MDiv coordinator plans to involve church leaders

Posted: April 26, 2012

 Doug Doyle is going to bring a new set of ears to Briercrest.

 Reverend Doyle, who has spent the last 20 years as the lead pastor at Redwood Park Church in Thunder Bay, has joined Briercrest’s team as the Master of Divinity Coordinator and lead professor. He begins his position August 1 and will be providing leadership to the program while he is lead pastor at a church in Ft. McMurray, Alta.

 Twenty years in Thunder Bay and a lifetime of ministry experience has shown Doyle the importance of schools listening to and working with churches.

 “I have a passion to see the local church in full partnership with the seminary in preparing the next generation of ministry leaders,” he said.

 “What we want to do is we want to see the local church help share and shape what ministry preparation looks like. Rather than just the academic institution saying this is how ministry should look like and we’ve got it all figured out, we’re actually going to invite local church leaders, local church pastors to partner with us, not just in providing opportunities like internships and apprenticeships, but even more to speak into what we do and how we do it.”

 Interim seminary dean Dustin Resch is excited that Doyle accepted the position of leadership, even if it wasn’t the seminary dean’s position that he was originally offered.

 “We interviewed Doug and were really impressed and our search committee and faculty were really excited about having him on as dean but he ended up taking on a call to pastoral work in Ft. McMurray,” Resch explained.

 “I got a real strong call to stay involved in local church ministry and so that meant turning down being dean at Briercrest after that was offered,” Doyle agreed.

 Briercrest leadership then started to look for ways that they could still involve Doyle in training tomorrow’s ministry leaders.

 “They came up with this really radical idea of allowing me to stay involved by allowing me to be the MDiv lead and coming and teaching there a couple times a year,” he said. “And I am just totally pumped at the concept that I would get to lead a local church in a vibrant community with so much potential for the gospel and at the same time being able to help influence the next generation of ministry leaders.” 

 The new position will work because of the knowledge and experience Doyle has. 

 “Doug knows the Canadian evangelical church,” Resch said. “He knows it in a way that can only be known for a first hand pastor, someone who has been doing this for 20 years in the field. That kind of experience is something that we really realize as a seminary that if we are going to thrive we need to be listening to those people.”

 While the seminary looks forward to Doyle’s leadership, the pastor is looking forward to involving today’s church leaders.

 “I’m pretty convinced that there are a lot of churches and pastors out there who really do want to speak into what is needed for the next generation of ministry leaders in our country.”