Fall Convocation 2011
Christian Higher Education must embrace two tasks at the same time. Dr Howard Wilson, Providence Seminary alumnus and former President of Ambrose University College in Calgary, addressed the Fall Convocation at Providence University College and Theological Seminary. He said Providence must nurture the spiritual life at the same time it nurtures the intellectual life. In these tasks Wilson said we must collaborate. Christian educators and Christians in general cannot grow spiritually or intellectually by themselves.
Convocation was held on Wednesday, September 14 in Affleck Chapel on the Providence Campus. In addition to students, faculty, staff, and Board members, a number of dignitaries were in attendance. Presidents from three Manitoba Christian colleges joined the festivities. In addition, Provencher MP Vic Toews, and MLAs Kelvin Goertzen, Mavis Taillieu, Cliff Graydon, and Doug Martindale took time out of their busy schedules to be present. Providence is grateful for the support and collaboration received from post-secondary institutions and from the federal and provincial governments.
Dr David Johnson, Executive Vice President and Provost, presided over a brief unveiling of the new institutional logo which bears the new name, Providence University College and Theological Seminary. On June 16 Royal assent was given to Bill 301 that officially adds the word University to Providence’s name. President August Konkel told the audience that without the help of our friends in the provincial government, this name change would not be a reality today.
Johnson noted that the word university clarifies the type of education offered to Providence undergraduates. “We are not a collegiate high school, we are not a vocational school, we are no longer a Bible college. We have become a university college that offers the breadth of courses students need to become creative and critical thinkers in our complex world.”
Providence does offer vocational training for various professions such as business administration, aviation, and teaching English, and it still requires the same amount of Bible courses as in the past. But over time it has added typical university courses and majors in the social sciences and humanities.
Johnson said, “This is the kind of undergraduate education students want and need in order to take the Christian message into the rapidly changing and complex society of today. In order to be Christians in today’s world, students need an education, grounded in Christian scriptures, that exposes students to the very best in human thinking.”
Providence has held an annual Fall Convocation for the past four years in order to begin the academic year with a scholarly address on and commitment to the task of Christian higher education.
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