BC CACSD Regional Meeting Report

On May 8th, representatives from Pacific Life Bible College, Trinity Western University, and Summit Pacific Bible College assembled at Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford for an opportunity to network and share a meal. The last formal CACSD BC Regional meeting had occurred 13 years ago!  After introductions, representatives shared both their joys and challenges of the academic year. We also explored opportunities to gather during the academic year, along with our student leaders, for further networking and training.  No plans were made other than a commitment to have a similar meeting of representatives in May of 2020. Overall there was a strong sense of collegiality and an appreciation for the ministry of each institution. In addition, a mutual level of trust was established, knowing we will be able to call each other throughout the year if needing advice or encouragement.  Kathleen Doll did an excellent job in providing an overview of the benefits of CACSD membership and encouraged the representatives to attend the annual conference.

Respectfully submitted,
Stan Bahnman


2019 PLENARY SPEAKER BIO – Cathryn M. Heslep (B.A., M.A., Ed.D. (candidate)

Cathryn M. Heslep – Ombudsperson – MacEwan University – Edmonton

Cathryn M. Heslep (B.A., M.A., Ed.D. (candidate) is currently the Student Ombudsperson at MacEwan University. She retired from the position of the Vice President, Student Services in April 2015, a position she held since 2002. In that position, Cathryn provided overall leadership and strategic direction for a team of Student Services professionals who delivered a range of services and activities for students from prospective/inquiring to alumni. Included within the Student Services portfolio was the Office of the University Registrar, Student Life, MacEwan Athletics, Student Residence, Alumni Relations and Services, MacEwan Centre for Sport and Wellness, on campus medical clinic, and administrative liaison with the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU).

Cathryn has worked in higher education at several postsecondary institutions totalling over thirty years. She was appointed Registrar at MacEwan (then Community College) in 1989, and Vice-President in 2002. Her research interests include the impact of multiple generations in the classroom, student success, and legal issues in higher education.

She completed a Master of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University in 2003 and pursued doctoral studies in Higher Education Administration at the University of Calgary.  Providing leadership external to MacEwan University, Cathryn chaired the provincial Senior Student Services Officers committee for several years, participated on the Pan-Canadian Student Engagement Survey Advisory team (ACCC) and was a member of the initial management committee for two provincial initiatives – eCampusAlberta, and ApplyAlberta.

Cathryn initiated and developed MacEwan University’s first Office of the Student Ombudsperson in May 2016. The Student Ombudsperson is an independent, impartial, confidential and accessible resource for students who will, in a fair and impartial manner, assist students in understanding and clarifying policies, processes and decisions that affect their enrolment. It is a student-friendly resource to resolve conflict informally. She holds membership in the International Ombudsman Association, Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons and the Alberta Network of Ombuds in Higher Education.

Personally, she has served the community as board member of an after-school care program, and  The Alberta Baroque Music Society. Currently, she is on the board of Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg), her church (Lendrum Mennonite Church) and Te Deum Singers. Cathryn enjoys watching the MacEwan Griffins compete, reading, travel, classical, choral and jazz music, and golf.

2019 Pre-Conference and CONFERENCE Speaker Bio – Dr. Vern Peters

Dr. Vern Peters – Adjunct Professor of Biology The King’s University – Edmonton

Vern graduated with a BSc from the University of Manitoba in 1995 and a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in 2003. His main research interests include fire ecology, tree reproduction, interactions between seed predators, and conifers. Currently, he is studying prescribed fire as a management tool for restoring populations of the endangered limber and whitebark pine in parks. He also uses community-based restoration approaches to engage the public in conservation practice; this work is supported by greenhouse and field-based germination and survivorship experiments he conducts with students. Additionally, Vern serves as a faculty member at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies in Michigan, USA, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta.

2019 Plenary Speaker Bio – Dr. Melanie Humphreys

Dr. Melanie Humphreys – President – The King’s University – Edmonton 

Dr. Melanie Humphreys is in her sixth year as President and CEO of The King’s University.  Dr. Humphreys has been a catalyst for change. Under her leadership, the University has achieved the founding of the Leder School of Business, an institutional name change, and the creation of Shared Vision 2020, a strategic plan with the vision of becoming widely known as a Christian university serving to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.

A Canadian, Dr. Humphreys spent much of her professional career prior to her current role outside of Canada. Dr. Humphreys began her career in higher education as a Residence Director at Trinity Western University. She served ten years as Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students at LCC International University, a liberal arts university in Lithuania, Eastern Europe. She served four years as Dean of Student Care & Services and adjunct faculty member at Wheaton College in Illinois. Dr. Humphreys holds a PhD in higher education from Azusa Pacific University in California and her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Trinity Western University in British Columbia. While completing her doctorate, she taught in Azusa Pacific’s Masters of Global Leadership program teaching in Brazil, Chile, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Humphreys is a member of the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta, serves on the Education Committee and Women’s Leadership Advisory Committee to Universities Canada, and is a Trustee for Los Angeles Pacific University.

The King’s University is a Christian liberal arts and sciences university providing top-quality learning experiences for students. King’s receives top rankings and national recognition for student-faculty engagement, our supportive campus, and the quality of teaching. Excellence in teaching and research are core to who King’s is as an institution. All programs are fully accredited by the government of Alberta.

Conference Schedule – June 3-7, 2019

Rooted In – June 3-7, 2019

Monday, June 3 –  10:00 am – 3:00 pm Pre-Conference
● Elk Island lecture tour
● Senior Administrators round table

Monday, June 3rd Afternoon – 3:00 pm Registration/Check-In
4:00- 5:00 pm Campus Tour
5:00 pm Welcome Reception & Dinner
7:00 pm Welcome & Opening Session
Plenary Session #1 Dr. Vern Peters
8:30 pm Evening Activities

Tuesday, June 4
9:15-11:00am Worship & Introductions
11:00am Plenary Session #2 – Dr. Melanie Humphreys
12:30 – 2:00pm Lunch round tables
2:30 – 3:45pm Workshops
4:15 – 9:00pm Excursions into Downtown Edmonton

Wednesday, June 5
9:15am Worship
9:45am Plenary Session #3 – Cathryn Heslep
11:15 Workshops
1:30 – 2:30pm Communities of Practice
3:00 – 4:30pm AGM
6:00pm Banquet
Evening Activities

Thursday, June 6
9:15am Activity TBA
10:30am – 12:30 pm Communion/Closing Session
1:30pm – Optional post-conference excursions

CACSD 2019 Conference Theme

Conference Theme: Rooted In

Think of a tree with a well-developed root system, planted in good soil. Student Life Departments are like trees, complex and alive. We are rooted in the soil of theories and theology as well as history and humanity. At our conference this summer, we will consider the roots that nourish us while we also share about the winds and weather that challenge our health.

If you have any questions or require further clarification as you develop your proposal, please contact: Sandra Loeppky at sloeppky@cmu.ca

Manitoba Regional Meeting 2017

031317-01On November 16th, 2017, Steinbach Bible College hosted the 2017-2018 Manitoba CACSD Regional Conference. Eighteen Student Development professionals from Steinbach Bible College, Canadian Mennonite University, Booth University, and Providence University College gathered together to share a day of reconnection and discussion.

After catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, we began our day with a time of worship led by Danielle Morton (CMU) complete with call and response, contemplation, song, and scripture. Following our time of worship, Debi van Duin (Providence) delivered an insightful session on the “Psychology of Communities”. Debi explained how Christian communities are meant to work using a passage of scripture from Ephesians 4 and then presented points on the secular view of successful communities – all the while highlighting both similarities and differences between the two community types.

After a delicious lunch catered by Steinbach’s Main Bread and Butter, we received a tour of the Steinbach Bible College campus from SBC president, Rob Reimer and then finished the day with round-table discussions led by Jessy Fehr (SBC). At this year’s round-table, we discussed collaborations for the next CACSD General Conference being held at Booth University, how to approach including students across the gender spectrum in residence, and what processes each school is developing for sexual violence/consent education and investigations.

It is always an informative and fruitful experience to get together with our colleagues from other local institutions and we look forward to meeting with the rest of you at the next General Conference in May 2018.

– Sarah Lageer

2017 CACSD conference bibliography

Here are many of the resources we (Keith and Kristie) mentioned during our time together:

Benne, Robert, 2001, Quality with Soul. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

Benne’s text investigates five different Christian institutions to consider what makes them schools that exhibit “Quality with Soul.” Keith referenced this book in the third talk when considering Vision, Ethos, and People as the markers for excellent institutions.

Brueggemann, Walter, 2001, The Prophetic Imagination. Fortress Press.

In this book, Brueggeman studies the role of the Old Testament prophets and the ministry of Jesus and their role in the life of the people of God who have become numb under the power/knowledge regimes of what he terms “The Royal Consciousness.”

Dr. Brueggeman writes this primarily for people in church ministry, but I think it is apt for any of us working in higher education. Keith referenced this in his final talk as he considered the role of having a Gospel perspective that allows us to imagine “future alternative realities.”

Guthrie, David S., 1997, Student Affairs Reconsidered. University Press of Amer.

The homework I gave on student learning comes from this text edited by David S. Guthrie. Celebrating its 20th year in publication, Guthrie’s book remains one of the best works that attempts to understand various roles in student development from a Christian perspective. Keith had this at the ready to talk about regarding our foundational commitments in Christian student development (but didn’t quite get to it).

Inazu, John D., 2016, Confident Pluralism. University of Chicago Press.

Inazu explores the question concerning our ability (and responsibility) to remain steadfast in our commitments, while also being open to voices different than our own. Kristie referenced this as a possible resource for understanding conversations regarding diversity and inclusions at our universities. (A short video of Inazu from Q Ideas here: http://qideas.org/videos/confident-pluralism/)

Kelly, Kevin, 2017, The Inevitable. Penguin.

OK, he doesn’t talk about aliens and the church in this one… but this text was central in Keith’s considerations of how to be thinking about the future. Kevin Kelly’s focuses on future trends in technology, so don’t expect it to be higher education focused.

(Read his short piece on Nerd Theology here: http://kk.org/mt-files/writings/nerd_theology.pdf)

Postman, Neil, 1996, The End of Education. Vintage Books.

Keith referenced this in his third talk on foundations. Postman challenges the dominant narratives about education and offers a new set of stories that could function to reorient learning. In the higher education program, Keith pairs this with Wolterstorff’s Educating for Shalom (see below).

Selingo, Jeffrey J., 2015, College (un)Bound. Amazon Pub.

Selingo’s 2015 work has become ironically dated (largely due to his fascination with Massive Open Online Courses). Nevertheless, Selingo’s consideration of the unbundling of higher education in America is particularly apt for us and suggests that higher learning will soon look anything but traditional. Keith referenced this alongside the Herman Miller research in his third talk.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas et al, 2004, Educating for Shalom. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

This is a collection of essays and addresses by philosopher and educator Nicholas Wolterstorff. It is a poignant work on the purpose of Christian higher education and, ultimately, is working to answer, “What is Christian higher education for?” If there were one book I (Keith) would offer as a starting point to consider the integration of faith and learning, it would be this one. Some of the essays are relatively dense and academic and many others are really quite accessible.

Yancey, George A., 2010, Neither Jew Nor Gentile. Oxford University Press.

Dr. Yancey’s research on Protestant higher education in the US is amongst the best research in the field on the problems of race in HED and possible ways forward. Keith and Kristie referenced this in the second talk on diversity and inclusion.

Geneva’s Christian View of Diversity document:


Referenced by Others:

Crouch, Andy, 2013, Culture Making. InterVarsity Press.

Crouch’s book was referenced in Micah’s presentation on pop music and (perhaps) a few other places throughout the week.

DePree, Max, 2004, Leadership is an Art. Crown Business.

Depree was mentioned by Wally and Terry during Wally’s opening address, and he is also the son of the founder of Herman Miller furniture company.

Smith, James K. A., 2009, Desiring the Kingdom. Baker Academic.

Smith, James K. A., 2016, You Are What You Love. Brazos Press.

Smith has been an influential voice in the work of Christian higher education. The first of these titles is an important consideration/loving critique of the “worldview studies” that many of our institutions are doing. He offers a call to reconsider a Christian anthropology that defines us and our students as something more than “brains on sticks.” I’ve found him particularly helpful in thinking about how we educate in the classroom, on the athletic fields (pitches), in the residence halls, and beyond. The second of the two is a more popularized version of his ideas.

Vance, J. D., 2016, Hillbilly Elegy. Harper.

A top selling book in the US and what many believe is an explanation of the Trump Phenomenon. Terry mentioned this in his talk on Day 2. You can also take Vance out for a run as he does a long interview on the Ezra Kline show. Warning, there may be some salty language in the interview. (https://www.vox.com/2017/2/2/14404770/jd-vance-trump-hillbilly-elegy-ezra-klein-show)