CMU establishes pastor-in-residence program
Canadian Mennonite University inaugurated a new student life program that brings a pastor-in-residence to the school for a week during each of the fall and winter academic terms.
Dan Unrau, lead pastor at Fraserview MB Church, Richmond, B.C., visited the campus Oct. 25–29, 2010, as CMU’s first pastor-in-residence. Carol Penner, pastor at First Mennonite Church, Vineland, Ont., will serve as pastor-in-residence for the winter semester Feb. 7–11, 2011.
“The pastor-in-residence is invited to participate in the life of the CMU community by being available for pastoral care through one-on-one time with students, faculty, and staff, and sharing his or her faith story through our CMU chapel sessions,” says CMU dean of student life Marilyn Peters Kliewer. The aim of the program is both to encourage spiritual growth among members of the CMU community, and to build and maintain close connections with churches.
During his weeklong stay, Unrau, born and raised in Boissevain, Man., met with members of the CMU community in both formal and informal gatherings. He shared his faith story in chapel, and participated in a round-table discussion with local pastors, a resourcing session for student leaders, a forum on the topic of family systems, an evening time of worship, and met with students interested in pursuing ministry as their vocation.
“I come away from my time at CMU with a professional and pastoral affirmation that the need to tell the integrative story of Christ, faith, and life, at all ages, for students, and for faculty and staff, is never-ending,” said Unrau. He was refreshed to hear and see the “aha” impact of the words of Christ’s story.
“These students will look after the future. They will become us and more.”
Speaker, preacher, storyteller, and motivational trainer, Unrau has lived in Manitoba, B.C., Israel, and Germany. He holds degrees in sociology, English, Judaeo-Christian studies, and leadership studies. Unrau has authored two books, taught seminary classes, appeared on television, and has been a guest on radio shows. Among his commitments, he serves as the volunteer chaplain of the Vancouver Giants WHL hockey team.
“Most people are running so hard they have no time to reflect,” he notes. “My job as a pastor is as much speaking the good news as reflecting what it means to be a follower of Christ in this day and age.”