Deborah-Ruth Ferber graduated with a Certificate in Christian Studies (2010) and a Bachelor’s of Religious Education (2012). She anticipates receiving her MDiv: Pastoral Studies in May 2016.
It’s mid-April and as I look out of my room window at L’Arche I notice the flowers are just starting to bud. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been at L’Arche for an entire year. It’s even harder to believe that 2 years ago I graduated from Tyndale with my Bachelor’s of Religious Education (BRE).
To me, Tyndale has been one incredible journey after the other. It all started at frosh week when I made some of the best friends of my life who traveled with me throughout the rest of my academic career, and when I first became aware of how amazing this community was and still is. At Tyndale, I have been able to truly be myself, to develop as a leader, and to develop spiritually and relationally.
When I first started Tyndale I was a bit unsure of myself. I only had the intention of staying for a year, but after getting used to living in residence, exploring Toronto, and late nights laughing in the Kat [student lounge] I knew that this place was special. There was something that bonded me to this place and to this unique experience. Tyndale is an opportunity unlike any other. At Tyndale people are genuine in their walk with Christ. They serve Him wholeheartedly and aren’t afraid to be counter cultural. Tyndale is also so unique in that the student population is so diverse. We have many different ethnicities, many different backgrounds, and many different Theological viewpoints, and yet we can all co-exist with each other.
I chose to stay at Tyndale because I realized that although God planted me here, my spiritual journey did not just stop with planting. God also had to develop the roots that I needed to thrive in ministry which He has done through some really incredible classes, mentorship with students and faculty, and through Spiritual direction and Tyndale’s counseling services. More than that, God brought about restoration in my life and healing through accountability partners and natural free-flowing community. I’ve noticed that at Tyndale community is organic – we just let it happen naturally, it isn’t forced. That’s why whether we’re playing a friendly (or not so friendly) game of intramural hockey, having board game’s night, hanging in the dorm, or studying our brains out the night before the final exam, we can still take time for fellowship, prayer, and renewal. At Tyndale I noticed this intense prayer culture that I’ve never been able to experience since. At Tyndale when you ask someone to pray for you, they’ll actually do it! Right on the spot and they’ll follow up with you afterwards to check-in and make sure you’re doing okay. Tyndale also has a huge heart for missions and for locally and globally serving. Every decision at Tyndale is prayed over a hundred fold by students, staff, and faculty, each decision truly being entrusted into the Lord’s hands.
After I graduated with my BRE in 2012 I went to a small seminary in the States. Although the experience did have some advantages and I grew and learned a lot there, my heart always remained with Tyndale. Tyndale is one of these environments where someone can hardly know you and yet you still feel so comfortable sharing with them. Tyndale is this environment where everyone cares about you and wants the best for your life. Tyndale has always affirmed me in my future ministry and vocational goals. So I knew that Tyndale was where I needed to come back to.
This year I’ve been serving at L’Arche Daybreak (an intentional Christian community in Richmond Hill). I truly believe that had it not been for Tyndale I wouldn’t have stumbled upon L’Arche. The sense of community and love I’ve received from the core members (residents with developmental disabilities) and my ability to give and receive that love is a direct response to the acceptance I felt at Tyndale. My ability to show initiative and my ability to be supportive of my community is a direct response to first becoming aware of what community is through my 3 years at Tyndale.
I know that God is calling me back to Tyndale starting this summer and that makes me very excited! I can’t wait to once again be part of the student atmosphere and to take advantage of all the great things Tyndale has to offer. Thank you, Tyndale for being the school that you are and for shaping me to be the person that I am!
Tyndale has been an incredible time in my life, but as you are likely aware, the cost of tuition at any institution these days can be a bit hit. Tyndale’s costs of tuition are significantly higher than other schools because we are a private Christian school and do not receive money from the government. Even so, I think the benefits of Tyndale sort of even out. I mean, they give you free Spiritual direction, career counseling, personal counseling, tutoring, and have a great writing center so that’s tons of free stuff right there. And as Sheila, the director of the counseling wing at Tyndale likes to ask Frosh, “Who doesn’t like free stuff?” To help offset the cost of my tuition for the next 2 years at Tyndale, I’m asking that you please vote for me to win a financial aid award. All you have to do is just click this link and then click under my name and it will register your vote: http://j.mp/1kfnV8W. I’ve also included a short bio underneath this blog so that you can have a better idea of who I am and why being considered for the financial aid award would really help me! Cheers!
A SKETCH OF DEBORAH-RUTH FERBER
Name: Deborah (AKA: The only panda to ever roam Tyndale)
Hometown: Windsor, Ontario (but a Torontonian at heart)
Program at Tyndale: MDiv Pastoral Studies (2016)
Previous Tyndale Education: Certificate in Christian Studies (2010), BRE (2012)
Favourite Things to Do In Toronto: The nature trails!
Name Your Three Favourite Things About Your Undergrad Experience: Hands-down, it’s got start with One Chapels on Sunday night (a great time for prayer, praise and fellowship), also I really enjoyed all night prayer and air bandz (that’s when the wild side of me came out and everyone thought I was some crazy hipster)
Which professor(s) really shaped and influenced your time at Tyndale: Dr. Daniel Wong is a professor who really influenced me to stay at Tyndale because of his love and enthusiasm not only for the school but for ministry in general. His classes were always very informative and fun and he really took an interest in my personal and academic development. Also Professor Bryan Dixon was another great professor who brought out my love and aptitude for teaching and always made his classes interactive.
Which Professors Are You Most Looking Forward To Having in Sem and Why: Arthur Paul Boers and Arnold Neufeld-Fast. I’m a Mennonite. Enough said.
Name a Really Cool Experience You Had With Tyndale Friends: A bunch of my Tyndale friends always showed up to my church whenever I was preaching. One time we even had 17 show up. That’s was crazy cool! Also, there was the time they threw me a surprise 20th birthday party. I almost had a heart attack in the kat.
What Are Your Future Ministry and Vocational Goals? I really want to get into hospital chaplaincy and eventually serve in a hospice setting. Also, I’m hoping to eventually get my ThM and PhD and teach full time after getting some life experiences.
In What Ways Did You Serve During Your Time at Tyndale? At Tyndale I served in a variety of ways. I was a Douloi Christou (intro to university) leader in 2010 and a leader and coordinator in 2011 (overseeing 16 other leaders). I also was a co-leader and co-founder of the Tyndale drama club and produced and co-directed a Midsummer’s Night’s Dream in 2011 raising over a grand for missions, the following year I was lead actor in Theria a student written and produced play also raising money and awareness for missions. Additionally, I helped start up a women’s prayer group on our dorm, played intramural floor hockey, served on the chapel team (drama and food prep), and was involved in a few other committees here and there. In 2012 I also had a part time student job working with the Development office as a Student Donor Steward Team Leader and also worked with Meal Exchange as a Campus Food Strategist for Tyndale. Both of those employment opportunities were more than just jobs to me, they were truly a way of ministering and giving back to the community and I was so happy to serve Tyndale in those ways. Finally, I also showed initiative at Tyndale through helping to coordinate a play at a local nursing home, organizing a student sandwich run in downtown Toronto for the homeless population, and through getting the ball rolling for a social justice movement.
What Were You Involved In Outside Of Tyndale During Your Years as a Student: Each year I volunteered in a variety of capacities to gain experience. I volunteered at Cummer Lodge (long-term care), teaching ESL, at a pregnancy center, and at local churches. I also stayed really involved in my own church and developed preaching and teaching skills there.
What Are You Doing Right Now: Until the end of August 2015, I am living amongst adults with developmental disabilities and loving it! I’m also doing some freelance writing and blogging. Check my publications page to see some of what I’ve written. In the next few months there will be more links up there including a recent interview I did with the Toronto Sun on L’Arche as an intentional Christian community.
Why Winning the Award Would Help: I really want to stay committed and dedicated to Tyndale as an academic institution and as a community of faith. Winning this award would provide me with the opportunity to do just that and to free me up to spend more time serving in ministry while studying full time.