Dueck to receive Briercrest honorary doctorate

Posted: April 7, 2014

Lorna Dueck knows the power of a good story. Her passion is to tell God’s story.

“I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller,” the host and executive producer of the television show Context with Lorna Dueck said.

The program is a weekly, half-hour, independently-produced show aired 20 times a week on seven television networks. It explores news and current affairs stories from a Christian worldview.

Dueck will be receiving an honorary doctorate from Briercrest College and Seminary for her accomplishments in media.

President Michael Pawelke is excited to honour Dueck at this year’s graduation ceremony on April 17.

“Briercrest’s vision is to ‘engage our world’ and we have an outstanding role model in Lorna Dueck,” he said.  “With a keen mind, articulate writing skills, and thoughtful interviewing savvy, Lorna uses her extraordinary journalism talents to advance Christian thought and values in a complex, pluralistic world that needs to hear truth.”

“I’m really honoured,” Dueck said of being chosen by Briercrest for the award. “I think the Bible college movement is really important to help young people find their footing.”

Dueck found her footing in the media over 20 years ago.  She was hired as the first female news broadcaster for Radio Southern Manitoba, with a door-opening referral by her Bible school professor.

“Back in the day when a low voice and a few connections were all you needed to get into broadcasting,” she said with a laugh.

The inspiration to bring a faith perspective into her reporting came after the birth of her second child.

“I was home one day during the maternity years of my life when (our children) were just a new born and toddler,” she said. “I started being a news consumer and I realized there was nothing of God in the news and I just had this prayer – ‘Lord, let me impact the media for you.’ 

Dueck began to bring a Christian worldview to her stories.

“When the kids were little I would freelance articles with a faith spin for secular newspapers – for the Winnipeg Free Press, and The Regina Leader Post,” she said.  “I was the religion writer for the Saskatoon Star Phoenix and did radio documentary for CBC Regina.” She still writes faith commentary now for The Globe and Mail.

Her articles written from a faith angle caused David Mainse of Crossroads Christian Communications to take notice of Dueck.  He invited her to co-host the Christian talk show 100 Huntley Street.

“So we made a really big shift when our kids went off to grade school,” she explained. “We took the big jump and moved from Manitoba to Ontario for me to work in Christian broadcasting.”

Dueck co-hosted 100 Huntley Street for eight years and then in 1998 she partnered with Crossroads Communications on her own program called Listen Up which was similar in format to Context with Lorna Dueck.

“I ventured out on an invitation from David Mainse who challenged me to start our own media charity and he gave us a year of airtime,” she explained. “He said, ‘I really think your call is media.’”

Context with Lorna Dueck is currently produced by Media Voice Generation, a Canadian charitable organization formed from that challenge in 2004. In the summer of 2011 Media Voice Generation moved its production and administration offices from Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ont. to CBC headquarters in the heart of Toronto’s media district. Context with Lorna Dueck is taped in the same studio and uses the same crew as “Hockey Night in Canada” and “The Rick Mercer Report.”

The move broadens the potential outreach of the show – both to the audience and to those who work within the CBC headquarters.

“I hope people discover God’s reality,” Dueck said stating the desired impact she hopes to have through her presence at CBC headquarters and through her program. “I hope people will find relationship with God is more accessible because of the way stories have been articulated by people who have a relationship with God.”

Some of those stories stand out to Dueck.

“Persecuted Christians have been the most stellar interviews – people who faced near death for their faith,” she said.

Dueck’s most recent weekend taping stood out for a very different reason.

“You’re catching me today while I am looking for an outfit to wear when I interview Don Cherry next Saturday,” she said. “I’m thinking I’m going just for a solid. I’m sure that’s going to be an interview that stands out.”