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Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
September 18, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Student Testimonials

Testimonials from students in the MA Theology: Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy program:

"I just finished my undergrad at Laurier in the Hons. Religion and Culture program. I’ve always wanted to go into counseling, but the MSW program seemed too technical, and I love studying religion. I am so glad that I found the Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy program at WLS. It is allowing me to follow my dreams and my passion. WLS provides the best of both worlds – a small college atmosphere where everyone knows everyone else, and the resources of a mid-sized university. I look forward to pursuing my research interests of how Buddhism and bereavement care for the non-religious intersect. -- Martina Moreau, MA Theology: Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy candidate

"As soon as I discovered the MA Spiritual Care & Psychotherapy program at WLS I knew I had found the program I had been looking for. I commute for 2 hours to come here and it is truly worth every second to me – and more. For several years I had thought about taking a Master’s degree that would complement my existing skill set and experience plus be flexible enough to accommodate my work and living arrangements. When I saw the curriculum I knew I had “landed”!  Given the multitude of cultural diversity in the GTA, I wanted to include a strong multi-faith component into my studies, and I love both the courses and the extracurricular events the campus offers.  Beyond that, the atmosphere here is friendly, welcoming and emits an engaging generosity of spirit. I believe all of us here appreciate the small and manageable campus where we can still find parking without having to mortgage our homes!  -- Sabine Fischer, MA Theology: Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy candidate

"Waterloo Lutheran Seminary offered me the opportunity and the environment to grow both spiritually and intellectually. My whole experience at the college was positive and I have gone on with confidence into a private counselling practice, knowing that I am very well prepared. From the office staff to the teaching staff everyone was patient, helpful and encouraging. I really believe I made a right choice in doing my MA in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy at WLS. I enjoyed the WLS experience so much that I am already enrolled in another counselling course at the seminary in order to keep abreast of the current theories in my chosen profession."
--Susan Rumford, MA Theology: Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy, 2012 graduate

"Waterloo Lutheran Seminary is an amazing place to be, especially as a mature student returning to study for a second career in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy.  I have found that the counselling and theology courses are a wonderful balance between academic learning and personal/spiritual growth.  Self-care is both taught and encouraged.  It is my observation and experience that the Seminary faculty and staff go out of their way to help students succeed in their chosen areas of concentration.  I am thoroughly enjoying my time at WLS." --Laurie Blaikie, MA Theology: Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy, 2012 graduate

“From the moment I discovered WLS to my first encounter with Sarina the friendly Admissions Coordinator and my attendance to the semi-annual Open House, I knew this was the place for me. I was thrilled to find a program that combined Spiritual Care with Psychotherapy and a dedicated staff to facilitate it. The choice to return to school is a daunting one for individuals at any stage. My personal experience with the staff at WLS is that they are very accommodating and help students transition with care. I have also found the courses and my interactions with classmates to be inspirational.  WLS provides a safe place to explore and re-explore issues related to faith and life and prepares students with a firm foundation from which to counsel from.
--Melody Leclair, MA Theology: Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy candidate


“Waterloo Lutheran Seminary is an amazing place! I love the joy, the light, and the life here. Worship is varied, sometimes uplifting, sometimes allowing for sadness and even silence. I have found the faculty to be very approachable as well as very knowledgeable. My time here has been a wonderful time of growth, not only academically, but also personally and spiritually.” --Sebastian Meadows-Helmer, M.Div., MA Th: Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy graduate 2012 

"Waterloo Lutheran Seminary played an instrumental role in my pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2009 and it changed my life.  Walking through the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus knelt to pray, Corinth where the Apostle Paul preached, and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee were nothing short of the kind of joy that was unspeakable and full of glory. As a second year MTS student in Pastoral Counselling and a member of AAMFT, I am looking forward to a rewarding career in Marriage and Family Therapy. The encouraging, engaging, and supportive environment at the Seminary has played a pivotal role in my journey."  --Arlene Knight, MTS: Pastoral Counselling, 2010 graduate

Testimonials from students in Master of Divinity programs:

"I am very excited to be a part of the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. I have only just begun my journey at WLS, and I have had a lot of fears coming back to school after 16 years. I am very pleased to say that I have received a wonderful welcome , which has really supported and enriched my decision to come back to school for a second career. WLS and WLU have amazing resources available to assist any kind of student, from library workshops, to writing seminars all free for the taking. I have found all the tools necessary to become empowered as a second career student.  I am over joyed and enthusiastic about my studies here as well joining such a wonderful community of students and faculty, as well as engaging in worship and prayer services. It’s not just a university but a culture, a way of life, a community of faith. I can’t think of any better way to learn than among friends.  I look forward to continuing along in this new phase of my development, I am grateful to be able to say that I will be growing and learning in such an amazing environment." -- Jenn Hind, MDiv candidate


 “My time in the WLS community contributed enormously to my formation as a Christian and a pastor, and I know WLS will be there to help continually expand my knowledge and skills. Thank God for the people and the work of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary; I am proud to be a graduate of this wonderful, Spirit-filled place! 
--Susan Climo, M.Div., 2009 graduate

  "My studies at WLS have far exceeded my expectations. I have been enriched spiritually, academically, and personally. My faith has deepened through weekly worship at Keffer Chapel.  I have been shaped and formed for pastoral ministry through rigorous biblical and theological studies. I have especially valued counselling courses, my ministry placements, and clinical pastoral education unit. As a Mennonite student in the MDiv program I’ve had the freedom to explore my own faith tradition as well as other traditions and the role of the church in a pluralistic society. I am most grateful for faculty and fellow students who have journeyed with me and have contributed to my learning in such profound and transforming ways." --Kara Carter, MDiv, 2011 graduate 

“WLS has come to mean a whole lot to me. I have learned not only about theology but also about myself.  It is a gift to attend a school where you are never a number because the faculty knows you by name.  On top of that, they are invested in their student’s success; the instructors are always available and willing to help.  But perhaps the best thing is the sense of community within its walls - the camaraderie is fantastic, both between students and with faculty.  I have made what I am sure will be many lifelong friendships here.  WLS is a place where you learn and grow where you are challenged, and where you are able to have fun in the midst of it all.” 
--Joanna Miller, M.Div., 2010 graduate

  “Returning to school in my mid forties is likely one of the most terrifying things I have ever done, but it has also been one of the most rewarding.  WLS provides a safe caring community where I can explore my many questions of faith and life. It is a place where not only am I allowed to ask and explore the tough questions, but it also provides an atmosphere that encourages it.  Every day I am amazed at how my knowledge base is expanding, how my skills for ministry are being shaped, and the amount of confidence I am gaining. WLS is providing me with a solid education that will ensure my success as an ordained pastor.”--Stephen Hoffard, M.Div., 2012 graduate


“As an American student I was always made to feel at home at WLS.  The staff were incredibly helpful in all matters concerning visas, work permits, bursaries, everything.  The education I received was second to none.  In fact, I had such a positive experience both at the Seminary and in the churches I served as a student that I have decided to stay in Canada for my first call.” --John Polacok, MDiv., 2006 graduate

  "As a Masters of Divinity student, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary has been an exceptional experience. I have been challenged and encouraged to explore the role of the church in the world, to ask difficult questions and dialogue in community. From the vast diversity of worship, time spent in community and dialogue as well as professors who are invested in providing a rich learning environment, WLS has been and continues to be pivotal in my formation. It is more than a school. It is a family and a community where diversity is celebrated, opportunity for growth abounds and lifelong relationships are fostered. Studying at WLS has been and continues to be an honour and blessing. " --Adam Snook, M.Div., 2011 graduate 

Testimonials from students in the MA in Theology: Christian Studies program:

"Going to Seminary can be a difficult experience for some people. It can be harder than what is expected because of theological or personal issues that arise. What happens at this Seminary is you give birth to yourself, and that can be a very difficult and trying journey - but one you wouldn't trade for the world. Some journeys take longer than others (I was horribly green when I started mine over fourteen years ago), but each one reveals God's truth in God's time. At this seminary, there are people who serve as mid-wives at this birthing process. Thanks be to God! Being a non-counselling academic-stream M.A. student here has given me a freedom I did not expect to find. Within the first two months, I had what could only be called a personal epiphany - both my plans and my life changed dramatically. The professors value each student individually, giving the student permission to let their true selves be revealed. If someone had told me when I started that I would be planning to pursue doctoral studies in theology, I would have laughed at the sheer ridiculousness of the thought. Now I would see them as being prophetic. I did not truly know what I was capable of doing until I had one very powerful conversation with a professor here that did more for me in 90 minutes than various others in the last twelve years. The next thing I know I'm preparing for future studies with a hope and a confidence I did not have when I started. I believe I am better prepared now for what direction my life will take because of the people I have met here. The words "thank you" are far too small to encompass my gratitude to the people here at WLS, but they are all I have."
--Adrienne Jones, MA Theology: Christian Studies candidate

Testimonials from students in Diploma in Multifaith Spiritual Care and Counselling program:


"I needed to enhance my skills and acquire new ones to facilitate my transition back into full time ministry in a new context.  WLS had the precise program that proved both practical and relevant to my evolving ministry needs.  The program is provided within a diverse environment at a convenient and student friendly pace, by experienced faculty members who are actively involved in their fields.  The collaboration that the Seminary maintains with regional Health Care Institutions further served as a valuable resource for my learning.  It has been a productive year coupled with rich learning experiences in the classroom and out in the field.  I’m grateful to God for His work through His people at WLS." -- Dr. Florence Juma, Diploma, 2010 graduate 

“After deciding to enter the field of health care as a second career, I became acquainted with WLS, initially as a part time student. It wasn’t long before I recognized the tremendous value of integrating spiritual care and counselling courses in to my professional career. It is easy to become passionate about learning when experienced faculty are able to engage a diverse group of students, thereby fostering a rich learning experience that invites the spirit.”
--- Wendy Woodhouse, Diploma, 2012 graduate.

Testimonials from students in the BA Christian Studies and Global Citizenship Program:

"The moment I heard of the Christian Studies and Global Citizenship program, I knew WLU was the place to be. Even though that meant leaving Calgary AB, I hold no regrets. My uncertainties were settled and my expectations are continually exceeded. The combination of a caring Seminary community with a world class university cannot be matched. Together, I believe this arrangement will prepare students both academically and spiritually for the journey ahead. For myself, I plan on tackling the issue of human trafficking and more specifically the sex slave industry…A challenge that requires a solid foundation. Where better to start building than in such a program as this? Held in a school where the dean (David Pfrimmer) sometimes mentions that, “It is not just about what knowledge you obtain in school, but what kind of person you become…”
--Andrew Fawcett, Hons. BA Christian Studies and Global Citizenship candidate

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