When Usual Places Become Healing One

Evangel – Summer 2013

Keeping PACE

The ministry of our PACE graduates is a cause for great joy!

Professional Adult Christian Education is an innovative learning approach for adults over age 25. Of 186 ABC fouryear grads since 2000, eighty-five are from the PACE program. They graduate with a BA in Leadership and Ministry or a BA in Counselling and Ministry. A good number have also graduated with two-year diplomas in the same majors. They take 5-6 week modular courses, studying together for four hours one night/ week, plus an average of 8-12 hours/week on their own.

The typical PACE student is 38-39 years old, and has a full time job and family. Some study for personal growth. Some are honing gifts and abilities for volunteer work. Many have gone on to graduate work, particularly counselling. They become chaplains and counsellors in hospitals, airports, senior’s lodges, hospices and jails. Some are “second-halfers.” Having achieved success in other things, they want to give back through church planting, family and youth ministries, and pastoral leadership. A significant number of PACE students, currently c. 25{6b5dbf719d8904cfe310e3fef45823b50f2fb164038ae90b4f0776986a0d04c5}, are immigrants. Many of these study while leading ethnic congregations. And a good many PACE students simple want to find how the hands, heart, and voice of Jesus can come to ordinary places.

Among the latter is Shannon Gugyel, BA, Counselling Ministry, 2013, who was also PACE valedictorian. Shannon and husband Frank are long haul truckers. They are passionate about reaching out to fellow drivers, facing unique challenges including long separation from family, stress, addictions, depression, and the pressure of deadlines, impacted by weather and roads. She listens, counsels, prays with, and consistently points to her Jesus, by using CB radio and cell phones, or in coffee shops across North America.

In fact, Shannon has been so drawn to this ministry, that as a part of another creative aspect of the PACE program,credit by demonstrated competency (CDC), she developed a “Driver Outreach Pilot Program.” Shannon worked with her company’s HR people, who evaluated her proposal as an “industry first.” Because of CDC, she was awarded ‘real’ academic credit for real life ministry.

Shannon says:

“The encouragement and support of my professors allowed me to think outside the box and develop a program that utilized my education in a way that enhanced my employment. Helping others is a significant objective of the Driver Outreach Program, and ABC has definitively equipped me to pursue this goal. This journey has been transformational and I am so blessed to have been part of the ABC family.”

We praise God for Shannon, as we do all PACE grads! A self-surrendered Christ (Phil 2:7), calls His self-surrendered people to make usual places, healing ones! PACE grads live it all over the world!

Dr. Fraser is the Director of Learning Services as well as a professor who specializes in New Testament and Christian history; theological pedagogy; and social ethics in contemporary education. He credentials include B. Th. ’73 Alberta Bible College; B. Ed. ’73 University of Calgary; M.C.S. ’86 Regent College; Ed. D. ’08, University of Alberta Academic.

Ron has also published extensively: From Tinkering to Transformation: Christian Ministry in an Age of Secularism (1993, Lectures of the College of Churches of Christ in Canada. Published by the College of Churches of Christ in Canada); A History of the Restoration Movement in Canada (2008, as in Foster, Blowers, Dunnavant, and Williams, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Eerdmans); Ron has also written numerous articles for the Christian Standard from 1989-2002 and the Alberta Bible College Evangel from 1982-2011.

His ministry activities include Alternative Dispute Resolution; Mediation Training and Peace Education; Ecclesial Leadership and Equipping Education Workships including Inspiring a Shared Vision through Appreciative Inquiry, Group Needs Assessment, Strategic Planning, Team Building, Growing and Empowering Influencers, etc.; Preaching.

In his spare time Ron enjoys hiking, woodworking, visiting with people.

Other articles by Dr. Ron Fraser: