Established in 1925 as Winnipeg Bible Training School, founded by Dr. H. L. Turner
President 1925, 1926
Winnipeg Bible Training School was founded and grew out of the burdened heart of this genial clergyman who became the School’s first President. Dr. H.L. Turner’s desire was to begin a training school to train young men and women for the propagation and preservation of evangelical faith.
Rev. Perceval Cundy
Cundy was one of three faculty members who taught the first student body of the WBTS in 1925, and he became the School’s second President in 1926. The first Board of Directors was appointed, and an evening school and Bible correspondence courses were begun during his tenure of office.
Dr. H. C. Sweet
Dr. H.C. Sweet began his ministry as a faculty member in 1928 and became the College’s third President a year later. A student described him as “a fatherly gentleman who was sympathetic with his students”. He was a fine Christian man who rejoiced in serving others. Dr. Sweet was also influential in changing the school's name to Winnipeg Bible Institute.
Rev. Simon E. Forsberg
During Rev. Simon Forsberg’s term as President, academic curriculum of the School was strengthened because he believed that academic excellence and spiritual vitality should go hand in hand in training people for Christian ministry. Stimulated by his zeal, spiritual character, and enthusiastic commitment to Christian education, WBC had a steady growth in student numbers. The School’s motto was adopted in 1932 – “Holding Fast the Faithful Word”.
Rev. George M. Blackett
During Rev. George Blackett’s tenure as President, he emphasized curriculum upgrading and the development of sound Christian character in would-be servants of God. The spiritual impact of his life and his influence on student lives can be seen in those students who became successful pastors, missionaries, presidents of other institutions, and participants in other Christian ministries. While he was ministering at WBI, the first yearbook, “The King’s Herald”, was published in 1937-38.
Dr. R. Wesley Affleck
Acting President 1941-47, President 1949-61
Dr. Wesley Affleck first came to the College as a student in 1931 and by 1941 was the Acting President. During his 33-year association with the College, he was also a teacher, Assistant Principal, and Dean of Faculty and was noted as a man of “deep spiritual discernment and strong convictions”. Three beginnings took place during his presidency: 1. Radio ministry (The Radio Bible Class) on CJRC (1943-1949), 2. Incorporation of the College of Theology (1948), 3. First annual Missionary Conference (1951). In 1975 the College and Seminary recognized his significant contribution as an administrator and educator by conferring upon him the Doctor of Divinity degree.
Dr. Herbert H. Janetzki
During Dr. Herbert Janetski’s (Janson) presidency two very significant events took place. For the first time, Winnipeg Bible Institute had a permanent home (for 22 years) at 2 Evergreen Place in Winnipeg. The second major achievement was the obtaining of a provincial charter to grant degrees and, as a result, the School became known as Winnipeg Bible Institute and College of Theology.
Rev. Elmer L. Towns
A young college instructor from the United States, Elmer Towns “launched the Institute upon a new course of greater academic excellence while still maintaining a high level of spirituality”. In 1964, while he was President, the name Winnipeg Bible Institute and College of Theology was changed to Winnipeg Bible College, and in 1965 the School became an associate member of the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (AABC).
Dr. Kenneth G. Hanna
President 1966 – 1979
This bubbling, enthusiastic man began his presidency at 2 Evergreen Place, continued at the Fort Osborne Barracks (1968-1970), and was also the President when WBC moved to its 13th campus at the former St. Joseph’s College, a Catholic Boys High School in Otterburne. Just two years later (1972) Winnipeg Theological Seminary was begun, and in 1973 Winnipeg Bible College became fully accredited with the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (AABC).
Dr. William R. Eichhorst
President 1979 – 1993
Dr. William Eichhorst began his ministry with WBC in 1962 as Dean of Men. He also served as Dean of Students, College Academic Dean, Seminary Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to being appointed President in 1979. It was during his time as President that many significant developments/improvements were made. Campus improvements included Bergen Hall construction, Forsberg house addition, Providence house renovations, lagoon construction and Hanna Centre (east side) re-facing and landscaping. In the area of financial developments, the College received tax exemption and provincial funding. Academic developments included Seminary counselling major, Seminary accreditation with the Association of Theological Schools, and College accreditation with the University of Manitoba. It was also during the time (1991) that the name Winnipeg Bible College and Theological Seminary was changed to Providence College and Seminary.
Dr. Larry J. McKinney
Dr. Larry McKinney came to Providence College and Seminary from Philadelphia College of the Bible where he served as Vice President of Student Development. Major campus developments during his time as President included the construction of a new women’s residence hall, Eichhorst Hall, as well as a very successful “Pursuit of Excellence” campaign which saw the construction of the C.T. Loewen Resource Centre (including the William Falk Library).
Dr. August H. Konkel
President 2001- 2012
Dr. August Konkel served as professor of Old Testament at Providence Seminary from 1984 until his retirement in 2012. In 1978 Dr. Konkel received a Master of Divinity from Providence Seminary. He was the pastor of Bethel Bergthaler Mennonite Church in Winkler from 1971-1982. He earned his Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1987. While maintaining an active scholarly career of teaching and publication and an enthusiastic preaching ministry, as President, Dr. Konkel led Providence in a number of strategic initiatives, including degree recognition with the University of Manitoba, the construction of the Reimer Student Life Centre, and the establishment of the Providence University College and Seminary campus as a model for green energy technologies. The culmination of Dr. Konkel’s work became evident, when in June 2011, the Manitoba Legislative Assembly changed the official name of Providence to Providence University College and Theological Seminary.