Winnipeg, Man. -Building infrastructure for our new Canadian seminary is a lot like laying the foundation for a house its critical, but often invisible, work that takes enormous amounts of time and energy.
Thats what John Unger, chair of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS) Canada, said following the seminary board meetings held in Winnipeg, Oct. 1718.
As part of its efforts to create a sustainable infrastructure, the board focused on shaping financial policies. It approved the finance subcommittees 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 University FPU) to Canada. A new accounting system is in the early stages of implementation.
Much of our work this time around had to do with internal organization, said Unger. Building foundations may not always be exciting work, but it needs to get done.
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. New office space at ACTS, along with the recent appointment of Brian Cooper as associate dean, has increased the visibility and impact of the seminary at that location.
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, theres a strong sense that were gaining traction, said Unger.
In other business, the distance education curriculum MBBS Canada is developing together with FPU is advancing. Four courses are expected to be available at FPU 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. Its our intellectual property that were giving to our churches and institutions to use in whatever ways they wish.
-a Canadian Conference of MB Churches news release