OTTERBURNE, MB – Last fall (2021), in a video presentation, we had conversations with three different families, representing different generations who choose to study at Providence. They talked about the impact a Providence education has had on their lives.
One of those families was Karen Jolly (MA in Educational Studies 2010) and her daughter Tobi (working towards her MA in Counselling). Karen is currently the Director of Programming at Inner City Youth Alive in Winnipeg.
“Studying at Providence helped me to learn and to figure out where I had issues with (or problem areas in) my faith. My education moved me from the place where I became comfortable and into the next space,” Karen thoughtfully shared with us. “I look back now, and I think, ‘Man, those were moments I really needed to grow in new areas.’ Providence has impacted me in my own personal life, but also in the ministry I now have.” _____________________________________________________________________________________
Another family was Gerry Michalski (Master of Divinity 1990 and Doctor of Ministry 2005) and his son Jordan (working towards his MDiv). Like his father, Jordan plans to also get his DMin. They work together pastoring at Soul Sanctuary in Winnipeg.
“I chose Prov after I graduated from university. I had a clear call to ministry,” says Gerry. “In 1988, I transferred to Prov to finish my Masters. Then in 2005, I recognized that I needed to get back to study (education) so I decided to enroll in the DMin program. It helped me flesh out my dissertation and live it. It became the blueprint of where we are today in the planting of our church that begun in 2004.”
Jordan confided that his father’s decision to choose Providence undeniably impacted his decision. “After receiving a call to ministry, I wanted that same theological depth and ability to analyze, to grow, and to learn in the context of a community.”
“I love the fact that I can learn something in the classroom, hash through ideas related to ethics or theology or a deep dive into the scripture, and then I can turn that around, and on the next day at work, there’s a practical application. It’s a transformative education that forms me as I pastor. My vocation and my education go hand and hand together. It’s been an incredibly enriching experience to study at Prov and it’s impacted my ministry at Soul Sanctuary.” _____________________________________________________________________________________
The third family we spoke to was Joan van der Linde (BA in Christian Ministries 1986) with her daughter Gina Turnbull (BA in Business Administration & Christian Ministries 2017). Since graduating, Gina has worked in the non-profit sector in the area of fundraising first at Abundance Canada and now at Providence.
“The fact that my mom went to Prov really did influence my decision. It was evident to me that Prov was a place where lifelong relationships were built and fostered,” explains Gina. “I was looking for a small and intimate community so studying at Providence was really appealing to me.”
“I love how, at Providence, students are given opportunities to lead and the space to fumble and to learn as they go. You can lead in a dorm context or a sports context. You can lead a small group project or worship team. You have people encouraging you the whole time, telling you what they see in you and calling out your giftings. And that’s why so many leaders are developed at Providence.” _____________________________________________________________________________________
Whether you’re interested in getting a degree in our University College or our Theological Seminary, all the families interviewed passionately spoke about the importance of a Christ-centred education and how that prepared them well in their lives, careers and ministries.
To hear more about their stories, you can view the video here on our provmanitoba YouTube channel.