Happy Birthday Tyndale University College
Happy Birthday Tyndale University College
Tyndale: 1998 - Present
This spring, the largest student body in the history of Tyndale University College will graduate. Tyndale’s undergraduate university will witness students graduating with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Business, English, Psychology, Human Services, Philosophy and Biblical and Theological Studies. Others will receive a Bachelor of Education degree or a focused undergraduate ministry degree. In all, over 125 students will walk across the stage to receive their degrees, and be launched into a variety of professions and graduate studies. The same number will graduate from Tyndale Seminary.
Tyndale University College was born in 2003. It emerged out of a clear need for a Christian undergraduate university in the heart of one of the most diverse cities in Canada – Toronto. The Ontario Legislature decided that Tyndale would be a part of the pluralism of options offered to Ontario students seeking an undergraduate university education. It was an opportunity of enormous implications and possibilities.
Ten years of financial commitment to program development culminates this year in the largest graduation class. Combined with our long anticipated move to the newly renovated Bayview campus in the summer of 2014, we are on the verge of enormous promise and growth.
Our vision is to provide quality undergraduate education to students who want to learn how to think critically and enter community life – an educational experience that will shape their characters and take their Christian faith seriously. Our vision is to launch graduates who can thrive in the workplace, graduate schools and professions of service and ministry because of the foundations they have built at Tyndale.
We do this by providing an environment that is both intimate and challenging. Our focus is to create an undergraduate university education experience that:
- Is broad in its scope – Our framework of courses acknowledges the fact that skills of critical thinking learned in disciplines, such as Philosophy and Theological studies, produce a different kind of business student or social worker. Psychology students exposed to historical studies or English form broader skills of writing and discernment.
- Provides the focus of faculty on teaching and student interaction – At Tyndale, our faculty focuses on students and on teaching while still producing remarkable research in their disciplines. Many faculty members mentor students by coming alongside them during their academic and professional careers.
Is established on community – The transformative power of community life in a school such as Tyndale is remarkable. Tyndale is smaller in size compared with the larger public universities, so the interactions among staff, faculty, and students stand out. An educational environment that is more intimate and personal has amazing influence and transformative possibilities.
- Is affirming of faith – The power of the Christian faith is its invitation to ask questions and make the same intellectual inquiry that a university education offers. However, too often the environment of the university classroom is not as open to faith being part of the dialogue. At Tyndale, we believe in a God who is the God of questions as well as the God of answers – a God who invites examination and who, in Jesus, offers life abundant.
We are 10 years old as an undergraduate university, but it has taken us 120 years to get here. The foundations were built long ago. It is exciting to think of what God can do in the next 10 years on the Bayview campus through faculty, staff, and students who desire to move deeper intellectually, spiritually, and in their formational character development. But never forget, we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.
“Teaching is a vocation; a calling. I knew it was what God prepared for me and the path he wanted me to follow,” says Saloni Karl [BEd 2011].
Saloni quit her job to enroll in Tyndale’s Bachelor of Education (BEd) program at a time when there were many teachers but not many teaching jobs. “It was scary, but it was about obedience and trusting Him.”
Now, almost three years after graduating, Saloni finds herself feeling homesick for Tyndale – a place where people were like family to her. In the BEd program, learning is often done through group projects, which creates a sense of teamwork and community for students like Saloni. She noticed that her personal interactions with peers and professors were different at Tyndale compared with other universities. This had a lot to do with her experiences in the classroom.
“Professor Beverly Muir helped me see from the point of view of the child and family and to sympathize with their circumstances,” says Saloni. “This helped prepare me to be open to whatever situations students will face and to be there to support them.” Dr. Carla Nelson, Director of the BEd program, taught Saloni a course on reflective practices, which has been foundational in her teaching. “It’s my third year as a teacher and I still reflect back on this course almost every day when I’m in the classroom.”
Through these formational experiences, Tyndale gave Saloni a new appreciation for learning. “I don’t think I truly enjoyed learning until I went to Tyndale. I have never been an academic, but I loved coming to school; I woke up excited to go to school.”
Saloni found the physical surroundings at Tyndale to be almost as invigorating as the education itself. She found it refreshing to study on the beautiful 56-acre Bayview campus, where the BEd program has been housed since 2008. “The campus was spacious, bright and airy. Being able to step outside for fresh air and peace of mind during breaks or between classes was rejuvenating. As teachers we learn how important the space is where you learn. I think students are going to really benefit from it.”
Saloni has great hope for generations of students who will call the Bayview campus their Tyndale home in the future. “I hope that combined with enjoying the beautiful environment, students would leave being excited about their profession. I hope they leave with a wealth of knowledge and excitement for the future and a love for Tyndale that they continue to hold in their hearts.”