Briercrest signs Memorandum of Understanding with Free Methodist Church in Canada

Julie Cole | May 12, 2014
Brian Gobbett, Briercrest's associate VP academic and Kim Henderson, director of personnel for the Free Methodist Church in Canada sign the memorandum of understanding between their two organizations. Submitted photo by Viktor Karklins Brian Gobbett, Briercrest's associate VP academic and Kim Henderson, director of personnel for the Free Methodist Church in Canada sign the memorandum of understanding between their two organizations. Submitted photo by Viktor KarklinsBrian Gobbett, Briercrest's associate VP academic and Kim Henderson, director of personnel for the Free Methodist Church in Canada sign the memorandum of understanding between their two organizations. Submitted photo by Viktor Karklins
Brian Gobbett, Briercrest's associate VP academic and Kim Henderson, director of personnel for the Free Methodist Church in Canada sign the memorandum of understanding between their two organizations. Submitted photo by Viktor Karklins Brian Gobbett, Briercrest's associate VP academic and Kim Henderson, director of personnel for the Free Methodist Church in Canada sign the memorandum of understanding between their two organizations. Submitted photo by Viktor Karklins( L to R) Barry Taylor, Alan Guenther, Jeremy MacDonald, Brian Gobbett, Kim Henderson, Rachel Runnalls, and Joie Heeju MacDonald celebrated the newly signed MOU.

For Free Methodist students at Briercrest College and Seminary, some classes just became doubly beneficial.

Thanks to a recently signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Briercrest and the Free Methodist Church in Canada, some of the required classes for credentials within the denomination can also count toward a Briercrest degree.

“We’ve started with two of the courses that are requirements for credentials in the Free Methodist Church in Canada,” Kim Henderson, director of personnel for the Free Methodist church in Canada said. “One is called The Heart of Canadian Free Methodism and the other one is Wesleyan Theology.”

After successfully completing the courses for the Free Methodist church, Briercrest students can then submit additional course work that will enable the class to count toward college or seminary credit.

“The little bit of extra work is the piece that will be done here at Briercrest, just so the entire course meets whatever accreditation standards that are necessary,” Henderson explained.

Briercrest’s Associate VP Academic Brian Gobbett is happy about the signed agreement.

“Something Briercrest really wants to increasingly do is make connections with local churches and denominations across Canada and beyond,” he said. “This is an important step in that way and I’m particularly delighted to do it with the Methodists as they have had such a huge impact on North American evangelicalism. It seems really suitable that both of us should align together and work as a partnership.”

Jeremy MacDonald, a 2014 graduate, is especially pleased with the signed agreement. The two Free Methodist courses he completed gave him the credits he needed to receive his Briercrest degree.

“Dr. Gobbett and Dustin Resch wrote up syllabi for both of the courses that I’d taken,” he explained. “I just needed to complete (the additional coursework) to get the three credits for school.”

Briercrest alumnus Rachel Runnalls, who is tracking toward Free Methodist ordination, says she wishes this memorandum had been around when she was a farming games farming games ben 10 games puzzle games Briercrest student.

“I was studying youth ministry and then I went into the Christian ministry track, but I had trouble picturing a denomination that would fully embrace me with leadership gifts and preaching and teaching gifts,” she exclaimed. “If I had been able to be connected with the Free Methodist church at that time I think I would have been far more hopeful about pursuing this as a vocation. So now, 12 years later, I’m going, ‘Wow! Where has this been?’ This is so exciting, to feel like I have space to function and use my gifts and people are so receptive and encouraging.”

Runnalls appreciates what the required courses have taught her about the Free Methodist denomination.

“I’m finding such good deep roots back into the work that Wesley did with the Methodists in England,” she said. “I’m really proud to be a part of that – even though I feel a little bit like a latecomer.”

Barry Taylor, lead pastor of First Free Methodist Church in Moose Jaw, was also on hand at the memorandum signing.

“It’s a real encouragement to me to see this partnership more formalized,” he said. “First Church has had a long history of developing servant leaders for Christ. To be able to more formally partner with Briercrest . . . that’s something that’s been on my heart. It fits well with not just the movement, but also with First Free Methodist Church.”