Sitting Down with President Gary Nelson

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Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

When we sat down with Dr. Nelson, our questions ranged from favourite foods to the importance of Christian academics. The first topic of interest was his predictions for the Blue Jays and the Maple Leafs this year. The Blue Jays, according to Dr. Nelson, will make it to the World Series — but although the Jays will make it far, they won’t make it all the way. On the other hand, it was not positive for the Leafs — he predicts many early wins in the season, but a steady decline from there.

In addition to a deep-seated interest in the world of sports, President Nelson also possesses a fiery passion for Christian higher-education.

President Nelson’s strong desire to influence the next generation brought him to Tyndale during a time of great transition. If you ask him what his favorite part of being president is, he will reply, ‘the students’. Indeed, no matter how busy his day is he always has time to talk to students about anything, including hockey predictions. However, becoming the president of a university was not always at the forefront of his mind. Dr. Nelson entered university with the intention of becoming a physical education teacher. His plans changed when he became a person of faith and realized he had a ‘mind that could think’. He became interested in urban ministry and special education, acting on the deep sense he was being called into ministry, eventually earning multiple degrees including a Bachelor of Education. Based on his own experience, he advises students to be open to exploring their passions in university. They may discover what they truly want to do is not always their original intent.

Dr. Nelson also offered some insight about the need for Christian academics, noting that the purpose of Christian higher education is to provide a strong foundation in mind, heart, character and faith to walk confidently into the world. It is not a place to come because you are afraid of the world, but rather, because you want to learn how to engage with culture without ‘selling yourself short’. Dr. Nelson adds that while we need Christian lawyers, teachers, and professors across the disciplines, it is critical to maintain your humility. What makes Christianity radical at its core is its emphasis on humility, which should be a prevailing aspect of the learning community. As students, we’ve seen this lived out in the lives of the faculty and staff at Tyndale. Never have we encountered more qualified and humble people than those at Tyndale.

Our education challenges our hearts, minds and character on a daily basis, expanding our understanding and challenging our misconceptions, making it the best place to grow and the worst place to hide.

 

Desaree Rosskopf

BA Honours History Major 
Fourth Year
Senior Student Admissions Representative & President of Tyndale’s Social Justice Group

I.J. Makan

BA Biblical Studies & Theology and Philosophy
Fourth Year
Senior Student Admissions Representative



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