Born joined the Columbia faculty on his return to North America from the mission field. He rapidly gained a reputation as a challenging teacher, widely praised for his commitment to his students.
Born served with MB Mission in Botswana and Lesotho from 1992 to 2004. He holds an MDiv from MB Biblical Seminary, Fresno, Cal., and an MTh and DTh in missiology from the University of South Africa.
Penner announced his retirement last summer and CBC formed a search committee following its annual general meeting in the fall. The committee reported to the board June 2, recommending Born as president-elect, and directors confirmed the recommendation. Born’s candidacy now goes before the CBC’s annual general meeting Oct. 11.
Board chair Ralph Hildebrand paid tribute to Penner’s leadership and accomplishments as president. The Board respects Penner’s decision to retire and is excited by Born’s candidacy.
Hildebrand says the college is entering an interesting time. Not only must CBC operate, like similar institutions, in rapidly changing cultural and technological times, he said, but Columbia’s two partner conferences (the BC Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite Church BC) face similar challenges. What has not changed, said Hildebrand, is the fact that CBC is debt-free – even after opening a new residence building in the past year – thanks to the resolve of leadership and the generosity of the college’s many supporters.
Hildebrand acknowledged the work of the search committee, which he said met 17 times from October to late May. In addition, he said, committee members held numerous meetings with the many stakeholder groups involved in Columbia, and they worked online collaboratively on many occasions, as well. The committee considered some 20 names as they narrowed their search for a new CBC president.
Discussions continue on leadership transition measures, timing, and other details.