It’s Worth Giving Your Life To
Recently I was reading through some archival material about what took place in previous decades. Tyndale really has not changed. To be sure, it has the shape of the 21st century to it, but the emphasis is the same: challenging young minds in undergraduate university programs to think and to feel passionately about their faith, and stimulating seminary students to reflect deeply about their call and vocation while at the same time giving them the tools to work that call out.
It shines in the faces of parents and first-year students when they arrive on campus for the first day of fall orientation. They are greeted with warmth and expectations by Student Development, staff, student workers, faculty and Student Council representatives. Tentative at first, they warm up to the fact that this is a good place to be and a safe environment in which to learn and grow. Slowly they develop in confidence and the life of the campus comes alive.
I love to watch the Bachelor of Education students come in July as they start the 12-month teacher candidate program. These diverse students come after having completed a baccalaureate degree, often somewhere other than Tyndale. Some do not know what to expect from a Christian university, while others have been out of school for several years and have made the courageous choice to come back to study. Somewhere in those first days of coming together they “get it.” This is a different place. This is a unique environment from which to learn and be formed.
We have prayed long and hard for the coming days when we will move to Bayview, but the campus is not the promised land. Buildings and land are only a shell that contains what is the substance and mission of an institution. They are a means to an end and, in fact, can enhance what is real. For Tyndale, the Bayview campus brings us full circle. Its buildings affirm what we already know: We are a unique Christian university in the middle of one of the most diverse cities in the world. We are a seminary, uniquely Canadian in its commitment to impact a new generation of leaders. The move to the new campus is only the beginning of what God has in store for us.
Together, we are Tyndale. Our alumni, supporters, students, staff and faculty contribute to making this place uniquely poised to face the world ahead of us. We have been given the amazing task of shaping the lives of students who will become people who shape the world of the future. Then again, hasn’t that always been Tyndale’s task? When I think of that, I smile, because I remember the words of our Dean of the Seminary who often says in our executive team strategy meetings: "That’s worth giving your life to!"