Covenant Bible College Closes

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
"After 66 years of rich and creative ministry Covenant Bible College will discontinue its program in any form and on all campuses effective May 31st, 2007. While the college worked hard to respond to declining enrollment over the past couple of years, due to mounting operating debt, an insufficient number of student applications and donations, it became clear it would not be possible to continue the ministry beyond the current class. This was a very difficult decision to make, and arrived at only after much prayer and dialogue."

More here.

Letter from Acting President Paul Lessard

The CBC Message Board

This is where my head and heart have been this week.

I'll be heading to Strathmore early Monday morning.


  1. Wow. I am definitely in shock. There's not a lot I can say or suggest that I am sure hasn't already been said in the decision making process.

  2. I too, am very very sorry to hear of the closing of the Covenant Bible College. I was an alumni when they called it the Covenant Biblw School. Shocked and deeply sorry.

  3. Wow! I'm sure we can relate to the pain the Strathmore Church will go through. Hope they know people will be praying for them as they did for us. My kids will miss the events held there every year. Good memories for all. You are a good person to have down there next week. I trust that God will be there also.

  4. There is a time and a season for everything under heaven. We'll be in prayer as we all deeply grieve.

  5. I kinda feel like i have lost an old friend that I never got to say a proper goodbye. CBC was always such a part of my growing up years and I always treasured the year I spent there. I didn't like it when it changed and moved on without me and I don't like it now knowing that it won't be anywhere at all anymore.

  6. The spirit of Covenant Bible College will live on, if not in the same format as it has been. While the institution as it has been has proven financially unfeasable, the concept of discipleship is no less important. Probably more so now than ever before.

    I believe it will be reborn, though whatever form it takes might first seem unrecognizable to those of us who've experienced its history. Its Spirit will continue.

  7. An end to an era! I find it hard to see an institution close. We tend to think the dreams of visionaries who started the school must be squashed by this decision. I wonder if it may not be the other way around. Perhaps the vision needed a new channel. The old channel can still carry the heritage (my archives background coming out here!), but if anything it should be the signpost pointing to a new channel!

    So, Randall, where to next in education and ministry preparation that is not 3 or 4 years in length, and thousands of dollars in cost? Fly in weekends with internet curriculum? Community courses and exercises taught and mentored through multi-denominational personnel?

    Even as I write this I think maybe I'm a little too status quo! What do you think is coming?

  8. Sad news. God has used Covenant Bible College to mature and strengthen young men and women in their faith, and the closure will leave a void.

    Besides the concern over how our young adults will be discipled, a concern of mine is that the Canada Conference might lose some of its unity, since CBC has been a glue that held us together.

  9. As a current student of CBC, it is a shock that it is closing down. You don't realize how much you will miss something until it's gone. The legacy of CBC will no doubt live on, but this will have a huge impact on the city of Strathmore. Will the Canada Evangelical Covenant Church rebound from this. One can only wonder. In times like these we have to be a united front and stick together not divide and go our separate ways.

    CBC will be missed and it's unfortunate that people who were planning on coming to CBC will never get that chance. There still will be Extreme Impact, but there will not be the small group tour. I don't know if Junior Hi Jam will still take place. I know that the choir and the small group are coming to Prince Albert for the conference. I will hopefully get a chance to talk with Randall about all of this.

    It will take sometime to process all of this.

  10. Where does it go from here? Very good question.
    Like I told someone else;

    The Covenant Bible College has been a big part of our conference history for 66 years. It's partly been the glue that connects us.
    Our kids grew up all across this huge country, and their friendships made at different CBC youth events served to connect them. Then they would attend CBC together and be formed as disciples of Christ in community. Those connections would last a lifetime so that even if their home towns were 3000 kms apart they had that shared experience which tied them together.

    One of the big identity questions we will be walking through as a Canadian Conference is who and what are we without the CBC. This questioning and searching will create new opportunities for God to do new things among us. Because of those renewed opportunities, these will be exciting days.

    In the mean time, for us personally, where do our kids go for a year of focused discipleship? How will they make those connections with other Covenant kids their age?
    How is God at work to raise up the next generation of Covenant leaders here in Canada?

    But maybe even those questions are for another day. Today it just hurts, and we grieve the loss.

    Still, God is good. Thanks be to God.

  11. So sorry to hear the sad news. CBC has served so many dedicated young people over the years.

    I wonder if a midwest location would attract more students. The campus of the Covenant Children's Home in Princeton, IL has 16 acres of grounds, a Chapel and is within 2 hours drive of North Park and Wheaton. I believe the Children's Home Board of Directors would welcome the chance to provide a new home for CBC. We have several retired professors from Wheaton and North Park already in town. Location is on route 80 and Princeton is an Amtrack station stop.

    This idea was "floated" three years ago to the Board of CBC, but evidently the timing was not right. Is now the time to revisit the idea?

  12. The experience of CBC was not one that could be found through online or correspondence type classes. It was effective because the students learn though the interchange between themselves and others. They were required to live their choices about faith not just study alternatives from a distance. They were constantly challenged to process their spirital choices and know why they believe what they believe, not just fed the lines of what is right and wrong. The interpersonal living faith was essential to the experience.

    I'm sure though that God has a plan. What it is I do not know.

  13. I have this vision - houses with resident mentors in some of our major centres. Kids spending a year or more there while going to university/post secondary school. Deliberate mentorship going on as part of the deal. Young people learning to put their faith into practice while having peers to grow with and look out for. Maybe some teachers travelling between houses in different cities bringing seminars to these locations.

    Well, I guess we will just have to see what God has in the plans.


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