Calling Q & A: BC Paramedic

Nathan Friesen graduated with a Diploma in Outdoor Leadership (2014) and went on to become a paramedic with BC’s Ambulance Service. We asked him about his journey and for advice on following a similar career path.

What initially drew you into Columbia’s Outdoor Leadership program?

I knew that after I graduated, I wanted to do at least a year of bible collage.  I was immediately drawn to CBC, as it was close to home, and the Outdoor Leadership program stood out as a program that seemed to be right for me.  It didn’t take me long to decide on the OL program, and work for 2 years after school to pay for my time at CBC. I didn’t go to really any other college or university sites – the decision to go to CBC just felt right – and I never doubted it for a second. I didn’t go into the program with the intention of being an outdoor guide, but I knew it would be fun and challenge me. The elements that drew me in were the tight-knit group of students that you are part of with OL doing outdoor trips, learning about backcountry travel and wilderness first aid, and furthering a passion for enjoying the outdoors. I would say that it has affected my life more than I have expected by influencing the things I have an interest in and the people whom I spend time with.

What were some of the highlights of the OL program for you?  What are some of the most valuable skills you developed here? …Continue reading

Columbia Announces New Academic Dean

Columbia Bible College is extremely pleased to announce that Gil Dueck (Ph.D candidate, Vrije Universiteit [Amsterdam, NL]) has accepted our invitation to assume the role of Academic Dean beginning August 1, 2017. Gil has considerable experience in a Bible College setting having served as an Associate Dean of Students, Instructor in Theology and Academic Dean at Bethany College in Hepburn, Saskatchewan (2003-15). He has a deep desire to see young adults grow and develop as Christ-followers as evidenced by his Ph.D dissertation topic, ‘emerging adult faith development’.

Gil sums up his call to serve in a Bible College setting as follows: …Continue reading

Do Course Evals Really Matter?

Does anyone actually pay attention to course evaluations? Ashley Funk, Sr Admissions Advisor, says ‘Yes.’ And like any excellent writer, she backs up what she says with great examples. (In this case, actual quotes from our instructors!)

If you’ve been at Columbia for a year or more, you know that with the end of the semester comes course evaluation season. I’ve worked with course evaluations in several capacities. Back when I was a student, I completed many course evaluations (they used to be done using bubble sheets and were much longer, so you are lucky they’ve streamlined the process since my student days!). …Continue reading

New Budget-Friendly On-Campus Accommodations for Fall 2017

Starting September 2017, students at Columbia Bible College will have a new option for affordable, on-campus housing. Twenty small tent platforms will be built along the edges of the sports field, with each platform renting at a rate of $300 per semester.

“We’re delighted to offer students this new budget-friendly option for accommodations,” says Columbia Bible College President Bryan Born. “It’s an innovative solution that addresses two realities – the fact that our residences are nearly at capacity, and rising rental costs in Abbotsford.”

…Continue reading

Caregiving & Counselling Program Receives New Title

Columbia Bible College is pleased to announce that two of our closely-related programs are receiving new titles. Starting in September 2017, the Diploma in Caregiving will be known as the Diploma in Human Services, and the BA in Caregiving & Counselling will be rechristened the BA in Counselling & Human Services.

We asked Darrin Derksen, Program Director for Counselling & Human Services, to unpack these changes for the College and the community.

Explain what’s happening to the BA in Caregiving & Counselling and the Diploma in Caregiving.

I am very excited to announce that we are “re-branding” the Caregiving and Counselling program. It is important to be sure that the title of a program reflects the goals of the program, and is also recognizable in the marketplace.  Our program has evolved significantly from when it was originally created, so I want to ensure students’ diploma/degree best represents their field of study. In researching other programs in colleges and universities across Canada and the US, none use the term “caregiving.”

Our program emphasizes both the theory of counselling, as well as the heart of Christian service. Therefore, the diploma program will be titled as a Diploma in Human Services, and the degree will be titled a BA in Counselling and Human Services. We surveyed students to get some feedback on a new program title, and they overwhelmingly concurred. I should also note, that the title change does not change the courses already in place, but the diploma/degree titles represent a better description of what we are offering to today’s marketplace. …Continue reading

Five Reasons to Love Service Practicum

If you’re like the vast majority of Columbia students, you’ll be completing at least two (possibly four!)  semesters of “service prac” during your time here. You probably have questions! And you may be feeling like service practicum is going to be one more thing in your packed college schedule.

Service Practicum is like UMD weekend, or the Annual Campus-Wide Paint War, or Ken Esau’s OT Survey final. It’s a Columbia rite of passage. It may feel a little overwhelming in the moment, but when you come out the other side, you’ll know it was worth it.

So why is Service Practicum valuable? Here are five reasons to love and embrace “Service Prac.”

Service Practicum gets you out of the classroom.

…Continue reading

When God Calls You to Climb Mountains (Literally)

Bryn Mitchell is a second-year Outdoor Leadership student with a love for God, a thirst for adventure, and a heart for people. (He’s actively figuring out how those three things fit together.)  In December of 2016, Bryn and four friends (including fellow OL student Sam Rooney) embarked on a trip to climb South America’s tallest peak, Aconcagua. What follows is an epic post worthy of an epic journey – a travelogue and a spiritual chronicle rolled into one – in Bryn’s own words. 

I have always admired those who have been willing to put themselves out on the line. Put themselves in uncomfortable positions, where even they do not fully know where they are going or why they are there. Yet seem to have the guts to persevere and come out the other side able to articulate and tell the story of their experience. This characteristic is something I am trying to teach myself, to not just journey forth but also learn from an experience and find a way to teach others about the experience.


This brings me to summer of 2015, one of the worst summers of my life. I was working at a factory that I did not particularly enjoy. I found myself dreaming of the seven summits of the world. What a great adventure that would be!

…Continue reading

Worldwide Internship Adventures: Ups, Downs, & Big Lessons

Third-year Intercultural Studies students at Columbia have the amazing opportunity to spend eight months on a cross-cultural internship in a country of their choice. Oh the places they go! As far away as Cambodia and as close as Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. They come back with incredible stories and first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to immerse yourself in a new culture in a kingdom-focused way. Here are some of their reflections…

What’s one high point of your internship experience?

I’ll never forget the beauty of a room full of people from different cultures sharing a meal, laughing and open to learning from each other, and the freedom we had to pray together, even though we all have a different picture of God and are continually learning more about Him. ~Yolanda

…Continue reading

CityLife: The Story of Abbotsford’s Newest Church

There’s nothing surprising about seeing a pastor in a coffee shop. Unless it’s Jon Wiebe, lead pastor of Abbotsford’s newly-launched CityLife Church. You won’t necessarily spot him with his laptop, working on his next sermon. Don’t expect to chat with him about life and faith over Americanos. Instead, Jon may well greet you with a smile and a friendly “Hi!” while he whips up your grande half-fat latte, extra-hot.

Pastor Jon Wiebe is a Starbucks barista. Two days a week, he dons the green apron and everything that comes with it: long line-ups, tricky drink orders, grumpy customers, and taking out the trash. He’ll be the first to tell you it’s been quite an adjustment.

…Continue reading