Education

Joining Master’s College and Seminary

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I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I last posted here, but there is good reason. By God’s grace, I joined Master’s College and Seminary (Peterborough, Canada) full-time as a professor of Bible and Theology in June of 2014. This past year I have been quite busy adjusting to my new role teaching new courses. Coming back to Master’s College in this role is a privilege for me, as Master’s played a very important role in my formation as a disciple of Christ. I began studying theology formally at Master’s several years ago. When I attended this school, it was called Eastern Pentecostal Bible College. I completed a Bachelor of Theology here with a pastoral major in 2000. Let me take a moment here to explain my involvement at Master’s, beginning as a student.

Josh Samuel at EPBC (now Master's College and Seminary)

Josh Samuel as a student at EPBC (now Master’s College)

Looking back at my time several years ago as a student at Master’s, there are a number of things I remember. One of the key things that kept me at the school, was the excellent faculty and staff. I can’t help but think of people who served there when I attended – people like Merv Anthony, Rosemary Assels, Gordon and Marlene Bjorgan, David Boyd, Scott Bullerwell, Ewen Butler, Betty Funk, Graham Gibson, Randall Holm, Doug and Sue James, Bob Johnson, David Kennedy, Steve Kennedy, Terry Kennedy, Paul and Lynn Kohls, Lyman Kulathungam, Ronald Kydd, Nil Lavalee, Verdell Longstaff, Ralph Lubbers, Joan Mann, Gaetanne Marshall, Lewis and Lydia Massireli, Garry Milley, Ron Powell, Badoora Rambaran, Shayne Scott, Carol Siret, John Stephenson, Carl Verge, and many others! (My apologies to anyone I may have failed to mention). I know that’s a long list of names, but people are important, and I think having good people is one of the key elements that helped make my time at the school great. Master’s was also one of the key places I learned more about Scripture, theology, and the practice of ministry. I also forged some great relationships with fellow students from the school over the years.

After a number of years, while I was pastoring, I was asked to teach a course for the school’s intercultural stream in 2006 when the school was in Toronto. This was my first experience teaching at Master’s, and I was grateful for the opportunity. In 2011, I taught another course as an adjunct faculty member, and by this time the school had returned to its Peterborough site. I still remember the first day I taught at the main campus in Peterborough in 2011—I could sense that there was a great sense of community among the students, staff, and faculty. And when I taught again at the beginning of 2014 as an adjunct faculty, I noticed how well the school was running administratively. I don’t say all these things because I’m now a faculty member at the school—I just couldn’t help but notice these positive developments.

Don’t get me wrong though, adjusting to full time teaching has been a huge learning curve for me this past year. I have had very little sleep over this past year due to preparing courses, marking, etc. in my new role. But most people who have taught all say that the first year is the most difficult. I’m thankful for God’s grace over this past year. God has blessed me with a supportive family who have prayed, blessed, encouraged, and made adjustments to make things work—I’m grateful for each person [especially my wife, eldest son (our second one just recently arrived, who I am also grateful for), parents, parents-in-law, sisters, siblings-in-law, nephews/nieces, and many more].

There are excellent people at the school now too. The leadership of the school has been incredibly encouraging and supportive—they are genuine and intentional in their care for others. In all my interactions with the faculty, I have been blessed by their very collegial approach—they want you to succeed, whether you are a student or teacher. I’m grateful for this. And all the staff in general have been very professional and accommodating, which I find an important feature for a school’s administration. Finally, I’ve been quite impressed with the range of students who attend the school—for underlying their various strengths, I see a heart to serve God and others.

There are so many people at the school to thank for being so hospitable—staff, faculty, students, the board of governors, and so many more associated with the school. It would be difficult to name every person, but let me at least acknowledge the college council at the school. Thank you Robin Adair, Merv and Flora Anthony, Rosemary Assels, Owen Black, Donna Butler, Ben Cochrane, Chris Chase, Esther Dillabough, Nathan Flight, Graham and Linda Gibson, Donna Haug, Sue James, Rich Janes, Luciano Lombardi, Katelyn Mueller, Peter Neumann, Kathie Quinn, Ruth Sadlier, Julie Sejrup, Nancy Warwick, Laura Wilson, and Eldon Wright (once again, my apologies to anyone I failed to mention).

I’m grateful to be a part of a school that serves the Church by caring deeply about students and ultimately training leaders for various types of vocations. If you’re interested in studying theology and preparing for Christian leadership at the undergraduate level, check out Master’s College. I would highly recommend the school, and would be happy to help you get more acquainted with the school if you would like to attend. And definitely check out www.mcs.edu if you’re interested!

 

My PhD Experience at McMaster Divinity College – With a Message from Me Via Video

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything on this website—but it’s been for good reason. Over the past couple of years, I needed to focus on writing my dissertation—over 300 pages worth of writing! I needed to take a bit of a break from writing here. By God’s amazing grace, however, I completed my dissertation and graduated with my PhD in Christian Theology from McMaster Divinity College last month! Thus, I hope to get back at writing on an ongoing basis more on this site. I thought that sharing some thoughts on my PhD experience here would be a good way to transition back to writing here.

Josh Samuel's PhD Graduation at MDC

Josh Samuel’s PhD Graduation at MDC

I’m grateful the excellent PhD program, faculty, and staff at McMaster Divinity College. The structure of the PhD program is great, because it facilitates academic rigour, excellent ongoing mentorship, service, and the professional development of scholars. Don’t get me wrong, completing a PhD has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. You can, however, find a place to complete a PhD where you will be challenged academically and be in the context of a supportive community that wants to be faithful to God and His Word—I found McMaster Divinity College to be that place. I would highly recommend this school if you are considering a PhD in Theology. The school is in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and their website is www.mcmasterdivinity.ca.

I learned a lot over these past few years, and hope to articulate some of those lessons on this space at some point in time. But for now, I’d like to share a video that includes some of my thoughts on my experience in the PhD program at McMaster Divinity College. On graduation day, McMaster Divinity College not only conducts a Convocation when students receive their degrees, but the school also conducts a Service of Celebration earlier in the day. During the Service of Celebration, I was one of the students asked to share about my experience in the PhD program at the school. The video is less than five minutes long, so if you’re interested in watching it, here it is (special thanks to my wife Joyce for recording it, and my niece Krystal for editing the video):

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