2015-2016 Year End Review

Cup of coffee, pen and notepad on wooden background. Top view

The Tyndale University College graduation is this weekend and I thought it would be a good time to post a summary of all the good things that have happened in our department this year. Many philosophy departments have seen a significant reduction in their number of majors, but thanks to God’s faithfulness we actually have seen our numbers grow! Not only are we seeing an increase in majors and minors, but those in our program are proving themselves to be truly outstanding. Here are just some of the highlights of what’s been going on at Tyndale Philosophy and of how God has continued to bless our program and students.

Whether, and How, to Apply to Graduate School

This fall we hosted an event for our majors who are interested in graduate school. The department has seen a remarkable degree of success in this area; to date, over 30 different M.A., Ph.D., and Law programs have made over 60 offers of admission to our graduates! This event is where we help students figure out whether they should apply to grad school and, if so, how to do it. The highlight of this year’s talk was a Skype session with a recent graduate Catherine Klausen (BA ’14) who is currently in the Ph.D. program at Waterloo. Catherine not only provided students with a few tips about choosing a school, but also gave a moving account of how she sees her graduate work as another way of loving God with her mind.

Graduate School Offers of Admission

This was another great year for our students in terms of gaining acceptance to graduate schools.

  1. Adam Blackburn: After finishing his M.A. at Ryerson University in 2015, Adam was admitted to the Ph.D. program in philosophy at McMaster University. There he’ll join another Tyndale graduate Kirk Lougheed who started at McMaster last year.
  2. Andrew Brockman: In 2014, after receiving multiple offers of admission, Andrew enrolled in the M.A. program in Religious Studies at McGill University and this fall he will begin his Ph.D. studies there.
  3. Jeremy Dawson: Jeremy (BA ’14) will graduate from Ryerson University this year with his M.A. in Philosophy. After receiving offers from numerous Ph.D. programs, he has decided to do his doctoral work at the University of British Columbia this fall. Jeremy also won a very prestigious $105,000 Canada Graduate Scholarship!
  4. I.J. Makan: I.J. is graduating from Tyndale with B.A. this year and has also received multiple offers of admission to graduate programs. He is now planning to begin his M.A. work in Philosophy at Saint Mary’s University’s in Halifax this Fall.

Given the highly competitive nature of applying to graduate school, we are very proud of what our graduates are accomplishing. That they each are receiving generous funding packages from these schools is an even greater accomplishment!

UC San Diego Summer Program for Women in Philosophy

This year Gillian Lee, a second year student in the Philosophy program, was admitted to the Summer Program for Women in Philosophy that is hosted by the University of California, San Diego. Each year there are fewer than twenty spots available so we are very proud that Gillian was chosen. According to the program alumnae page Gillian is also just the second Canadian to be admitted to the program (the first was from the University of Toronto—not bad company!).

Symposium on Faith and Doubt

This year Tyndale Philosophy also hosted a Symposium on Faith and Doubt that was funded by a generous grant from the Society of Christian Philosophers. The event featured four very prominent philosophers who each, in different ways, spoke directly to faith and doubt. Here is a list of the speakers and their topics. You can watch the entire event here or by clicking the “audio” or “video” link for each specific talk.

  • Klaas Kraay (Professor of Philosophy, Ryerson University),
    “Doubt and Disagreement” (audio) (video)
  • Myron Penner (Professor of Philosophy, Trinity Western University),
    “Doubt: Its Proper Function and Response” (audio) (video)
  • Kristen Irwin (Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago),
    “Pierre Bayle on Faith and Belief” (audio) (video)
  • Trent Dougherty (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University),
    “Faith in the Face of Doubt” (audio) (video)

Tyndale Philosophy was thrilled to host such a fabulous event and are very thankful to all of the guest speakers and everyone else who worked behind the scenes to make it possible.

Moving Forward

The interest in our program from incoming students has never been higher, our current Tyndale Philosophy students continue to demonstrate their commitment to excel in their studies, and we are simply bursting with excitement about what God continues to do through this program. It has been an outstanding year, but we’re confident that next year is going to be even better.

Aslan is on the move!

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