Last Saturday (April 25, 2009), we celebrated the 68th and final graduation of Taylor University College, Edmonton, Alberta. I also had the privilege of being the Master of Ceremonies at the graduation banquet in the evening. Understandably, the day was bittersweet. It was great to rejoice with those students who completed their programs of study, but it was sad to think that there would be no more graduations for Taylor University College.
I have taught at Taylor University College for twelve years and was deeply involved in the design of the Religion & Theology degree programs. I am also an alumnus of the institution and even met and married my wife of over twenty years during my undergraduate degree (it was called North American Baptist College back then). I have invested a significant part of my personal and professional life at Taylor and will cherish the memories of the excellent colleagues and students I have had over the years.
But life moves on. As of June 30, 2009, Taylor University College will close its doors. After this week, it will for all intents and purposes be closed. Offices are closing, faculty are moving out. As for myself, I am pleased to announce that as of July 1, 2009, I will be Assistant Professor of Theology (Biblical Studies) at The King’s University College here in Edmonton. King’s is a Christian university that offers fully accredited bachelor degrees in the arts and sciences, including a three-year BA in Theology.
King’s worked out a special arrangement with Alberta Advanced Education and Taylor to “hold” Taylor’s four-year Religion & Theology degree for four years. This will allow Taylor’s Religion & Theology students to finish their degrees at King’s. As part of this deal, King’s needed to add a faculty member from Taylor, and I was their choice because of my areas of expertise and program development background. Part of the plan is for King’s to develop their own four-year degree in Theology during the time I am at King’s and that if everything works according to plan, after the four years I will continue at King’s in a tenure track position.
After this week I will be pretty much finished my duties at Taylor. For the month of May I am planning to work primarily at home on my thesis and my paper on LXX Psalm 151 that I am presenting at the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies in Ottawa at the end of May. I have arranged to move in to my office at King’s after the conference (probably June 1).
Suffice it to say that I am relieved and thankful that I don’t have to find a job outside of Edmonton or outside of academia and am very excited about this new lease on my academic life at King’s.