SBC Celebrates Graduates of 2021
This article was originally published in the EMMC Recorder, Vol 58, no 4
Steinbach Bible College celebrated the graduating class of 2021 with a livestreamed celebration over April 23 and 24. A total of 38 graduates were recognized with seven Certificate of Biblical Studies, nine Associate of Arts, and 22 Bachelor of Arts degrees.
With the third wave of COVID-19 looming in Manitoba ahead of the official graduation date, Provincial restrictions in place and more likely coming down the pipe, the task was set to celebrate SBC’s graduates while also maintaining safety and adhering to the Provincial Health guidelines.
After many altered plans and sacrifices of “tradition” with no spring concert, banquet, or friends and family-filled seats, a much scaled-back celebration took place privately among students and staff. Each awards chapel, celebration chapel, and conferring of degrees (with three allowed guests per graduate to witness the conferring) was live-streamed for supporting family and friends from across the campus, province, country, and globe to “attend” safely. Each chapel was held twice with half of the graduates being recognized each time to keep numbers within provincial guidelines.
“Graduation serves as a time to reflect on the growth and maturing of our students. What greater satisfaction can I have than to see students grow in their relationship with Jesus, be eager to serve the church, and have a passion to engage the world,” reflects SBC President Rob Reimer.
Studying in the midst of a pandemic has presented itself with numerous difficulties that our students adapted to with admirable grace. Students adjusted from being able to be out “in the world” making a difference, to learning how they can make a difference from where they are. Service and ministry were re-imaged in various ways and the sentiment of the lessons this taught them was evident in the conversations between students and their faculty advisors.
“We are graduating from a college that has fostered and developed our love for the Word, and the Lord, and for His people,” said 2021 class valedictorian, Andrew Reimer, BA Christian Studies, who addressed his fellow grads and online viewers during Saturday’s Celebration Chapel.
He continued, “Wherever our separate paths lead, as we scatter from here, I want to encourage us to follow through on these things; to commit to using what we have learned to follow Christ in tangible actions. Choose Him and live like it.”
The commencement address was given by Trudy Dueck, a 1980 BA graduate of SBC. Dueck, who served on the SBC Board for 6 years (4 of which were as Chairperson) and was part of the hiring team of current SBC President, Rob Reimer, encouraged the graduates to “occupy” the land the Lord has given them. “I challenge you, be a faithful presence in your neighbourhoods, wherever you are,” Dueck said. She continued, “Do business there, live incarnational lives. Look for ways to do justice and love mercy. Occupy that neighbourhood and spread the love of the Kingdom of God. As you wait, occupy until He comes.”
President Reimer concluded, “I wait with anticipation, to hear of your journey beyond SBC and a life of continued service, for the sake of the Kingdom.”