Meet Our Alumni

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  Josi Peters - October 2013
Dennis Hiebert - August 2013
Howard Wilson - April 2013
Tammy Schultz - November 2012
Gayleen Gaekee - October 2012
Lawrence Wilkes - July 2012
Ted Hull - June 2012
Jason Mandryk - February 2012
Bre Woligroski - February 2012
Eddie & Bonita Mwunvaneza - September 2009

Josi Peters

(MA 2003)

October 2013

I'm pleased to report that I have been working in the counselling field since graduation.  After a time in private practice in Winnipeg, I found work with Recovery of Hope in their Steinbach branch office, which was much closer to home for me.  A few years ago my husband and I moved to a forested retreat near Marchand and are enjoying country life.  Unfortunately, my physical health has declined as I cope with a chronic pain condition and severe arthritis but I am grateful that God led me to counselling for my life's work, a profession I can pursue sitting down!

About 5 years ago I began writing a column for the Steinbach Carillon.  I thought that a weekly column with some straight talk about mental health and a healthy dose of psycho-education might help to demystify some of people's misconceptions about mental illness and help to eradicate the stigma that still exists.  I encounter that stigma regularly in my work with clients.  My column, entitled "Let's Talk Mental Health," was recognized recently by the Canadian Mental Health Association.  They presented me with a "Heroes of Mental Health" award in the media category and are interested in a partnership to get the column into more community newspapers.  I'm also writing the Good Counsel column for ChristianWeek on a regular basis.

My husband and I are looking forward to celebrating 40 years of marriage in May of 2014.  We've been blessed with four beautiful adult children and their godly spouses, three "perfect" grandchildren, and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a fourth grandchild in the spring.  Life is good and God is faithful.

Dennis Hiebert

(1984-1986)

August 2013

After teaching courses in marriage and family for over 20 years, Dr. Dennis Hiebert, Professor of Sociology at Providence University College, has published a study of the influence of Western culture on Christian conceptions of marriage.  Sweet Surrender: How Cultural Mandates Shape Christian Marriage arrived in bookstores in July.  “In our increasingly post-Christian society, most Christians think that their values of marriage are ever more counter-cultural,” says Hiebert.  “But when we look at what contemporary Christians claim to be the essential biblical ingredients of marriage in light of historic shifts in Western culture, we see how much a product of culture those beliefs really are.”

Hiebert is not writing as one scholar to other scholars, but as a scholar seeking to bring the insights of his academic discipline to the average thoughtful reader, assuming they have no background in sociology.  Nor is the book what many perceive sociology to be, full of social statistics.  It is instead a rich mix of social history, social theory, and social ethics, grounded in a fresh reading of the biblical text regarding marriage.  What sets the book apart is that, instead of beginning with biblical interpretation or counseling psychology and being another Christian handbook on marriage that mistakes the Bible as a marriage manual, it is a thoroughgoing Christian critique of culture.

A book for Christians who are ready to rethink their assumptions about marriage, Sweet Surrender is available from Christian bookstores and Amazon.ca.

Howard Wilson

(M.Div 1985)

April 2013

SIOUX CENTER, IA – After a national search, Dordt College has named Howard Wilson, formerly the president of Ambrose University College and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, its new vice president for enrollment management. Wilson, who has 25 years of experience in higher education, spent 12 years at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he was “mentored and nurtured in the Reformed worldview” by Dr. Richard Mouw. He held several leadership roles at Fuller, his final position being executive vice president for administration. “We’re pleased to welcome Howard to the Dordt College community,” said Dordt College President Dr. Erik Hoekstra. “His lifelong alignment with Dordt’s mission and his experience in a variety of institutions of higher education will bring a wealth of experience to our campus.” “Howard joins an outstanding admissions team at Dordt College,” Hoekstra adds. “His leadership—combined with the skills, talents, and energy of our current staff—will be a wonderful combination.” Wilson sees that Dordt, with its strong academic reputation, clear commitment to a Christian perspective in all aspects of the college, and a supportive constituency, is likely to thrive in the years ahead. “I believe that Christian education is the most complete and satisfactory form of education, in that it develops the whole person, engaging the mind, heart, and spirit,” Wilson says. Along with his academic credentials, Wilson is an advocate of the LEAN management system. He currently also is a licensed minister in the Christian & Missionary Alliance in Canada and has served as an ordained deacon and elder in an evangelical Presbyterian congregation. He received his master of divinity degree, as well as an honorary doctor of divinity degree, from Providence Theological Seminary in Otterburne, Manitoba. He earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration with an industrial management emphasis from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. Wilson and his wife, Vivian, live in Calgary, Alberta, and will relocate soon to Sioux Center. They have two daughters, Naomi, 24, and Bethany, 22.

Tammy Schultz

(MA 1988)

November 2012

Sexual abuse blindsides victims in its wake. Against the backdrop of that torment, Jesus, a fellow sufferer, speaks into our anguish and paves the road toward a life beyond desolate.

A new book by Tammy Schultz and Hannah Estabrook, Beyond Desolate: Hope Versus Hate in the Rubble of Sexual Abuse, proclaims hope into a world not absent of ache, but a world where He bleeds with us and brings us a new song.

Beyond Desolate uses the biblical story of Tamar, who was raped by her brother, as the starting point for a penetrating and insightful look at the elements of recovery and re-institution of hope. Schultz and Estabrook are themselves both victims of sexual abuse and work in the therapeutic community.

Schultz is a professor, speaker, and counselor and was awarded the 2010 Indiana Counselor of the Year by the Indiana Counseling Association. Estabrook holds the master’s degree in counseling and is the co-founder of AVAH! Ministries, which provides womens’ seminars on body image, sexuality, friendship, and other topics.

Beyond Desolate is a 342-page paperback which full of biblical, quality resources for victims, counselors, friends, and family. Each chapter contains “Discussion Starter” questions for use by therapists, in support groups, or for individual reflection. A “How to Use This Book” section gives 14 specific suggestions on how to utilize the book and to extend its ministry to help the hurting.

Beyond Desolate is available online, in bookstores, or at www.bmhbooks.com. The retail price is $16.99 and the ISBN number is 978-0-88469-279-9.

Learn more about Beyond Desolate by viewing this video

Gayleen Gaeke

(MA 1988)

October 2012

As a child, Gayleen suffered abuse at the hands of those she should have been able to trust. Now as a counsellor, her studies have drawn her to look back on her childhood with new insight. She has recognized her need to accept her own humanity and life’s loss if she will ever find healing. Gayleen's dream in writing this book is to help abuse survivors create a new, healthier life for themselves. Revealing those hidden secrets takes courage. Knowing you are not alone helps. Dive into your soul and grasp onto the hope of
healing.

"As a professor, I have leanred some of the most important lessons of life from the students that came here to learn. Sometimes, as in the case with the story of this book, I have come to learn some of those lessons many years later, as teh pilgrimage of life integrated life experience with the theology that was learned. Thie is a compelling account of how a person of faith comes to terms with extreme personal pain and reconciled Biblical family metaphors with abusive family experinece. this is a must read for all those engaged in counselling and pastoral work in Christian circles. It is the kind of essential education that does not happen in a classroom." -August H. Konkel, President Emeritus, Providence Theological Seminary

Lawrence Wilkes

(1960s)

July 2012Lawrence Wilkes

ORANGE COUNTY , CA—A Winnipeg-born man is the interim senior pastor at California's famed Crystal Cathedral.

Lawrence Wilkes earned his bachelor of religious education at Providence University College in Otterburne, Manitoba in the 1960s before eventually obtaining a PhD from the California Graduate School of Theology.

Wilkes first joined the staff at the Crystal Cathedral in 1991, serving as pastor in the church's evening service for 10 years as well as being a dean at the Robert Schuller School for Preaching. He left the church in 2009, but eagerly accepted the invitation to come back as interim pastor this past March.

Wilkes says that in spite of the church's troubles, Hour of Power remains popular, broadcasting in 11 countries around the world. He says it is good to be back at the church and said he never would have imagined when he was growing up in Winnipeg where his life would take him.

Ted Hull

(1985 Counselling Certificate)

June 2012

Finding the right answers for governing charities begins with asking the right questions. In this book, Ted Hull answers sixteen questions every Board Member wants to ask, is afraid to ask, or too tired to ask. A Guide to Governing Charities is not about tweaking the current governance process; it's about boards moving in a whole new direction. This easy-to-read book is for those who are weary of board meetings which are long on discussion, but short on direction. It is available on line at tedhullconsulting.com.

On June 13, 2012, at the Canadian Christian Writing Awards in Toronto, "A Guide to Governing Charities" was named the Christian Leadership Book of the Year.

Jason Mandryk

(M.A. Global Christian Studies)

February 2012Jason Mandryk

Jason was born in Winnipeg, Canada and grew up and studied there, gaining a Masters in Global Christian Studies at Providence Theological Seminary. He has lived in England for 17 years, working on the past two editions of Operation World, initially as co-author with Patrick Johnstone and now as author. The Operation World team has for decades served the global church by researching the salient and strategic issues in each country, and communicating these through statistical information and prayer guides. Jason's own interests directly related to this include the demographics of religious and ethnic populations, the challenges of communicating the gospel cross-culturally, theologies of prayer and ethnodoxology. Outside the immediate confines of Operation World-related work, he enjoys the outdoors, ethnic cuisine, progressive rock music and the Arsenal.

Bre Woligroski

(MA 2005)

February 2012

On January 30, 2012, the YMCA-YWCA awarded Bre Woligroski (M.A., 2005) the 2011 Peace Medal, in recognition of her exemplary contribution to areas of social justice and gender equality.

The following is from the Winnipeg free Press:

“THE YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg has awarded Bre Woligroski the 2011 Peace Medal, recognizing her dedicated work in areas of social justice and gender equality. Woligroski has been involved in numerous social justice projects, including serving as the official Canadian representative for the World Student Christian Federation's Identity Diversity Dialogue Program in Thailand, where she spoke on issues of gender and social fairness. The 31-year-old founded the Menno Simons College Social Justice Fair and helped co-ordinate Take Back the Night rallies. Woligroski serves on a number of boards, including the Feminist Alliance for International Action and the World Student Christian Federation Global Board. She facilitates workshops on gender equality and has served as a volunteer delegate for the United Nations' 52nd Commission on the Status of Women. Woligroski's anonymous nominator said in a release: "Bre demonstrates the values and qualities of peace, in that she works for justice and understanding in ways which are culturally sensitive and relevant. "She is gentle and responsive to the people around her, yet is firm in her commitment to social justice and equality." Woligroski is scheduled to receive the award Jan. 30 when the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg holds its annual general meeting at the Downtown Y.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 24, 2012 B2  

Eddie & Bonita (Friesen) Mwunvaneza

(1990-1992 College & 1986-1991 College)

September 2009

Bonita & Eddie with the Counselling students from Calgary.

Eddie and Bonita (Friesen) Mwunvaneza, two of our College alumni worked with some of our Seminary Counseling students this past summer in Rwanda. There was a great need to provide trauma counseling to this war torn country, so Eddie and Bonita decided to move back to Eddie’s home country of Rwanda and create a compound where people of the community can heal. As missionaries with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission, they hoped for a center where people could find help with counseling, training, and support for not only basic needs but also psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs. So they initiated CenterPeace Rwanda, which is currently in infancy, but with increased support and finances will soon become a thriving resource for Rwandese.

A small group of student counselors from Providence Seminary’s Calgary extension took a two-week journey to teach Rwandan ministers methods of counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder. It was a very rewarding and challenging time for them.  Hear more of the story.

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