Tyndale Celebrates International Development Week

Thursday, February 13, 2014

"Poverty eradication. Is it a hopeless dream?" This daunting question was posed by keynote speaker Linda Tripp at Tyndale’s February 4th celebration of International Development Week (IDW).

As an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development, the 24th annual IDW took place from February 2-8. This year’s theme was “We are Making a Difference.”

Linda is an accomplished leader in the field of international development. Among many accomplishments, she spent 31 years with World Vision Canada serving in a variety of capacities, including VP International Programs, VP Advocacy, and VP Public Affairs. Since 2007, Linda has served as Vice Chair on Tyndale’s Board of Governors.

Linda’s address challenged the audience to see poverty for what it is. “Poverty is not a natural phenomenon like an earthquake or tsunami. Rather, poverty is caused by systemic injustice in the world.”

Although she admits it isn’t likely that poverty will ever be eradicated, Linda said that this should never stop us from addressing the injustices that create and perpetuate poverty. “God calls His people into the hard, dangerous and lonely places of the world to be light and salt; to overcome the darkness.” In other words, God calls His people to make a difference in the world.

One way this ‘difference’ is taking place is through Tyndale University College’s International Development Program (IDVP) – a program Linda said she is “grateful” for.

Tyndale’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Business Administration-International Development is the only program in “North America and Western Europe of English speaking institutions that have international development housed in a Business Administration program,” says Dr. Leah McMillan, Assistant Professor of International Development. Not only does this equip students with the theoretical knowledge needed for the field, but also with the practical business skills to manage organizations. “This really does make our students stronger graduates and more fully prepared for the workplace.”

Another unique aspect of the program are the opportunities students have to do a four month internship in countries around the world, such as Senegal, Lebanon, and Rwanda, for instance.

As an undergraduate Christian university, faith plays a strong role in the preparation of Tyndale’s students. Dr. McMillan’s dream is that “Tyndale students will graduate with a robust understanding of development and be able to securely live out their faith wherever they go.” 

Having been prepared in this way, students will be able to make a difference in the world. “Tyndale graduates won’t likely eradicate poverty,” said Linda.  “But they will bring light, hope and change to small corners of our upside down world.”


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