The graduation ceremony at Providence University College and Theological Seminary took place at the Otterburne Campus Saturday afternoon.
Niklaas Schalm, Registrar and chair of the graduation committee says there were 94 students graduating, though not all of them are degree students, some are earning certificates.
He notes, though most of them are Canadian, “we do have 18 students who are international.”
Schalm notes that in terms of this year's graduating class at the undergraduate level, the largest program was business, "and at the graduate level, the largest program was our counseling program."
"I would say counseling has always been a very popular and strong program. So I'm not surprised that that's the largest one there. As for undergraduates, I mean honestly, it's a little neck and neck, our Social Sciences are also very large. I guess, if I add them all together, psychology, sociology, and social science, then they actually outnumber business. But the undergraduate courses are a bit more of an even spread with a lot of close runners up."
Schalm notes most of the classes this year were in-person and on campus.
He tells us about their newest on-campus Seminar program.
"So this past year at Prov, we did soft launch a chaplaincy program in our seminary this year, which was very exciting. We've already got a few students progressing in that we're looking to. Kick that off a little more. I believe this upcoming year."
Schalm characterizes this past year at Prov as exciting because of an increase in enrollment.
"We’ve seen a fairly significant increase in enrollment, which we're anticipating to continue next year. As well. So that's always very exciting to see. And for challenges, I would say trying to find our way of the pandemic. So that was challenging."
Another challenge Schalm notes is the incident at the Winnipeg Prov Campus at the beginning of March, where several students were injured in an off-campus incident.
"You know the courses have continued. The students have shown incredible resilience and honestly a great coming together of community there, which has been amazing to see. The whole Prov community, I mean all of us, even those who don't go to Winnipeg regularly, I think that was heartbreaking for us to see and it's been at the same time encouraging to see just how much we embraced those students."
Schalm notes Prov celebrated their grads with a Student Achievement Dinner where they recognized scholarship award winners and certificate graduates. He shares his address to the students at the event.
"It's very obvious most years, but I really noticed it this year; that our students recognized the good in each other and as much as we were formally giving them awards, it was pretty obvious that our students already saw the good qualities in one another and had created a strong community between them just based on service and you know, seeking good community with each other. So that's always just very encouraging to see and I wish that they would continue to serve and show good character as they continued forward after graduation."
The 2023 Providence University College and Theological Seminary graduation event took place on Saturday, April 22 in the Prov gymnasium on the Otterburne campus.
The afternoon included remarks by President Dr. Kenton Anderson, the graduation address with the Honourable Kelvin Goertzen, and presentations of awards and degrees for both University College and Seminary students.