The Bridge, Spring 2012The Spring 2012 edition of The Bridge is in the mail to thousands of homes and churches across North America.

The cover story for this issue deals with the retirement of long-time New Testament professor Dr. Syd Page. There are also many photos from the recent graduation ceremony at Taylor Seminary, and a profile of alumnus Marlene Taubensee Baerg ('80). Another story explores the reasons for a recent surge in enrolment at the school. Finally, the back cover celebrates the art of former Taylor staff member Marjorie Thomson.

Watch your mailbox, or pick up your copy on campus. And please send any comments regarding The Bridge to TheBridge@Taylor-Edu.ca.

After a solid fall semester and a remarkably strong spring term, Taylor’s final numbers have come in with the strongest seminary enrolment in years.  Our final numbers are 25% higher than our goal, which we thought might be optimistic. Taylor Seminary ended the academic year with a total annual FTE (full time equivalent) of 147.89 students; one year ago, that number was 109.

There are several reasons for the increase, including the strong interest in Taylor’s re-designed 77-hour MDiv degree as well as other programs.

Another reason for growth in our courses this year has been the continued emphasis on streamlining our course delivery. More attention has been given to accommodating mature students, who often attend seminary on a part-time basis while continuing to work or serve in ministry. Weekend, modular and intensive courses, as well as online courses, have all made theological education more accessible.

In 2011-12, students did not simply register at the beginning of a semester. Instead, because of the way courses are offered, we enrolled students throughout the year. Enrolment Services was busy in May as new program students were accepted and registered for Spring Session courses(May 2-25).

Another important change in serving students well has been the change to offer regular semester courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and to arrange the course schedule in a way that makes it easy for students to move through their program.

The increased attendance brings with it increased tuition revenue. We thank God for this strong growth and look forward seeing it continue.


Eric OhlmannTaylor Seminary is pleased to announce that Dr. Eric Ohlmann will be returning to Taylor as the Academic Dean, effective July 1, 2012. Dr. Ohlmann was the Academic Vice-President at Taylor Seminary for the 2008-2009 academic year, and brings a wealth of experience to the post.

This change will free up Dr. Joost Pikkert who added the dean's role to many other duties, and Taylor president Dr. David Williams publicly thanked Dr. Pikkert for his outstanding work over the past two years.

Originally from the Edmonton area (Leduc), Dr. Ohlmann has invested his entire adult life in theological education. He has earned degrees from U of A, NABS, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Theological Union Seminary. He spent 20 years at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and 12 years as Vice-President/Academic Dean at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer). He also continues to serve as Special Advisor for Planning and Accreditation for the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies.

Bridge2010 Spring smTaylor Seminary student Aaron Au, who is a highly accomplished violinist, joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra on stage at Carnegie Hall for a performance on May 8, 2012. Playing in this storied venue is a great honour for any musician, and we celebrate this special moment with him.

Aaron, who is in our MDiv program, formerly played with the Edmonton Symphony (see The Bridge, Spring 2010). Besides his studies with us, Aaron is also a violin instructor at the Conservatory of Music at Taylor.

The New York concert also involved another Taylor student, Kathy Brown, works for the ESO and was asked to accompany the orchestra to New York to help make this event happen. (The featured trumpet soloist, Jens Lindemann, grew up at Central Baptist in Edmonton, as well, and is known to many friends and alumni of Taylor.)

The Spring Into Music Festival in New York was a big deal for the city of Edmonton, and we are thrilled to enjoy a Taylor connection to this event. You can listen to a recording of the ESO performance at the following link:

http://www.wqxr.org/#!/programs/live-broadcasts/2012/may/08/