TWU President's update: Summer 2022
Dear members of the TWU community:
What part can we play in bringing hope and peace in a divided world?
Paul captures the impact of the gospel upon our lives, saying, “the love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14). At Trinity Western University, we find tremendous joy in knowing that God has knit us together with Christians around the world. Together, we seek to become instruments of peace, forgiveness, renewal, and healing. Faith gives rise to love and action.
Faculty and staff have an amazing privilege and calling—to teach, mentor, care for, and equip every graduate for life. As I think of the thousands of students that God has placed in our midst, each one gifted, talented, and brimming with potential, I am filled with gratitude and hope.
Let me share with you the words of one fourth-year business student, Isabella, who joined TWU’s travel study to Kenya this May:
“Business is often perceived as self-serving, but I recognize that as a Christian, my chosen career within business is actually missional. This [Kenya] trip shaped my view of business tremendously as I want to empower people of all walks of life along their employment journey. While I deepened my ability to identify opportunities and challenges in conducting business abroad, I recognize the importance of making a meaningful and lasting social impact with my God-given skill set."
Isabella expresses a heart and mind informed by Christ’s teaching and a life moved to service in the world. There are many, many students and graduates like her, seeking to live faithfully in response to God’s call to love and serve the world.
The education, development, and nurture of students like Isabella is what faculty and staff at Trinity Western, myself included, are about.
Whenever there are students in our midst, it is a season of promise, and this makes me especially glad to share several updates with you.
Equipping students for lives of significance
TWU’s mission and vision is to equip graduates to make significant and meaningful contributions in society and respond faithfully to the needs of the world. We strive to do this by providing each student with an enriching, challenging, and excellent Christian education.
One of the many remarkable things that students attending TWU can look forward to this fall is the re-imagined Biblical and Theological Studies department (previously called the Religious Studies department).
Starting this fall, all first-year students will be invited to explore the riches of the Christian faith through a new introductory course. Key to the renewal of our Biblical and Theological Studies department is an approach to course development that devotes greater attention and resources to Christian theology (including global Christianity) and a shared commitment to see the study of Scripture and theology as a vital means to integrating a rigorous and faithful reading of Scripture with a joyful encounter with the history, worship, and truth of Christianity. Here, the goal is one of inviting and equipping students to be fully integrated persons, capable of making a positive difference in the Church, Academy, and the World.
Student life and academic leadership
Central to our students’ flourishing is a fantastic student life program. As such, TWU is pleased to announce the appointment of Johannah Wetzel as Executive Director of Student Life. Johannah brings over 20 years of leadership experience within student life divisions in Christian higher education. She is passionate about the work of student development—particularly helping students to persist in their faith and develop a heart for engaging with the world.
Another vital area of the University that is receiving new leadership is the School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC). TWU is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Scott Macklin as the new interim dean of SAMC. Dr. Macklin serves as the Executive Director of GLOBAL Online Learning and is excited about the call to serve as interim Dean for the School of the Arts, Media + Culture. He brings with him considerable expertise in the areas of course design, learner engagement, innovative curriculum delivery, and a deep love of the arts.
New programs in I.T. leadership and project management
The University continues to adapt and improve its program offerings to prepare students to meet the demands of a complex, global, knowledge economy. I’m pleased to introduce TWU’s first dual track master’s program that equips graduates to lead and manage teams in a world of rapidly advancing technologies. Offered in partnership with Belhaven University (Jackson, Mississippi), this program enables students to earn both a Master of Arts in Leadership from TWU and a Master of Science in Information Technology Management from Belhaven University in as quickly as 20 months.
Another new offering is TWU’s Project Management Professional certificate program, which provides real-world expertise and guidance on the issues critical to project management success. These new programs will enrich students with the knowledge and training necessary to advance and lead in today’s world.
Students making a difference in the world
TWU students continue to inspire us through their faithful work and service. This summer, many students have won federal and university grants to conduct research under the supervision of gifted TWU faculty. Their work addresses a wide array of subjects, including how health research is seeing the value of Indigenous seniors’ use of storytelling, to invasive weed infestations resulting from the 2021 B.C. floods.
Venturing northward, students have travelled to central B.C. to spend time with the Fort Babine Indigenous community. Out in the city, student-athletes have taken time to connect with teens with disabilities. Closer to campus, student teaching assistants have been educating elementary school students, helping them to learn about salmon life cycles in the Fraser Valley and introducing young learners to chemistry and biology.
For all the good work happening in our midst, we remain ever grateful.
A global Christian university
This month is a special time to remember what it means to be a global Christian university. In addition to National Indigenous History Month, today (June 27) is Canada’s Multiculturalism Day, and I am reminded that students from over 70 nations have chosen to study at TWU. The life that we enjoy together is a foretaste of the close of the biblical story, where a great multitude of people are gathered, “which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev 7:9).
What a joy it is to encounter the rich variety of cultures, backgrounds, and ethnicities that together comprise the Trinity Western University community. Each one of you has something of immense value to contribute to our campus and the world at large. While at TWU, I hope that you will discover your gifts and abilities, that you will be encouraged to seek God’s call upon your life, and that you experience a loving, supportive community eager to help you to become an instrument of God’s renewal in the world.
Grace and peace,
See also — Gratitude for the 2021/22 academic year: a message from President Mark Husbands
President's Update May 2022
About Trinity Western University
Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier global Christian liberal arts university. We are dedicated to equipping students to discover meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. Drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, seeking to unite faith and reason through teaching and scholarship, Trinity Western University is a degree-granting research institution offering liberal arts and sciences as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four locations in Canada: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.