Peace River Bible Institute
|Motto||A College for Life|
|Type||private bible college|
|Colours||black and Red|
The Peace River Bible Institute is a degree-granting college recognized by the province of Alberta. PBRI's Bachelor of Religious Education course was recognized after its establishment in the 1980s by the American Association of Bible Colleges. The Bible college is located in Sexsmith, Alberta, Canada.
Mission Statement: "To conduct a Bible College, the training of students in a thorough knowledge of the Word of God, Holy Scriptures, and the training of students to become ministers, whether at home or abroad."
Vision Statement: To train believers to become disciple-makers who know God, model His character, and are able to build into others the life-changing principles of God's Word.
The Peace River Bible Institute (PRBI) was founded in 1933 in Berwyn by Walter McNaughton, a graduate of the Prairie Bible Institute, who moved PRBI to its present location in Sexsmith two years later. PRBI's first director was Hattie Kirk, whose work was celebrated in an exhibition at the Grande Prairie Museum devoted to women's role in the history of the Peace region. The college's student numbers have risen rapidly since 1993, with the number of enrolments rising from 60 to 200 over the 10 years leading up to 2007.
Courses offered by PRBI range between two and four years in length, and cover religious education, church music, pastoral studies and mission work. The college's four-year Bachelor of Religious Education course in "Church Ministry and Community Service" can include fire fighting certification, with training provided through a partnership with the Sexsmith fire department. Some of the students who take these courses become pastors, but others seek employment in other professions.
PRBI is a self described discipleship-focused school. Its website states that "we are in the process of creating a transferable model of disciple-making to be observed and practiced within the student body." As part of their discipleship model PRBI encourages one-on-one discipleship relationships as well as facilitating mandatory discipleship groups called "Care Groups" which are led by various Care Leaders. Care Leaders are selected from upperclassmen who apply and are affirmed by Student Life for the following school year. Resident Leaders are also considered part of the discipleship model, as they oversee the spiritual and material needs of the various dormitories.
A 2004 water balloon fight at PBRI involving 800 participants and 8,000 balloons was recognised by The Guinness Book of World Records as the largest yet conducted. The record was exceeded at Sint-Michielscollege Brasschaat in Belgium in April 2005.
Staff and faculty
The current President of PRBI is Waldie Neufeld, who was promoted from academic dean to become the college's president in 2007. His forerunner was Rod Masterson, who had left the position for ministerial work in Southern Alberta. Before seeking a career in education, Neufeld had worked in agriculture and construction. Neufeld teaches the class Disciple Making, one of PRBI's core classes, and co-teaches Family Studies with his wife Sharon.
- Brad Cowie – Chairman of Christian Ministries Department
- Kim Cairns – Vice President, Chairman of Global Ministries Department.
- Jason Gayoway – Chairman of Pastoral Department.
- John Bell – Chairman of Music Department.
- Darryl Schmidt – Dean of Students.
- Shane Dell – Dean of Men.
- Shelley Martindale – Dean of Women.
Historical list of staff and faculty
|Year||President||Vice President||Chair of Christian Ministries||Chair of Global Ministries||Chair of Pastoral||Chair of Music||Dean of Students||Dean of Men||Dean of Women||Assistant Dean of Men||Assistant Dean of Women|
|2005–2006||Rod Masterson||?||?||Darrell Gerber||Warren Charlton||John Bell||Darrel Schmidt||Dean Yurkewich||Debbie Higgs||Ryan Campbell||Brandi Hall|
|2006–2007||Waldie Neufeld (Interim)||?||?||Darrell Gerber||Warren Charlton||John Bell||Darrel Schmidt||Dean Yurkewich||Judy Sandiford||Ryan Campbell||Brandi Hall|
|2007–2008||Waldie Neufeld||Darrell Gerber||Darrell Gerber||Darrell Gerber||Warren Charlton||John Bell||Darrel Schmidt||Mark Weiderick||Judy Sandiford||Samuel Minatara & Simon Ghali||Brandi Hall|
|2008–2009||Waldie Neufeld||Darrell Gerber||?||Darrell Gerber||Warren Charlton||John Bell||Darrel Schmidt||Mark Weiderick||Sharon Gerber||Samuel Minatara||Brandi Hall|
|2009–2010||Waldie Neufeld||Darrell Gerber||?||Darrell Gerber||Warren Charlton||John Bell||Darrel Schmidt||Mark Weiderick||Sharon Gerber||N/A||Autmn Teele|
|2010–2011||Waldie Neufeld||Darrell Gerber||Brad Cowie||Darrell Gerber||Warren Charlton||John Bell||Darrel Schmidt||Mark Weiderick||Sharon Gerber||N/A||Autumn Teele|
|2011–2012||Waldie Neufeld||Kim Cairns||Brad Cowie||Kim Cairns||Warren Charlton||John Bell||Darrel Schmidt||Shane Dell||Sharon Gerber||N/A||Autumn Teele|
|2012–2013||Waldie Neufeld||Kim Cairns||Brad Cowie||Kim Cairns||Warren Charlton||John Bell||Darrel Schmidt||Shane Dell||Sharon Gerber||N/A||Kendra Ford|
Notes and references
- Derek Logan (March 16, 2007). "New title for a familiar face; PRBI promotes academic dean to president's chair". The Daily Herald-Tribune (Grande Prairie, Alberta).
- Ronald Wesley Neufeldt (1983). Religious Studies in Alberta: A State-Of-The-Art Review. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0-919812-18-X.
- Mary Nutting (February 2, 2007). "Obstacles and opportunities". The Daily Herald-Tribune (Grande Prairie, Alberta).
- Natasha Botha (March 14, 2004). "PRBI growth spurt continues with a record graduation class this year". The Daily Herald-Tribune (Grande Prairie, Alberta).
- "Faithfully fighting fires: a prairie Bible college trains dual-purpose pastors". Western Report. March 13, 1995. p. 30.
- Graham Rockingham (June 17, 2005). "Festival of Friends getting wet". The Hamilton Spectator. p. A01.
- Rob Faulkner (July 27, 2005). "Balloon fight boasts are ... ballooning". The Hamilton Spectator. p. A03.
- PRBI Yearbooks 2005-11