“I think there’s
a resurgence in the importance of establishing a biblical foundation,” says Columbia Bible College (CBC) president Bryan Born. The Abbotsford, B.C., school’s first-year enrolment is up 10 percent for the 2018/2019 school year and Born senses a renewed value among parents and students regarding the relevance of a Bible college education.
CBC held its annual general meeting Oct. 4, 2018, in the chapel with dessert and coffee for church leaders, delegates, alumni, staff, and students who gathered for stories, news, future plans, and vision.
“Practical theology” is the new terminology introduced for most of CBC’s BA programs. “Pressing in on application of this terminology,” is a highlight for Born, figuring out “how this emphasis on ‘integrating faith and vocation’ works through all curriculum, and our student development programming.”
Co-directors of applied leadership Kathleen Doll and Matt Kaminski introduced stories about how the program brings practical leadership skills into conversation with biblical and theological reflections to form Christ-like leaders.
“I’ve experienced more self-discovery than I could imagine, and I feel as confident as I have ever been in regards to who I am and what God has called me to do,” said 3rd-year student Andrew McIntyre. “Without the applied leadership program at CBC, I would not be the person who I am today.”
The college continues to follow up on May’s #ChurchToo conference on sexual ethics. “We want discussion about sexuality morality and power dynamics to show up in curriculum through Years One through Four,” says Born. “We want leaders who exhibit lives of moral integrity.”
On the near horizon is the launch of a healthcare assistant course that is being developed in collaboration with Mennonite-church-connected seniors residences, MennoPlace and Tabor Home.
“We’re committed to developing a clear, compelling and comprehensive vision for Columbia’s future,” says Born. Currently Columbia is preparing to launch the Columbia 2025: Now is the Time campaign that explores “how do we develop the best programs that will have value for students in faith formation AND lead them toward the vocations God has for them.”
The practical theology language for degrees emphasizes “bringing the Bible into conversation with every aspect of life – integration between faith and life, faith and vocation,” says Born.
The campaign is also intended to look at how to “create a campus that is positioned to serve our churches, our communities for another 50 years,” says Born.
“We’re inviting people to invest in Columbia as we envision a future of equipping students for transformational servant leadership.”