Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Canada has taken another step forward in establishing itself as a new seminary for the 21st century. On Mar. 13, 2013, the British Columbia legislature voted to approve Bill Pr 402, which provides a degree-granting charter to MBBS Canada.
MBBS president Bruce Guenther along with Dale Wall (former deputy minister for the B.C. Ministry of Community Services and a member of Saanich Community [MB] Church) and Kevin Boonstra (legal counsel for MBBS Canada), appeared before the Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders, and Private Bills on the morning of March 13. After a few questions, the Committee unanimously approved the MBBS Bill for recommendation to the legislature.
Answer to prayer
In the afternoon, “We witnessed an answer to prayer unfold as the legislature completed the second and third reading in quick succession,” said Guenther. The formality of the Lieutenant-Governor’s signature on the bill took place on March 14, 2013, the very last day of the legislature session. Thus, ended a project that began with the appointment of a special board taskforce in 2011, and that took considerable effort particularly in the past three months.
In November 2012, MBBS Canada became aware of an opportunity to submit a private bill for consideration. The timeline for completing the necessary approvals in time for inclusion during the spring session of the B.C. legislature was very tight. “But from the outset we have felt God’s urging, and I give thanks to God today for his sustaining power and presence throughout the process,” said Guenther.
“I also give thanks for the MLAs (Randy Hawes and Marc Dalton) who invested deeply in the support of this bill, for individuals in the Mennonite Brethren constituency who, on short notice, lobbied their MLAs on our behalf, and for the incredibly gifted team that was involved in this project,” said Guenther.
Foundation for the future
The Bill enhances MBBS Canada’s standing and credibility as a school, creates a greater sense of equality in negotiating partnerships, and lays the foundation for independent initiatives in the future. MBBS Canada offers diploma, masters and doctoral academic programs through its participation in the Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS), a fully accredited consortium of seminaries on the campus of Trinity Western University, Langley, B.C., and through an affiliation agreement with Canadian Mennonite University.
—Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary release