BC Business Magazine - - Leadership -

“Like tal­ent scouts dis­cov­er­ing the next ath­letic star, or find­ing a great new band on Spo­tify, the world is dis­cov­er­ing Trin­ity Western for its high value. There are things here money can't buy” —Scott Fehren­bacher, TWU'S Se­nior Vice-pres­i­dent of Ex­ter­nal Re­la­tions.


While al­most 70 per cent of its com­peti­tors missed their en­rol­ment tar­gets last year, one Fraser Val­ley uni­ver­sity has been plot­ting a course for ex­pan­sion. As head­lines on For­ and other web­sites re­ported that U.S. col­lege en­rol­ment had de­clined for the fifth straight year, north of the bor­der in Lan­g­ley, Trin­ity Western Uni­ver­sity ( TWU) was fac­ing a very dif­fer­ent kind of chal­lenge.

Af­ter three con­sec­u­tive years of growth—and a 37-per-cent in­crease in stu­dent in­quiries for the fall 2017 term alone—the largest faith-based lib­eral arts uni­ver­sity in Canada, TWU, was pre­par­ing to ad­mit the largest in­com­ing class in its 55-year his­tory. As a re­sult,

TWU com­menced its first build­ing pro­ject in three decades, a 132-bed dorm, named Skid­more Hall, built in an un­prece­dented four months.

Growth is part of the uni­ver­sity's five-year strate­gic plan. Cou­pled with a unique tar­geted mar­ket­ing ap­proach,

TWU is plan­ning a 50-per-cent in­crease to 6,000 un­der­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate stu­dents. Growth will be re­al­ized in its 47 un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree pro­grams, 19 grad­u­ate de­gree pro­grams and 12 in­sti­tutes and cen­tres over the next five years.


The lo­cals say that hav­ing TWU in their neigh­bour­hood is good for Lan­g­ley, good for busi­ness and good for the com­mu­nity. This vi­brant, di­verse com­mu­nity that started 55 years ago with just 17 stu­dents has grown to more than 4,000 stu­dents and 400 staff and fac­ulty. It is the se­cond-largest em­ployer in the area af­ter the City of Lan­g­ley, and con­trib­utes eco­nom­i­cally, so­cially, spir­i­tu­ally and cul­tur­ally to the com­mu­nity and its sur­round­ing area.

Trin­ity Western has played a role in Fort Lan­g­ley's re­birth from a quiet his­toric vil­lage to a hip, trendy town. Just

a short five-minute drive from cam­pus, the town has been pretty much an­nexed by stu­dents, choos­ing it as the place to con­gre­gate—from a cof­fee crawl, to hang­ing out at Trin­ity Western House. Busi­nesses through­out Fort Lan­g­ley wel­come TWU'S stu­dents ev­ery fall, and many have part­nered with TWU in of­fer­ing dis­counts through the Spar­tan Club.


Lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional stu­dents are at­tracted to TWU'S com­mu­nity.

TWU of­fers a fully ac­cred­ited, elite in­ter­na­tional education where they are free to ex­plore holis­ti­cally who they are in one of the safest and most peace­ful na­tions in the world. Lan­g­ley is lo­cated in Bri­tish Columbia, which is renowned for its nat­u­ral beauty, and is close to Van­cou­ver, a global des­ti­na­tion city. Stu­dents have come to TWU from across Canada, over­seas and, in grow­ing num­bers, from across 20 U.S. states, up from just two states a cou­ple of years ago.

“TWU equips you with life skills that are not taught at other in­sti­tu­tions. The lov­ing, open and ac­cept­ing com­mu­nity here helps stu­dents grow, find them­selves, and go on to men­tor oth­ers.” —Erin Turko, TWU stu­dent


For seven years in a row, Trin­ity Western Uni­ver­sity has re­ceived an A-plus rank­ing for qual­ity of teach­ing and learn­ing. “Our fac­ulty con­tinue to dis­tin­guish them­selves as na­tional and in­ter­na­tional lead­ers, in­spir­ing the hearts and minds of stu­dents and peers alike. In terms of re­search, fac­ulty mem­bers have com­peted for and re­ceived more fund­ing than ever be­fore.” —Bob Kuhn, TWU Pres­i­dent


A pow­er­house in uni­ver­sity sports, TWU has won a na­tional cham­pi­onship at the high­est col­le­giate level in at least one sport 10 years in a row. The high­pro­file Spar­tans have won 11 U SPORTS cham­pi­onships and 23 Canada West re­gional cham­pi­onships. Six Spar­tan alumni made the Canadian ros­ter for the 2016 Rio Olympics, four of them in volleyball. Spar­tan Ath­letes not only win na­tional cham­pi­onships but main­tain an aca­demic stand­ing of 80 per cent or bet­ter and are rec­og­nized for their out­stand­ing lead­er­ship and char­ac­ter.

“As these ath­letes grad­u­ate, they en­ter the work­force as hard­work­ing, fo­cused in­di­vid­u­als who un­der­stand team­work, dis­ci­pline and self-sac­ri­fice.” —Jeff Ga­mache, Di­rec­tor of Spar­tans ath­let­ics.


There are 27,429 TWU alumni serv­ing in ev­ery sec­tor of the econ­omy through­out the world. They are de­scribed as lead­ers of in­dus­try who are pos­i­tively im­pact­ing the mar­ket­places of life. Based on the Canadian Uni­ver­sity Con­sor­tium's Sur­vey of Grad­u­at­ing Un­der­grad­u­ate Stu­dents, 96 per cent of TWU'S grad­u­ates say that TWU met or ex­ceeded their ex­pec­ta­tions.

Garry Skid­more, class of '94, Pres­i­dent of the Skid­more Group, states: “I know I had a great ex­pe­ri­ence here, and I want the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to have that same ex­pe­ri­ence. As busi­ness lead­ers, as pro­fes­sion­als who have done well, let's start to give back. Let's start to in­vest in the next gen­er­a­tion.”

TWU alumni have also gone on to make sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. While they were stu­dents at TWU, African-born alumni Jef­fery Ko­mant and Richard Tay­lor were in­spired to help Rwan­dans re­build their coun­try fol­low­ing the 1994 civil war and genocide. Through their Lan­g­ley-based Well­spring Foun­da­tion for Education, and by part­ner­ing with a lo­cal church in Ki­gali, Rwanda, to build Well­spring Academy, their team has been able to train hun­dreds of Rwan­dan teach­ers and launch an in­no­va­tive School De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram, now adopted in more than 70 African schools.


Trin­ity Western has ex­ten­sion sites in Rich­mond, B.C., Ottawa, Ont., and Belling­ham, Wash.

“In 2013 the TWU School of Busi­ness be­gan a part­ner­ship with Tian­jin Uni­ver­sity of Fi­nance and Eco­nomics to of­fer the TWU In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness MBA pro­gram in Tian­jin (also of­fered in Lan­g­ley and Rich­mond). Now, just four years later, we are de­lighted to be ex­pand­ing the pro­gram to Shang­hai and Bei­jing. A Bri­tish Columbia uni­ver­sity of­fer­ing an MBA pro­gram in three ma­jor Chi­nese cities is a re­mark­able achieve­ment and demon­strates the type of higher education part­ner­ships that are pos­si­ble be­tween Canada and China.

“Busi­nesses today face the chal­lenge of op­er­at­ing in times of eco­nomic un­cer­tainty, ever-chang­ing tech­no­log­i­cal re­quire­ments and in­creas­ing global com­pe­ti­tion. In our in­no­va­tive MBA pro­gram, stu­dents in Tian­jin, Shang­hai and Bei­jing now learn nec­es­sary busi­ness the­ory while de­vel­op­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion, lead­er­ship and an­a­lyt­i­cal skills needed to suc­ceed in these chal­leng­ing times. I look for­ward to see­ing the suc­cess of our grad­u­ates from Tian­jin, Shang­hai and Bei­jing as they are rec­og­nized as busi­ness lead­ers in China, Canada and around the world.” —Kevin Sawatsky, JD, Dean – School of Busi­ness

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