Tyndale University College Welcomes German Exchange Students
As part of a partnership that Tyndale University College has with the Internationale Hochschule Liebenzell (IHL), a group of five German exchange students are studying at Tyndale this semester. Gabriel Beumann, Jorg Wacker, Deborah Matter, Andrea Rabenau, and David Schuelein are third-year students who have travelled to Toronto to experience a different perspective while they study at Tyndale.
Recently, IHL has transitioned from being mainly a ‘Bible College’ type institution to a fully-accredited evangelical university. This has expanded opportunities for students, including the exchange program that brought them to Tyndale. The school is part of Liebenzell Mission International, the third largest evangelical mission organization in Germany with over 250 missionaries serving in 25 different countries across the world.
Jorg, a double major in Theology and Social Work, said the partnership between IHL and Tyndale was natural. “The former leader of Leibenzell Mission Canada, Jakob Koch, studied at Tyndale, and so there was a natural connection for the schools to partner for the exchange program.”
When asked what ‘words’ they would use to describe the Tyndale community, the students referred to the “variety” of denominations, its openness to “multiculturalism” and the “sincerity” of people’s faith.
The courses they are taking at Tyndale span from Theology to Sociology. Theology is a major area of interest for all of them, especially the theology of Martin Luther.
“In Germany, the state Church is a mix between Lutheran and Reformed,” states Jorg. “It’s based on the Reformation. If you study theology in Germany, Luther is a major component.” Many of them grew up learning about Luther in high school religion classes and remember how much he was emphasized as an important historical figure.
Even today, “Luther’s translation of the Bible is the most commonly used translation in German churches,” states David, another double major student. Coming from a culture that is ‘steeped’ in the Lutheran tradition, many of them find Tyndale’s “openness” to multi-denominational dialogue refreshing.
As Tyndale prepares to fully occupy the more ‘visible’ Bayview campus next fall, students recognize the significance of such a move. Max Woodley, a Tyndale student also from Germany although not part of the same exchange program, said that “this proves Christianity and the Church are alive and still have something to say in Canada.”
Tyndale continues to expand its reach to international students and hopes to welcome more exchange students from Germany and across the world in the future.