For immediate release
~ Abbotsford, BC ~
Seeking to highlight their commitment to education that unites theological study with active engagement, Columbia Bible College has made the decision to modify the name of its four-year degrees from “Bachelor of Arts” to the “Bachelor of Arts in Practical Theology.” Taking effect July 1 of 2018, the change will apply to students newly enrolled within Columbia’s longstanding Counselling, Intercultural Studies, Worship Arts, and Youth Work degree programs. A student graduating from the Youth Work program, for example, will now earn a “Bachelor of Arts in Practical Theology, Major in Youth Work.”
A catalyst for the decision was a request from BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education made late in 2017, asking Columbia Bible College to clearly align the names of its degrees with their faith-centered content. College stakeholders, including Columbia’s President, Academic Dean, Board of Directors, and faculty, readily agreed to the Ministry’s request and collaborated in choosing a phrase that would reflect Columbia’s unique mission and position within BC’s educational landscape.
“Columbia’s degree programs have always been closely tied to the College’s mission to equip young adults for lives of discipleship, ministry, and leadership in service to the church and community,” explains Dr. Gil Dueck, Columbia’s Academic Dean. “Their focus and content will remain identical moving forward. What is changing with this name adjustment is the level of clarity around the distinct education our students receive.”
With a view to communicating Columbia’s distinctive approach, Columbia’s leaders chose the name Bachelor of Arts in Practical Theology out of appreciation for the ways it unites belief with meaningful action and captures the College’s passion for integrating the Christian faith with a range of academic subjects and personal vocations.
“’Practical theology’ is a degree description that excites us,” comments Columbia’s President, Dr. Bryan Born. This term is a signpost that indicates our commitment to the practical needs of our churches and communities as well as to integrative and innovative programming that addresses the complexity of 21st-century Christian life and ministry. We believe this is precisely the niche that Columbia is well-positioned to fill.”
Plans for adjusting College promotional and academic materials to reflect the new degree names are underway and will continue through August 2018. Current and prospective students with questions about how they may be affected can consult www.columbiabc.edu/BA2018 and are welcome to contact their program director with any questions or concerns.
Columbia Bible College is dedicated to equipping people for a life of discipleship, ministry and leadership in service to the church and community. Founded in 1936, Columbia currently serves over 420 students enrolled in thirteen certificate, diploma, and degree programs.
Dr. Gil Dueck, PhD