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Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary accredited, enrollment tops 100

COCHRANE, Alberta, Canada (BP)–The Association of Theological Schools has granted full accreditation to the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary.

“This is a great day for the seminary,” President Richard Blackaby said. “It signifies that our fellow seminaries across North America have recognized that the education we offer is at a high standard of excellence.”

ATS is the accrediting body of 200-plus graduate-level theological schools across Canada and the United States, including the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries in the United States. The accrediting process involves an extensive self-study by the candidate institution followed by an on-site evaluation by an ATS review committee. Based on the committee’s findings, ATS’ Commission on Accrediting may either grant approval for degree programs for a period of three to five years or deny the request.

Bill Falkner, academic dean of the Canadian seminary, said, “It is rare for an institution to be granted full accreditation for the maximum period of time. Yet by God’s grace we were granted approval for the full five years without any notations.” ATS may list a notation if there is some institutional deficiency found by the commission. ATS’ notification of full accreditation was received by the seminary in February.

The Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary was begun with the help of the SBC International Mission Board in 1987 and is the only seminary of the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists. The seminary is located 15 miles west of Calgary overlooking the town of Cochrane and the Rocky Mountains.

Enrollment at the seminary broke the 100 mark for the first time last fall, a 55 percent increase over the previous year.

Approximately 150 churches are affiliated with the Canadian convention. Last year the convention launched a vision to plant 1,000 churches across Canada by the year 2020.

“Our greatest need to reach 1,000 churches is leadership,” said Gerry Taillon, national ministry leader of the Canadian convention. “Our seminary is strategic in helping us reach that goal by training ministers to be effective church planters and pastors.”

Blackaby noted, “The most significant aspect of the ATS report was it highlighted the fact that the seminary’s greatest strength is it is so committed to our denomination’s mission.”

Despite the school’s small size and relatively young age, the seminary has begun training by correspondence and extension courses in Vancouver and Ottawa.

The seminary can be contacted at 1-877-922-2727 or, via the Internet, at www.csbs.edu.

“The recent full accreditation by ATS is astounding and, of course, God-endorsing for this seminary,” commented Canada native Henry Blackaby, author of the “Experiencing God” discipleship course. “This seminary is the only one I know in Canada committed to train church planters,” Blackaby said.
Bond is vice president for institutional advancement for the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary. (BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: LEADERS FOR CANADA and RICHARD BLACKABY.

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  • Randy Bond