Columbia Bible College (CBC) president Ron Penner has informed his board he intends to retire within two years. Penner came to CBC as academic dean in 1997, after a teaching and administrative career in Fresno, Cal., with Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (now Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary), and became president in 2007. He has also served on staff with the Canadian Conference of MB Churches, and in counselling and pastoral work at the local church level in Vancouver.
CBC board chair Abe Neufeld said the school has been “so well-served” by Penner; his leadership has been “a gift from God” to the college.
The timing of Penner’s departure will depend upon the duration of the search for his successor, and upon the new person’s availability to assume the CBC presidency before that time. Neufeld said the announcement was expected.
The college board has struck a search committee, including four board members and a representative each from faculty, administration, and staff. Their mandate is to look internally, across Canada, and globally.
Meanwhile, as the college celebrates its 75th anniversary, Penner is looking forward to completing CBC’s new residence, building bridges with other regional post-secondary institutions, and working to augment course offerings to B.C. centres beyond the Fraser Valley, among other projects.