2014 commencement service adds 159 alumni to Briercrest

Posted: April 21, 2014

The honours came in pairs during this year’s commencement service for Briercrest College and Seminary.

The commencement service began with the conferral of two honorary doctorate degrees. David Wells, General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) was the first recipient.

“David Wells’ life, ministry and reputation all give testimony to his relentless commitment to the purposes of Christ through the local church,” Briercrest president Michael Pawelke said.

After receiving the honorary degree, Wells briefly addressed the audience.

“I arrived on the Briercrest campus in 1992 as an endangered species. I was a Pentecostal,” he said with a chuckle. “But when I arrived I found out right away that I was welcomed with open arms. . . Quite frankly the roles of leadership I’ve had, including the current role that I have, I could not imagine these past decades of serving Jesus, the Church and the world without the knowledge, wisdom and understanding that I drew from my Briercrest studies.”

Christian telejournalist Lorna Dueck received the second honorary doctorate. Upon receiving her degree Dueck gave the commencement address which highlighted the Old Testament passage of Joshua 1:8-9 to challenge the graduates to let the Word of God impact everything they do.

“Graduates, keeping the Word of God on your lips – this is going to be a great challenge in the public reality you are about to step out in,” she exclaimed. “We really need you out there in big wide Canada and beyond.”

Biblical studies major Mitchell Ferreira and applied linguistics major Carla Heinrichs were co-valedictorians for this year’s college class of 134 students. The duo delivered their speech together highlighting memorable events from their time at Briercrest.

The seminary also had co-valedictorians this year.  Amanda MacInnis-Hackney (MA Theological Studies) and Bonnie Tuinhof-Mundy (MA Leadership and Management) earned the top spot among the 25 seminary graduates in this year’s class.

After the two hour service, graduates and their families gathered for a brief time in the lobby for greetings and photos with family and friends.