Ministry Quest Goes to College

By Megan E. Richard

This spring Ministry Quest headed off to college. The program facilitated weekend retreats for students at Canadian Mennonite University, Bethany Bible College and Tabor College.

Each retreat sought to focus attention on the call to vocational ministry. “We want to create a space for young leaders to be able to take time to explore their calling,” says Ministry Quest Director Cam Priebe. “The Ministry Quest retreats provide an opportunity for people to ask good questions and be intentional about learning more about their purpose and their journey to leadership and ministry as they seek to understand how they can best serve the Kingdom of God.”

Emphasis was given to examining biblical call stories, hearing contemporary call stories and finally starting to shape and articulate one’s own call story; a process that grows as the student discovers language and questions to help process the possibility of ministry as a vocation.

The Canadian Mennonite University retreat was held January 11-13 at Camp Nutimik in Manitoba. Eighteen students attended. The facilitator of the retreat was John Neufeld, Coach for Emerging Leaders for the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Tim Geddert, Professor of New Testament at MB Biblical Seminary; Marilyn Muller, Children’s Ministry Pastor at Forest Grove Community Church and Gerry Ediger, Associate Professor of Christian History at CMU were the resource people.

Bethany College held their retreat at Redberry Bible Camp in Saskatchewan, February 29 – March 2 with twenty student participants. Resource people included: John Neufeld; Marilyn Muller; Sherry Heidebrecht and Dave Carey, Bethany Student Life Staff and Cam Priebe.

Eighteen Tabor College students gathered March 14-16 for their retreat at Morning Star Ranch in Kansas. Resource people included: Lynn Jost, Academic Dean at MB Biblical Seminary; Nadine Friesen, a local ministry representative; Paul Klassen, Pastor at Memorial Road Mennonite Brethren Church; Del Gray and Wendell Loewen, Faculty at Tabor and Cam Priebe.

Unlike Ministry Quest’s high school program which relies mainly on the local church for partnership, college retreats require the participation of numerous partners. Each school nominates and invites students that they believe would benefit most from the weekend retreat experience. Once invited by a faculty or staff member the college/university sends out a letter to the participant’s church inviting the church to support the participant in prayer and with some of the retreat costs. Both the Canadian and the U.S. national Mennonite Brethren conferences have a partnership agreement with Ministry Quest to cover some of the costs for the resource people to attend. In the case of the Canadian conference Ministry Quest works closely with John Neufeld who also assists in facilitating some of the retreats. Finally, MB Biblical Seminary/Ministry Quest facilitates the retreats by providing the program content.

“I believe it’s exciting to see all the different partners coming together -explaining this to the participants sends a powerful message that many people believe in them and are willing to invest in their lives,” says Priebe.

Ministry Quest, a program of MB Biblical Seminary, seeks to “Transform Lives Through the Power of a Call.” Their primary focus is to assist North American Mennonite Brethren Churches in calling out people for Christian leadership opportunities.

Posted: March 26, 2008