This week we return again to Canada and interview William Badke about Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia.
1) Please introduce yourself and your role at Associated Canadian Theological Schools.
2) Tell us a little about Associated Canadian Theological Schools
Associate Canadian Theological Schools began in 1988 as a partnership of three Canadian denominations seeking to pool resources in order to provide strong seminary education. Now five denominational seminaries, each with its own identity but working together for the common cause of theological education, ACTS is the graduate theological division of Trinity Western University, the largest Christian university in Canada.
ACTS has some 400 students, of which a quarter are from outside of Canada. They take programs in ministerial development, chaplaincy, counselling, and academic research.
3) Are the courses full time, part-time or a mixture of both?
Our programs are a mixture of full and part-time, although the majority of our students do their programs part-time.
4) How do Associated Canadian Theological Schools students fund their studies?
Funding comes from a wide variety of sources, include personal savings, student loans, denominational support, working spouses, and scholarships.
5) Does Associated Canadian Theological Schools take students from overseas?
ACTS has always had a strong contingent of students from overseas, primarily from Asia but also from many far-flung countries on all continents.
6) What type of ministry is Associate Canadian Theological Schools intended to prepare students for?
Our programs prepare students for pastoral ministry, missions, chaplaincy, counselling, personal enrichment, and academic work in religion. We also welcome lay people who have undergraduate degrees. Our Master of Arts in Christian Studies enables almost anyone who qualifies to pursue study even if they are not intending to go into full time ministry.
7) When students leave Associated Canadian Theological Schools what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into.
The list in 6. encompasses the majority of ministries our students go into.
8) What is distinctive about what Associate Canadian Theological Schools offers compared with other colleges in Canada and overseas?
The primary distinctive of ACTS is its unique cooperative structure that enables denominational seminaries to maintain their identities and missions while at the same time sharing faculty and resources in order to strengthen theological education. Critics said it couldn’t be done, but now, with over a quarter century behind us, the consortium is flourishing.
9) Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.
The library provides an up to date resource for all aspects of theological research. The print collection, of which some 100,000 volumes are relevant for seminary research, is supplemented by large e-book holdings. Journals, most of them electronic, cover every aspect of the seminary curriculum. Unique to ACTS is a required Research Strategies course that prepares all students for the rigours of seminary research.
10) Does Associated Canadian Theological Schools offer a distance or on-line learning option. If yes, please tell us more about it.
With a country of the breadth of Canada, it is inevitable that students at a distance will want to access seminary education from where they are. Thus ACTS provides a wide variety of online and modular (one week, on campus) courses to enable students at a distance to access their programs without long residential requirements.
My thanks to William Badke for his contribution to this series.