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Honorary Degrees

The former board chair of St. Andrew’s College and a leader in congregational music are the two men selected to receive a Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from St. Andrew’s College.

Vic Wiebe, who helped guide St. Andrew’s during a time of rejuvenation, and Bruce Harding, the music minister at Crossroads United Church in North Delta, B.C., and at Pacific InterChristian Community in Vancouver, will be honoured during joint convocation ceremonies for the Saskatoon Theological Union on Friday, May 8, 7 p.m. at St. John's Anglican Cathedral.

The ceremony will include students from St. Andrew's College, The University of Emmanuel College — College of Emmanuel & St. Chad and the Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon.

Harding earned a PhD from the Graduate Department of Music, University of Toronto and has served in congregational music ministry in Ontario and British Columbia.

“He demonstrates scholarly excellence, talent, justice, inclusivity, interculturalism, and deep love for Christ’s church in its local expressions,” his nominator writes. "in his early life experiences and many tours across the Prairies he has shown that he cares for the people and churches for whom St. Andrew’s College particularly exists.”

The nomination noted Harding’s work with the national church, the Hymn Society, sessional teaching, composing and recording with musicians in Canada and the United States.

“National and international conference music leadership have also kept Bruce in the wider public eye, while he has maintained his strong commitment to congregational singing,” the nomination says. “In the past decade he has become increasingly engaged in intercultural music-making, particularly with the Indo-Canadian community, while continuing to tour with Cheryl (Harding) and other Christian music artists, including Linea Good.”

Wiebe was nominated and recommended for the length and the breadth of his service to the community, to the United Church at every level, and to St. Andrew’s College. His vast contributions to the United Church at the congregational, Presbytery and General Council levels are identified in the nomination, including his current contribution to the Comprehensive Review Task Group.

His nomination addressed Wiebe’s commitment and contributions to St. Andrew’s College, including roles as board member and chair of the board.

“Although there are many specific instances of Vic’s work with the college (e.g. such as time spent speaking publicly about the college; attempting to recruit students) one that is prominent is his work at General Council 40 where he assisted the General Council in understanding St. Andrew’s College’s views with respect to integrating practice and theory in theological education.”

In her letter of support to for Wiebe’s nomination Nora Sanders, General Secretary of the United Church, writes: “Some people tend to step back from their activity at one level as they take up roles in a different place in the church, but Vic capably offers his gifts and energy in all places at once. . . . There are many things I could mention about Vic’s contributions to the church, but the most significant reflection I have is that everything he offers comes from a place of deep faith, a deep faith that is actively lived out in all that he does.”

Wiebe’s career in the public service, both in social services and health care, along with his extensive community involvements including Big Brothers, the Victorian Order of Nurses, Toastmasters, school boards, addiction programs, 12-step self-help programs, Rotary, counselling and support services were described by his nominator.

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