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Transitions

6th June 2013

As many of you know, my position at The King’s University College is coming to a close at the end of the month. The deal brokered between (the now defunct) Taylor University College, The King’s University College, and Alberta Advanced Education for King’s to “hold” Taylor’s four-year B.A. for four years to ensure students have the opportunity to finish their program of studies. As part of that deal, I was hired by King’s to bring them up to the three required faculty members in theology. The plan was for King’s to develop their own four-year degree and my position would have potentially turned into a tenure track position, but, as you know, the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry. For a variety of reasons, no four-year program was developed and thus as of June 30 2013, there is no need for a third theology professor. So, I knew pretty much since early September I was facing a transition at the end of the academic year — a transition to what was unknown, but a transition nonetheless.

My family and I had also decided that moving away from Edmonton wasn’t an option for us. That meant my transition would more than likely be outside academia. Over the course of the year I considered positions in academic administration, management in not-for-profit organizations, business, as well as the pastoral ministry. But it was to this last option that I kept coming back. When I first became a Christian and embarked on my journey with biblical and theological studies it was to become a pastor. After some pastoral work, I entered the academy and taught biblical and theological studies for over sixteen years. But throughout my academic career always I sought to bridge the gap between the academy and the church and intentionally maintained significant involvement in the local church. I preached and taught regularly, organized and presented public lectures, led Bible studies, and wrote both academic and popular material (particularly in this blog). Over the last number of years, I have also had a growing conviction that the separation between the church and academy, between pastor and professor, as well as the increasing specialization in academia has not served God’s kingdom well. It was with this conviction and sense of calling that I entered into a conversation with a local church to discern the possibility of serving as their lead pastor. Through the application process and multiple meetings and interviews it became increasingly clear that it was a good fit for both the congregation and myself. This last Sunday the congregation voted overwhelmingly (99%) in favour of extending me a call, and I accepted. All this is to say that effective July 1, 2013, I will be serving as the lead pastor of Greenfield Baptist Church in Edmonton, AB.

I find the possibility of using my gifts and abilities within the church in the longstanding tradition of the great pastor-theologians of the early church an exciting prospect.

-Tyler

7 Responses to “Transitions”

  1. Bob Derrenbacker Says:

    Tyler – congrats on this new opportunity in ministry! If we lived in Edmonton, I might even consider becoming a Baptist!

  2. Kevin Quast Says:

    Tyler,
    I’m glad to read that you have found a place to continue your ministry. The shrinking world of academia, particularly of the Christian variety, is worse off, but the church world benefits. I pray that you will be used by God and blessed in this new context.

  3. Neil MacLean Says:

    Tyler, King’s loss is Greenfield’s gain. Blessings Coach!

  4. Keith Johnson Says:

    And one really cool aspect is that you live SO close to Greenfield, you could just ride your bike to work every day!
    Congratulations!

  5. Karin Lefsrud Says:

    Congratulations Tyler!

  6. Matt Barker Says:

    Congratulations Tyler! I have learned so many things from you over the years, and have been so blessed by your teaching, I may just have to wander on over to Greenfield once and a while! And I must add, your attitude in the face of this transition has been one that I greatly admire. Your personal blend of practicality, humility, excitement and desire to follow “God’s Will” is something I will strive to emulate. (I still have that book by the way…)

    All the best!

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