MBBS celebrates 40 years of preparing leaders for mission
The psalmist writes, “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4). Moses also reminds the Israelites that their faith needs to reach their children and their children’s children (Deuteronomy 6:1–9). Jesus commands his followers to make disciples who obey all his commands, which include making disciples (Matthew 28:19–20).
The mission of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Canada is disciple making. We believe well-trained students of Jesus who learn to obey all that Jesus commanded will carry this great commission forward. The seminary participates in multiplication when we train men and women to equip the next generation to live out this commission.
Canadian Mennonite Brethren have been investing in disciple making through theological education and ministry preparation for 40 years. Since joining MBBS Fresno in 1975, we have trained more than 400 Canadian students for ministry vocations and Christian service in every area of life. Teaching and proclamation together form an integral part of making disciples, consistent with the most successful missional movements in the history of the church.
Join MBBS Canada as we celebrate good news in the lives of students:
More students, more stories. There was an increase in students taking courses in 2014, which always means an increase in excitement and stories of God’s faithfulness. There were 96 students taking courses in Winnipeg, Langley or online. Sixty-eight percent of those students study at MBBS part-time and 32 percent full-time.
Students graduating. Graduation only tells one story of the impact of a seminary, but it is an important one: MBBS Canada helped 12 students cross the finish line in April 2015 in Langley and Winnipeg. Since 1975, 438 Canadian students have graduated from MBBS, 151 on Canadian campuses.
MinistryLift impact. MinistryLift is a series of non-formal training and equipping conferences designed for people to experience a “lift” in their ministry. In the last two years, there have been nine events drawing more than 1,000 participants from 190 churches in 21 denominations.
Affordable and accessible. MBBS Canada has given and awarded bursaries and scholarships totaling more than $25,000 this past year, and some seminary students have reduced their tuition by half through the Leadership Training Matching Grant. Modular, online and live streaming options have increased, making seminary studies attainable from a distance.
Service to the Mennonite Brethren family. Since the launch of MBBS Canada in 2011, the faculty and staff have made themselves available for speaking and other ministry engagements in Mennonite Brethren churches across Canada an average of 50 times per year.
Generous supporters and balanced budget. “Thank-you!” Generous financial supporters and congregations make the ministry of seminary possible and help us to continually and consistently work from a balanced budget. Your generosity makes all of this possible!
John Webber graduated with a master of arts in Christian studies (chaplaincy).
Having spent most of his life in the financial sector, John came to MBBS-ACTS in 2010 as a full-time diploma student. “Though I was initially terrified to return to school after 40 years, God provided, and I was eventually able to transfer into a master’s degree,” he says.
“Professors took a personal interest in my life and this interaction was appreciated and valuable in my learning experience.”
In 2012, MBBS Canada hired John as director of finance and administration. He completed the rest of his degree part-time.
John has a passion for ministry to the marginalized and is open to God’s leading for the future, whether that is a specific job or not. “The education alone has been worth the effort and cost,” John says, “Personal transformation has occurred.”
John and his wife Carol live in Chilliwack, B.C., and have three daughters and five grandchildren.
Kathy McCamis graduated with a master of arts in theological studies degree on the CMU campus.
Kathy came to MBBS Canada to spend time thinking more deeply about the core elements of Christian faith. She began part-time studies with MBBS-CMU after serving Fort Garry MB Church, Winnipeg, as junior high pastor. “I noticed many students not finding ways to engage with the church after they ‘graduated’ from youth ministry.”
In 2013, Kathy pursued her studies full-time. She is the recipient of the Leadership Training Matching Grant as well as several other scholarships. “I’m blessed to have been supported in this decision by my congregation.
“My studies at MBBS have deepened my faith and encouraged in me a love of learning. The faculty at MBBS challenged me to think deeply and taught me how to ask good questions.”
Kathy lives in Winnipeg and is currently working in a pastoral role at House Blend Ministries.