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Providence began in Winnipeg, January 4th, 1925 as Winnipeg Bible Training School, the vision of Rev. H.L. Turner. Rev. Turner had a vision of training "Christian workers for service in voluntary or official positions in the Church, sunday school, or the mission field at home or abroad".
In 1964 the college was given full degree-granting status and was again re-named, this time to Winnipeg Bible College, a name it retained until 1991.
In 1970, Winnipeg Bible College faced a financial and enrolment crisis. The building it was occupying in Winnipeg was slated for destruction and the school needed a new home. That new home turned out to be St. Joseph's College, a Roman Catholic high school in Otterburne which had been closed a few years previously. Under the leadership of President Ken Hanna, the college moved there in the fall of 1970 with 70 students enrolled for classes. Within a few years the school had grown to 300 full-time students.
In 1972 a long-time dream became reality with the formation of a graduate division and in 1974 this division was named Winnipeg Theological Seminary, now called Providence Theological Seminary. The Seminary began because there was a need for evangelical graduate ministry training in Canada.
As early as 1931, President Simon Forsberg, stated that “academic excellence and spiritual vitality should go hand in hand.” He envisioned strengthening the school through the addition of liberal arts and this vision continues. In the 1960s, President Elmer Towns pushed Providence to “greater academic excellence while still maintaining a high level of spirituality.”
More liberal arts courses were added to the College and in 1991, a transferability arrangement was achieved with the University of Manitoba. Under the leadership of President William Eichhorst, in an effort to more accurately represent both its theological roots and its broad academic program, the institution's name was changed to Providence College and Theological Seminary. In the same year, Providence Theological Seminary was fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in the United States and Canada to offer the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees. In recent years, ATS has given full approval to the addition of the Doctor of Ministry program offered in the Seminary.
At present, the majority of our University College courses are transferable to public university programs across Canada and beyond. In 2010 the Senate of the University of Manitoba approved Providence College degrees for entrance into post-baccalaureate (M.A. and B.Ed.) programs on par with other universities in Canada. Since 2000, Providence Seminary has offered an extension program in counselling at Ambrose Seminary in Calgary, Alberta. In June 2011 the Manitoba legislature passed Bill 301, the Providence College and Theological Seminary Incorporation Amendment Act, which adds the term University after Providence, changing the institutional name to Providence University College & Theological Seminary. This clarified what the undergraduate institution is: A Christian University offering Bachelor of Arts degrees according to the standards of other Canadian universities.
In the fall of 2013 Providence unveiled a third school, Mile Two Discipleship School. An eight-month discipleship school that focuses on biblical study, experiential learning and seeking God. Mile Two seeks to develop disciples of Jesus who are compassionate, self-sacrificing and absolutely committed to pursuing Jesus in every area of life. Mile Two Discipleship School will be enrolling students in the Fall of 2014.
10 College Crescent
Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
Phone: (204) 433-7488 or (800) 668-7768
Fax: (204) 433-7158
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Providence University College & Seminary