Seminary board meeting, Oct. 17–18, Winnipeg
“Building infrastructure for our new Canadian seminary is a lot like laying the foundation for a house – it’s critical, but often invisible, work that takes enormous amounts of time and energy.”
That’s what John Unger, chair of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS) Canada, said following the seminary board meetings held in Winnipeg, Oct. 17–18.
As part of its efforts to create a sustainable infrastructure, the board focused on shaping financial policies. It approved the finance subcommittee’s recommendations regarding staff budget procedures, and is developing a financial aid package for students with the $860,000 in student loan funds being transferred from MBBS Fresno (now Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary – FPBS) to Canada.
MBBS Canada continues to strengthen its connection with its two current partners: Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS) in Langley, B.C., and Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg.
Looking ahead, the board is in the final stages of drafting a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to formalize a structural relationship with CMU, paving the way for a full-time faculty position in practical theology at the Winnipeg campus as early as fall 2012. MBBS Canada and the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba will fund the position.
“As we move forward on a number of these initiatives, there’s a strong sense that we’re gaining traction,” said Unger.
In other business, the distance education curriculum MBBS Canada is developing together with FPBS is advancing. Four courses are expected to be available at FPBS and ACTS by fall 2012; the remaining four will be completed by fall 2013. “Any partner with the International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) will be able to use these courses,” said Unger. “We’re giving [them] to our churches and institutions to use in whatever ways they wish.”