Thrive Program Outline

Semester 1 & 2

  • The Story of God Part 1
  • The Story of God Part 2
  • Discipleship Module
  • A Life of Worship
  • Genesis 1 - 11
  • The Gospel for Real Life
  • Skills for Effective Ministry
  • Youth Culture
  • The Christian Life

Course Overview:

The Story of God Part 1 (Old Testament) - Allan Friesen

Allan has held pastoral positions in both Saskatchewan and Paraguay for twenty years.  He taught at the Mennonite Seminary in Paraguay for several years before teaching at Bethany for 2000-2015.  He works as a historic interpreter at Fort Carlton Provincial Park in the summer and has been a farmer for most of his life.  Allan has a B.A. and a M.A.  He would tell you that his greatest passion (next to His Christian Faith) is languages and cultures.

   Allan Friesen - Story of God Part 1

  Allan Friesen - Story of God Part 1

This course will be an introduction to the Old Testament and the first People of God.  The students will be drawn into the story, identify with their struggles and come better to understand the link between Old Testament and New (Moses and Jesus, The Prophets and Jesus, Israel and the Church).  Most importantly, the students will be able to make the connection between God's work throughout all times and the response of His people (the church) in our own day.

The Story of God Part 2  (New Testament) - Stephanie Christianson

Stephanie’s love for theology began at Bethany College, where she completed a BA in Pastoral Ministry. She also holds a MA in Theological Studies from Briercrest Seminary. Her research interests include Anabaptist-Mennonite studies, nonviolence, and the work of Miroslav Volf. Stephanie and her husband Austin live in Saskatoon, where they are involved in camp ministry. In Fall 2018, Stephanie will begin a contract with Horizon College as a Faculty Assistant. She enjoys bubbling conversation, literature, TV crime dramas, and her nieces and nephew.

          Stephanie Christianson - Story of God Part 2

         Stephanie Christianson - Story of God Part 2

This course will explore the second half of the whole story of God: the New Testament.  Starting with the intertestamental period, students will continue the journey through the story of scripture seeing how each smaller story connects with one another, how it connects with the greater story of God, and how each students is a part of that story in the present day.

Discipleship Module - Mike Newson

Mike Newson was born and raised in Regina, SK.  He received his Bachelor of Religious Education from Canadian Bible College (now Ambrose University) and is an ordained pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, serving as an Alliance pastor for 27 years in B.C. and Saskatoon.  He has been in Saskatoon for 17 years serving at Lawson Heights Alliance Church.  Mike's personal ministry re-focusing has led him to gain a mentorship with Mike Breen of 3DM Ministries and within the last two years, Mike has become a T4T practitioner leading his church to become a church that multiplies disciples.

                Mike Newson - Discipleship Module  

               Mike Newson - Discipleship Module  

If you have been a Christian for even a little bit, you are probably aware of the Great Commission of Jesus in Matthew 28. And for good reason, it’s the rallying cry of Jesus, first to the Apostles and then to every succeeding generation of the Church, to get the Gospel to all nations of the world. This has been our commission for nearly 2000 years and Jesus promised to be with us always, to the very end of the age if we obey it.  Unfortunately, when we look at the Church in North America, she seems to be doing a great job making learners about Jesus and the Bible, but she is really having a hard time training every disciple to know how to make disciples who know how to make disciples. There are four reasons for this; todays believer doesn’t know WHY they should make disciples, WHO they would make disciples of, WHAT to do with a disciple if they had one, or WHEN they would make time for making disciples. This course tackles all of these and will both inspire and equip the student to begin obeying the Great Commission of Jesus.

A Life of Worship - Leanne Schellenberg

Having spent most of her growing up and adult years in BC, Leanne, her husband and two children have settled into Saskatchewan living, making their home in Hepburn, just down the street from the Thrive campus. Leanne is passionate about Spiritual formation and has come to believe that it is the stuff of our day-to-day lives that awakens us to God’s presence and His transforming work in and through us. Her education includes an Associate of Arts in Theology from Briercrest College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Northern British Columbia, and a Master of Arts degree in Spiritual Formation from Carey Theological College. These days, she puts her hands to being a Home Maker, a Bread Baker, a Leader and Developer of various discipleship groups/materials, a Contemplative Retreat/Staff Development Workshop Leader, a Mentor and a Spiritual Director.

       Leanne Schellenberg -           A Life of Worship

      Leanne Schellenberg -

         A Life of Worship

A life of worship is one that "wakes up to God's love" in day to day life and then responds with faith, gratitude and obedience.  In this course, the students will come to see that all the stuff of life can draw them into worship as they grow their capacity to be aware of God's presence.

Genesis 1 - 11 - Vance Nelson

Vance Nelson is the director of Creation Truth Ministries. He holds two earned degrees. He earned a theology degree from Taylor University College in 1997 (Bachelor of Religion with a specialization in Christian ministry). Vance then went on to earn a Biology degree in 2002.  Since 2002 Vance has been researching, speaking and writing full-time. Vance spends much of his time doing original research in areas such as paleontology, geology and archaeology. He has a real love for studying God's Word and God's World. 

Vance is the founder of CTM in Red Deer, Alberta which is dedicated to defending the authority of the Bible starting in Genesis. Creation Truth Ministries is a Christian ministry that seeks to enable believers to defend their faith in an increasingly secular age. 


                    Vance Nelson - Geneses 1 -11

                   Vance Nelson - Geneses 1 -11


Dinosaurs.  Fossils.  Evolution.  Millions of Years.  Noah's Flood.  Tower of Babel.  These are all hot topics.  How are these to be understood in light of Scripture?  What about in light of science?  This course will look at these and other origin topics in light of the first eleven chapters of Genesis.  The students will learn how our faith affects how we perceive and interpret evidence.

Skills for Effective Ministry - Mike Gordon

Mike Gordon  is the Founder of Rock House Ministries and is a dynamic full time Youth Speaker. In 2004, Mike dropped out of school where he was studying business to pursue a life in ministry.  He eventually received his Bachelor in Theology as well as receiving his ordination as a pastor.  In 2012, he moved from his pastoral commitments to chase after his calling and dream of speaking full time.  He has had the privilege of teaming up with many different speakers and bands such as Nick Vujicic, Tony Campolo, Lecrae, Toby Mac and many more.  Mike`s ministry has already become one of the largest young professional ministries in this country.  His passion to speak is fuelled by his love for Jesus and his love for people.  He recognizes that having a speaking platform opens doors for him to connect with people on a more personal level.


               Mike Gordon - Skills for an Effective Ministry

              Mike Gordon - Skills for an Effective Ministry

This course will explore practical skills, good practices and ethical principles that help in ministering to others effectively. 

The Gospel for Real Life - Jason Duermeyer

Jason and his wife, Melissa, began to serve God as members of Hague Gospel Church in January 2015. Jason is passionate about seeing God's people grow towards full maturity in Christ, especially through prayer and the expository preaching and teaching of God's Word (Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Thess.5:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). He longs to see God's people grow in intimacy with Christ, especially by being "doers of the Word," by persevering in fellowship with God's people, and by learning how to be more faithful "ambassadors of reconciliation" in Hague and beyond (James 1:22; Heb. 10:24-25; 2 Cor. 5:16-21). Jason received his formal education from Trinity Western University (Langley, BC) and Redeemer University College (Hamilton, ON). He and Melissa have been married since 2011 and so far, have been blessed with the gift of one-year old daughter Hannah, and a second daughter due in summer 2018.

  Jason Duermeyer - The Gospel for Real Life

 Jason Duermeyer - The Gospel for Real Life

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most powerful, most important, and best news that the world has ever heard - and will ever hear.  Therefore, nothing could be more worthy of serious study than the Gospel.  Using the Bible as our primary and most authoritative book, we will seek in this course to understand on a deeper level what the Gospel is and how it applies to every area of real life.

Youth Culture - James Penner

James LOVES to connect WITH the millennial generation – his students, employees, fellow church goers. James and his wife, Claire, presently run James Penner and Associates, a national research firm that focuses on positive youth development and millennial mentorship. He is the adjunct assistant Sociology of Youth professor at the University of Lethbridge and the Youth Culture professor at Bethany College. James is also the coauthor of four books including Hemorrhaging Faith: Why and When Canadian Young Adults are Leaving, Staying and Returning To ChurchConsuming Youth: Leading Teens Through Consumer Culture and 10 Things We All Need To Know About Canada’s Teens: That IS If We Care About Them. James is a passionate follower of Jesus, a former public school teacher, 20-year Intervarsity high school/college campus worker and proud father of two young adult children, Elya and Erick. He is married to his soul mate and best friend Claire – an innovative youth worker and millennial mentor in her own right. James especially enjoys his family, his local Mennonite Brethren church (College Drive Community Church in Lethbridge), playing board games, making cappuccinos and hanging out in silence with the sisters at Martha Retreat Center. 


         James Penner - Youth Culture

        James Penner - Youth Culture

This course is an examination of Canadian millennial youth culture trends.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the marginalization of young people and prolonged nature of emerging adulthood in advanced industrial late modern societies in part linked to youth identity being defined increasingly in consumer rather than producer terms.  An integral part of the course will be to connect with a theological exploration of the strategic role that faith communities can play in the twenty first century and corresponding strategies for youth and church who wish to follow Jesus during this restless, secular era.

The Christian Life - TBD

This course will dig deeper into issues and practices of a Christian disciple by turning the student's attention toward important personal choices.  Areas such as marriage/sexuality, finances, social relationships, spiritual choices, and personal habits will be explored from the perspective of a follower of Jesus.  Students will be encouraged to reflect more deeply upon their beliefs, personal habits, actions and choices.