1973, she served as a social service worker in Metropolitan Toronto Community Services and later as Director of Social Services with The Salvation Army in the City of North York, Ontario and as a corps assistant, with a congregation in Toronto.
In 1975, following her ordination as a Salvation Army officer, she was appointed to The Homestead, a treatment centre for women with addictions in Vancouver, British Columbia. During the fifteen years spent there; she earned professional qualifications as an addictions counselor.
In 1976, she founded The Cross Walk, a drop-in centre and base for street work in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. In 1985, at the request of the Government of British Columbia, she founded the Kate Booth House, a haven for battered women and children. Throughout this period she participated in a major building project designed to provide residential facilities for women and children undergoing treatment for substance abuse. The centre opened in 1986. Throughout her Vancouver appointment, vital bridge-building methodologies were successfully established within Salvation Army Community Churches.
In 1990, she was transferred to London, England, where she chose to spend her orientation period living and working in Hopetown, a Salvation Army hostel for women in London’s East End – the same district in which William Booth founded The Salvation Army in 1865.
In 1991, she was appointed to The Salvation Army’s Social Services Headquarters in the United Kingdom Territory as the Associate Director of the London Homelessness Project which focused on addressing the challenges cited in a major study of homelessness and poverty undertaken by The Salvation Army. This project, with a price tag of £35 million, included more than 20 capital and program projects designed to effectively address a wide range of social concerns. Inclusive of this activity was the opening of an outreach corps.
In 1974, as Assistant Secretary for Operations, Social Services within the United Kingdom Territory enabled Christine to travel throughout the UK to develop program and evaluation strategies in both social services and corps (community church) centres.
In July, 1995, Christine was appointed back to the Canada and Bermuda Territory as the Territorial Director of Program – Social Services within the newly-integrated Social Services Department and in July 1996 became the Assistant Social Services Secretary. In 1999 she was appointed as the Ontario East Divisional Secretary for Program – a role which encompasses social services and church ministry from a development, administrative, and pastoral perspective.
In 2000, Lt. Colonel MacMillan undertook a key leadership role in the Australia East Territory as the territory’s Secretary for Program. Later, in February of 2002, she was appointed Territorial Commander for the Papua New Guinea Territory – a needy, but vibrant expression of Salvation Army ministry in the developing world.
In June 2003, Colonel MacMillan returned to Canada as Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries for the Canada and Bermuda Territory with a promotion to the rank of Commissioner. During the period June, 2003 through 2007, Commissioner MacMillan served as Chancellor of the William and Catherine Booth College, Winnipeg, Manitoba. On June 5, 2004, Commissioner received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Canada Christian College at its 36th graduation exercises – the first women to be so honored.
On July 1, 2007, Commissioner MacMillan was appointed International Director for Social Justice thereby becoming the first Director of the International Social Justice Commission (ISJC). While based in New York, Commissioner MacMillan and the Commission are part of the office of the Chief of Staff, International Headquarters, London, England.
On a personal level, Christine appreciates exploring creative expressions of sharing the Gospel and to this end has written lyrics and directed plays for a variety of settings. An appreciation and value for people is her primary focus. She is committed to officership in the belief that a redemptive capacity must be the influential thread through all of the Army’s activities and thinking.
The life of Christine MacMillan knows the imprint of residing in five countries picking up on culture, values, faith and approaches to living out her mission as a Salvation Army officer.