Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 12, 2007
Newman Theological College tutors pupils' mind, heart and soul
By BILL GLEN
"What lies at the heart of Newman College is its Catholicity."
Fr. Don MacDonald
The college has more than 400 students attending each semester. That number increases to over 600 when week-long workshops and institutes are factored in. Those programs are geared for students who can't commit to a full semester.
Newman implemented a distance-learning (Internet) component that has proven to be highly effective given the vast reach of the college. An entire bachelor of theology degree can be taken over the Internet, MacDonald said.
He says a degree from Newman is strong in both academic quality and pastoral preparation.
"We prepare people for ministry. If you were to go across Western Canada and the North, you would find our graduates in all sorts of positions within the Catholic dioceses and parishes," MacDonald said.
"And since the early 1970s, we have serviced Catholic school systems."
Newman president Bryn Kulmatycki says because the college is privately funded, making ends meet can be difficult. Without government support, the college relies on funding from the Edmonton Archdiocese, the greater community and fundraising efforts. He says annual operating costs are about $2.5 million annually.
"Newman Theological College is the only accredited post-secondary theology school in Western Canada. The closest accredited school to the south is in Oregon. There is one at the University of Toronto," he said.
"It is a jewel in the crown of the Church in Western Canada."
- WCR photo by Bill Glen
Newman Theological College student Andy Korvemaker lines up a shot as Adam Ethier, Dean Dowle and Tracey Harrison await their turn.
The college is an accredited member of the ATS in the United States and Canada. Several religious orders of men and women collaborate with the college in fulfilling its mission. Lay men and women have made and continue to make significant contributions. Newman recently completed a two-year, self-study for re-accreditation with the ATS.
The regulatory body granted the college the maximum extension of 10 years - without conditions attached.
"That is so rare," Kulmatycki said, who mentioned Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop Thomas Collins and Canada's Ukrainian Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak as former faculty members.
"It is a big responsibility to maintain a high calibre institution because of the importance of the people who come out of here," he said.
Due to a change in the provincial cabinet and with Collins moving to Toronto, negotiations between the archdiocese and the province over how to accommodate the northwest extension of Anthony Henday Drive are currently on hold.
The highway "changes the environment here forever."
The proposed alignment comes extremely close to the seminary, potentially making studying difficult. Several studies have been undertaken to study the noise impact and what attenuating methods might be feasible.
The province has committed to build the road by 2015.
"It changes the environment here forever," Kulmatycki said.
Second-year seminarian Dean Dowle says it is not uncommon to see faculty, staff and students playing a game of pool together in the rec room. It's part of the atmosphere at Newman of everyone going in the same direction.
"It is really exciting. The possibility of the priesthood is something I look forward to as time goes on," he said.
"The people who support the seminary and the college come in and volunteer their time, their money and their prayers. The community within the college is very close."
Andy Korvemaker says his studies at Newman have helped him understand the role his faith plays in his daily life.
"Ideally, I would love to be a pastoral associate in a parish," said Korvemaker, a master of divinity student.
The college will implement a new week-long program this summer for people administering to Aboriginal people.
Native Ministry Week will run July 16-20, the week before the Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage.
Carol Anne Seed said the course was requested by the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas. "The course is open to lay and clergy who are in Aboriginal ministry. It is designed for spiritual and cultural awareness," said the college registrar.
Announcements regarding Native Ministry Week will be made in the spring.
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