"Everything Old is New Again!"
In the Anniversary Special of this edition, I mention that we “stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.” I must confess to a deeper appreciation of what that really means through my travels around Canada and the world meeting with Tyndale alumni. It is incredible to realize that Tyndale graduates are everywhere doing an amazingly diverse number of things.
You will hear of the kind of vocations that graduates from years gone by have entered. You will hear stories of impact and faithfulness. You may be surprised to learn that the idea of transforming the Bible college into an undergraduate university finds its roots in the 1960s at the London College of Bible and Missions. Later, the dream to develop a graduate theological seminary that took the church and its mission seriously both in Canada and around the world, bore fruit. No one could have anticipated what has since taken place.
Tyndale Seminary has become the largest graduate school of theology in Canada. Its over 700 students are a mix of global cultures, and their vision and passion for faithful witness is unbelievable. The Seminary’s reach through its diploma programs and online education extends its impact around the world. Did you know that students are enrolled in an online Tyndale course from over nine Canadian provinces, the United States and 26 other countries? Our multicultural nature was illustrated in a recent class I taught, where 16 of the 20 students traced their birthplaces to somewhere other than Canada.
Not all of those students are going into pastoral ministry. Some are venturing out into roles in spiritual formation, international development and counselling. Others are simply returning to their professions of law or business, with the express desire to learn to navigate faithfully in those places to which they believe God has called them. Students study for a variety of reasons at Tyndale Seminary. The student body’s ethnic and denominational diversity makes it a fascinating place to be. You can feel this in the Seminary Lounge on a daily and nightly basis.
I have come to realize that it is all in our institutional DNA. I have observed young undergraduate students interact with graduates from LCBM and OBC at alumni events. The animated and intensely faithful conversations across generational boundaries are a marvel to behold. One graduate from LCBM from the 1950s said to me after “Everything Old is New Again!” one such conversation, “They have the same kind of passion that I had when I was a student.”
We are having a big Homecoming this fall as part of our 120th anniversary celebration. It is a chance to visit the Ballyconnor campus for the last time and to introduce yourself to the new Bayview campus and its possibilities. What I think you will discover, however, is that it will be an opportunity to see that “everything old is new again.”
Come discover that whatever fuelled and shaped previous generations of students at Tyndale still fuels and shapes students today. The same faith brings students here. The same passionate desire to make a difference in the world motivates them. You will recognize it. It is the passionate desire to be what Jesus called “the salt and light in the world” and the will to carry it through.