Delegates to Columbia Bible College’s annual general meeting Oct. 11 unanimously endorsed the nomination of Bryan Born to become its newest President. Born will assume the presidency on Dec. 22, the retirement date of Columbia’s current president, Ron Penner.
In Born’s address to the delegates at the AGM, he outlined the challenges he sees facing young adults today and his vision for the role Columbia can play in meeting those needs.
“I am convinced that Bible College education is more important than ever,” he said. Acknowledging the challenges youth face, as reported in the EFC-sponsored study, “Hemorrhaging Faith,” he said, “My mission is to do all I can to ensure that CBC is a college known for equipping students with a solid biblical foundation that will encourage and challenge them to follow Jesus passionately in whatever vocation God calls them to pursue.”
He went on: “We want to see them [every one of our students] make a significant impact in the family, in the community, in their careers, in the church – wherever God puts them. Through mentoring, modelling, teaching, and praying, we want to make disciples who seek to partner with God in his mission of redeeming and transforming the world.”
Partners and coworkers
Born acknowledged that he cannot do this on his own. He added: “I look forward with anticipation to working together with our denominational leaders, college board, faculty, staff, partner churches, and especially our students to ensure that we continue to provide outstanding educational and discipleship opportunities that are Christ-centred, biblically-based, Spirit-empowered, church-committed, and mission-focused.”
Board chair and CBC alumnus Ralph Hildebrand said, “Our society needs a place where young Christian adults can come and find a firm footing to their faith, learn and understand the key truths of Scripture and help them walk out their faith in their future vocation, whatever the career path God directs them toward. Our college needs leadership that can navigate us through our times and I am extremely confident in Bryan’s commitment to and vision for the college. He has a keen sense not only of the rich history of our institution but also an understanding of its future role.”
Hildebrand’s introduction included a warm tribute to Ron Penner for his 15 years of service to Columbia and 27 years to Christian higher education. In his address, Penner stated “I can’t think of a better person than Bryan to take over the helm. He is definitely the right person, at the right time for this position. I not only wish him well but give him my full support in this transitional period and beyond.”
Columbia Bible College is based in Abbotsford, B.C., and is affiliated with the British Columbia Mennonite Brethren Conference and Mennonite Church British Columbia. Home to approximately 450 students from more than 20 denominations, CBC offers a variety of certificate, diploma, and BA degrees each semester.
In 2013, Columbia will start a new one-year program called PRAXIS, an affordable 8-month certificate program with an emphasis on Christian discipleship in the urban context. Through experiential learning, Praxis students are exposed to the heart of the city and will discover how their faith can be lived out in our current culture. While studying the Bible, students will also investigate social justice issues and explore opportunities for Christian witness in North American cities.