Providence University College and Theological Seminary began in Winnipeg in 1925 as Winnipeg Bible Training School, the vision of Rev. H.L. Turner. The name was soon changed to Winnipeg Bible Institute. Over the next 45 years it remained a small but academically vibrant school. It received a provincial charter to grant theological degrees in 1949 and was renamed Winnipeg Bible Institute and College of Theology. In 1963 the college was given full degree-granting status and was again re-named, this time to Winnipeg Bible College, a name it retained until 1991.
In 1970, Winnipeg Bible College faced a financial and enrolment crisis. The building it was occupying in Winnipeg was slated for destruction and the school needed a new home. That new home turned out to be St. Joseph's College, a Roman Catholic high school in Otterburne which had been closed a few years previously. Under the leadership of President Ken Hanna, the college moved there in the fall of 1970 with 70 students enrolled for classes. Within a few years the school had grown to 300 full-time students. In 2010 enrollment stood at 473.
In 1972 a long-time dream became reality with the formation of a graduate division now called Providence Theological Seminary. Since that time, the seminary has become one of Canada's most respected interdenominational seminaries, with full membership in the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
As early as 1931, President Simon Forsberg, stated that “academic excellence and spiritual vitality should go hand in hand.” He envisioned strengthening the school through the addition of liberal arts and this vision continues. In the 1960s, President Elmer Towns pushed Providence to “greater academic excellence while still maintaining a high level of spirituality.” More liberal arts courses were added throughout our history and in 1991, a transferability arrangement was achieved with the University of Manitoba. At present, by far the majority of our University College courses are transferable to public university programs across Canada and beyond. In 2010 the Senate of the University of Manitoba approved Providence College degrees for entrance into post-baccalaureate (M.A. and B.Ed.) programs on par with other universities in Canada.
Under the leadership of President William Eichhorst, in 1992, in an effort to more accurately represent both its theological roots and its broad academic program, the institution's name was changed to Providence College and Theological Seminary. The name is steeped in tradition -- one of its buildings is named Providence House -- and it also speaks of God's provision for the school over its 80+ years of providing the best in Christian education. In June 2011 the Manitoba legislature passed Bill 301, the Providence College and Theological Seminary Incorporation Amendment Act, which adds the term University after Providence. This makes clear what sort of college Providence is. It offers BA degrees according to the standards of other Canadian universities.
In 2009, the Board of Governors of Providence established the Buller Centre for Business. The Buller Centre provides educational and employee resources to the Manitoba business community. In 2011 the Board established the Providence Legacy Fund to provide stable on-going funding for the operation of the Institution.
The buildings of the original St Joseph's College have been supplemented by various student residences, and by the Jubilee Auditorium (gymnasium) (1972), the Loewen Learning Resource Centre (2000), and the Reimer Student Life Centre (2009).
Beginning in 2008, under the leadership of President August Konkel, Providence has made a concerted effort to protect the earth's environment. In that year furnaces were purchased with 90% efficiency. The Reimer Student Life Centre air temperature is controled through geo-thermal heating and cooling. Beginning in 2011, the Hanna Academic Centre, the Loewen Learning Resource Centre, and Eichhorst Hall (women's residence) use circulating water heated with locally available biomass.
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10 College Crescent
Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
Phone: (204) 433-7488 or (800) 668-7768
Fax: (204) 433-7158
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Providence University College & Seminary