Agreement gives Vanguard students another option

Briercrest Staff | May 6, 2014
Vanguard School of Graduate Studies, Edmonton Alberta Vanguard School of Graduate Studies, Edmonton AlbertaVanguard School of Graduate Studies, Edmonton Alberta

By C.L. Sheppard

A recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Briercrest College and Seminary and Vanguard College of Edmonton will allow both schools “to build on each other’s strengths,” according to Briercrest President Michael Pawelke.

“Vanguard students will be able to build on their education,” Pawelke said. In the MOU, the schools have agreed to a transfer of credits in the graduate certificate in the youth and young adult ministry offer by Vanguard to the masters of Christian ministries program at Briercrest.

The schools will work together to maximize their strengths, Pawelke said. Vanguard students will be able to complete their undergraduate studies at the Edmonton campus then transfer to Briercrest in Caronport to complete their masters’ degree. While Briercrest has students in its masters’ program from many other schools, Vanguard students will be able to move seamlessly into the program, Pawelke said.

“I commend the leadership at Vanguard and am delighted to share in a common mission of equipping the church and engaging our world,” he said.

Ron Powell, Youth Ministry Institute director at Vanguard, said this is the first such agreement between the two schools.

“We have a history of students graduating with their BA and then attending Briercrest for an MA but this is the first graduate level certificate that has been accepted by Briercrest,” Powell said. “Since we are offering only graduate level certificates and not full masters’ degrees, we recognize that many of our students will wish to continue on their post-graduate studies. Briercrest is an excellent option for our students.”

Vanguard offers 18-credit certificates in areas of concern to today’s church with hands-on training in youth and young adult ministry, church planting, social justice and community development.

“We see Briercrest as a Canadian leader in seminary education with a reputation for producing exceptional leaders,” Powell said. “It is an excellent place for graduate students to complete a masters’ degree.”

This is one of the latest of several partnerships Briercrest has entered into over the years, Pawelke said. He said each one is good for the school.

“Some are more comprehensive than others,” he said. “In some we agree to provide interns, others involve a transfer of credits. We view these partnerships as opportunities for mutual benefit.”

Pawelke isn’t concerned these agreements could stretch the school’s administration or infrastructure.

“We have the administration in place to administer them and we can process a tremendous amount of growth,” he said.