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Enrolment Numbers Up at Providence University College

New courses and majors diversify the University College

New student enrolment at Providence University College in Otterburne is up significantly this fall—good news in a time when faith-based institutions across Canada are struggling to maintain their numbers. New student enrolment is up by 25 percent over last year. Overall, 284 students have registered at Providence—an 11 percent increase.

“It should be noted that the retention rate is also up significantly,” says Interim President David Johnson.
It appears that broadening the spectrum of courses and majors it offers seems to be working to attract students to Providence University College.

This year, for example, the college has added Microbiology and Human Anatomy to its Science Department and resurrected a course in Health and Wellness.

“This came about as impetus from the Athletic Department,” says Dennis Hiebert, Professor of Sociology. “They wanted more in the area of wellness.”

In addition, the University College has added majors in Culture and Christianity and Anthropology, both under the umbrella of Social Sciences with a major in Psychology planned for the future. Also new this year is a Sociology course entitled Children and Violence.

“Introducing new courses and majors is all part of the intention of diversifying as a University College,” says Hiebert.
As students gathered in the chapel to officially open the school year on September 5, there was a definite air of excitement. While new students had already gone through orientation and were settled into the dorms, this was the first chapel of the year to be followed by beginning of regular classes.

For his “President's Address” Johnson chose to explain what is meant by a “Christ-centred university education” offered at Providence.

“We—including staff, faculty and students—are in a circle around Christ, pursuing the will of God,” he said, basing his message on a passage found in Mark 3 where he described the people pressing in to hear Jesus speak as a “theological picture” of what happens when Christ is in the centre of a community.

“All of us commit ourselves to following Him, identifying ourselves with Him,” Johnson explained, noting the curriculum at Providence is also “Christ-centred.”

Johnson pointed out that while it sometimes seems that this is “Satan's world” when one considers all the evil prevalent everywhere, Jesus Christ will ultimately win the battle.

“Jesus came to take the world back—Satan's domination is finished in His presence,” said Johnson, pointing out children of God should be people that “put evil down.”

While the chapel launched the school year, activities on campus already began in late August with sessions to prepare student leaders and a special orientation for international students followed in early September by recreational activities, ice cream socials and a banquet, all with the goal of acquainting students with campus life and allowing them to get to know each other.

“Orientation has gone very well and has been a great start to the new year,” says Marlin Reimer, Director of Student Development. “There a great 'community life' atmosphere on campus and the new students seem excited to be here for the Providence experience.”

Providence University College offers a variety of courses and majors in the liberal arts and professional studies leading to undergraduate degrees. Its mission is to educate people at a university level to think, live and serve as Christians in society and the church.

10 College Crescent
Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
Phone: (204) 433-7488 or (800) 668-7768
Fax: (204) 433-7158
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