By Julie Cole
for student body president of Briercrest College and Seminary wasn’t even on Ramsey Klassen’s radar. He had other plans for his future.
“I was hoping to be done (with college) by Christmas and then go on a trip somewhere before I moved to a different school after graduation,” he said.
A casual comment from an acquaintance changed everything.
“(They said) ‘Oh, I hear you’re running for president!’ and I was like, ‘Uh, no,’” Klassen remembered. “For whatever reason that stuck with me enough that I was convicted to at least pray. I just figure, even if I have good plans, the Lord – even if His ideas seem crazy – they’re the best!”
Klassen decided to run for president and turned in his application right at closing time on the deadline day.
“I was quite anxious,” he stated. “But because this wasn’t my idea and I was just trying to be obedient to the Lord, there was that comfort that He’s going to take care of this. He’s going to make whatever needs to happen happen.”
The president-elect admits that his vision for this school year may be a bit unconventional.
“I don’t come with lots of ideas for reform,” he said. “The vision I want to work for is really what the student government mission states and that is to create an environment where people can find out what it means for them to be disciples . . . to grasp with more clarity who the Lord is. That rearranges our pursuits and our motives. It’s not about us. It’s about Him.”
Klassen’s family has a long-running history with Briercrest.
“I’m part of something of a legacy,” he said laughing. “My mom and dad met (at Briercrest). I think all my aunts and uncles and my grandparents on both sides went there. We go way back.”
The Russell, Man. native is completing a B.A. in music with a global studies minor. He has some creative ideas about how he can combine his major and his minor areas of study.
“Next summer I would like to travel with Wycliffe Bible Translators with someone who’s working in the area of ethno-musicology,” he said. “It’s basically acting as a catalyst to help churches in others nations create worship music in their own art form and in their own music style.”
The relatively new science combines research with Scripture translation and then tries to combine the two to create culturally appropriate worship music for different people groups.
In the future Klassen plans on attending a school in Texas that has a program in ethno-musicology.
“It’s the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics,” he exclaimed. “I would take about a year of studying ethno-musicology before going out and working in an internship sort of context.”
In his final year at Briercrest, Klassen looks forward to working with other members of his student leadership team.
“With the counsel of the current presidential team I chose people who I thought would complement me in my strengths and weaknesses,” he stated.
Klassen’s two vice-presidents for next year are Courtney Wiebe, the VP of student life and administration and James Wood, the VP of student life and academics.
The president-elect doesn’t have high hopes for people to remember him for his accomplishments. He has a different kind of desire.
“I really hope that people look back on next year and say, ‘There’s no way any of that could have happened except that God was at work among us.’”