Staff & Faculty
REV. ERIC DERKSEN
Education: Theological Studies, Columbia Bible College; B.G.S., Brandon University; C.A., Institute of Charted Accountants of Manitoba; Theological Studies, Horizon College; M.Div., Providence Theological Seminary Practical Experience: 4 years Public Practice KPMG; 17 years of ministry experience including ministry with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and ministry as Pastor in Ontario and Manitoba.
Mark brings over 30 years of pastoral experience to His role as director. He has personally experienced and exercised his pastoral gift in many settings from staff pastor, youth pastor to lead pastor. He has served in rural, suburban to urban settings. He now finds it a great privilege to pastor future pastors/leaders. . Married to his best friend Pam, they have two great children, Rachel and James, both involved in ministry. Mark’s desire and passion is to encounter the God of unlimited resources who has big plans for His Church and the next generation of leaders.
REV. ROB GUTHRIE
Education: Dip.Th.: Northwest Bible College, Edmonton, B.Th., Biblical Studies: Northwest Bible College, M.A. Historical Theology: Briercrest Biblical Seminary; Th. D Studies, Trinity Theological Seminary.
Practical Experience: Interim and Senior Pastor for 9 years; Instructor, Northwest Bible College for 4 years; Academic Dean, Living Faith Bible College from 1999-2003.
For the past 30 years, Rob has pastored in various churches and taught in various Bible Colleges in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. More recently he taught for three years at Yesu Akwagala Bible College in Seguku, Uganda, before returning to teach at Vanguard.
Allan’s ministry at Vanguard College as the missions director lets him live out his passion helping students see how big God’s world is and how big God is. Known around the College as PA (short for Professor Allan), Allan and his wife Ingrid teach, live and show the importance of relationships, hospitality and love to the SWD community. Allan’s love for people takes him down the road to his church, being involved in various ministries there. It also takes him halfway around the world leading short term missions teams. Allan spends the rest of his life doing what he loves most as a chauffeur and cheerleader for his three kids.
DR. GERRY PAULSON
Gerry has been on staff at Vanguard College since 1993. He is a graduate of NBC (B.Th), UBC (B. Mus), U of A (M.Mus) and The Robert Webber Institute of Worship Studies (D.W.S.). He has pastored in California, British Columbia and Alberta and has been a guest conductor with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic and is currently the men’s choir director at Hope Mission. He is married to the love of his life Diane and they have two daughters and a son.
DR. RON POWELL
Ron has been directing the YMI at Vanguard since 2003. His passion for reaching and discipling youth is evident in his teaching, speaking and writing. He was a youth pastor for 12 years and transitioned into teaching youth ministry at Masters College and Seminary in 1994. Recently, with Tyson Howells, Ron began the popular blog, Youth Ministry Unleashed (www.youthministryunleashed.com) He loves teaching in the classroom and mentoring students one on one. When he is not working with young adults at the college, he is speaking to youth and their parents at conferences, retreats, rallies and seminars. Ron lives in St. Albert with his wife and two daughters.
Sean is the director for the School of Children’s and Family Ministries at Vanguard College. He was born in Ontario, but grew up in Southeast Asia, which is probably why he likes drinking tea and watching martial arts/action movies so much. Before coming to Vanguard, Sean served as a Children’s Pastor in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta for over a decade. He has a strong desire to see children and their families transformed by the gospel, and to equip leaders who will help them realize that God wants to use them to build his Kingdom now, as well as in the future. Sean is married to Faith, and they are the proud parents of three fantastic kids.
Education: B.A. (Psychology); B.A. Hons (History), B.Ed (Secondary Education), B.Com (Accounting), M.Ed (Educational Administration); DEd (Secondary Education: Coursework Completed)
Practical Experience: Teacher and administrator since 1967 mostly in high schools. Has taught English Composition and Literature at Vanguard since 2003. Short term missions in various countries. Develops and teaches online courses for IBOLT, Vanguard College’s distance education provider.
Faculty & Department Directors
Education: B. Mus.,University of Alberta; M.Mus. (Composition), University of British Columbia.
Practical Experience: Sessional Instructor, University of Alberta for 2 years; Church Music Director for 13 years; Music Theory and History Instructor at Taylor University College. Instructor at UBC for two years. Over 20 years of teaching at Vanguard. Over 30 years experience of Music Leadership in both rural and urban Byzantine Catholic Churches.
Education: PN, Durham College; B.A. Christian Studies, Briercrest College, CEP (In Progress) Practical Experience: Children's & Family Ministries Pastor in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
Brad was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. He is a graduate of Atlantic Baptist College (Crandall University), St. Thomas University, Lakehead University, the University of Western Ontario (M.L.I.S.) and Briercrest Seminary.
He has served at Vanguard for over three decades filling a number of roles in addition to Library Director including teaching many Old Testament electives. He is married to Debbie, with whom he shares a number of interests including practical spirituality. Brad is the father of three grown sons. He believes that one year faith developing programs are the best way to experience Bible College. He welcomes chatting with and getting to know YOU!
My name is Hayley and I am the director of the Kids Travel Company. I have grown up in Edmonton and come from a family of seven. I recently graduated from here, Vanguard College with a degree in Children’s and Family ministry and I love what I do. I find so much joy in seeing kids experience God for themselves; making their faith their own rather than just their parents. I am very excited to see what God has in store for this ministry!
Education: B. Physical Education, University of Alberta; B. Ed., University of Alberta; B.R.S. Vanguard College, MACP, Providence Theological Seminary (in progress)
Denise has served in a variety of ministry contexts and is passionate about helping others grow in their understanding of and active engagement in servant leadership and community building. She also seeks to help empower others to explore and live in the fullness of God's call upon their lives. Everyone has a story to tell and Denise enjoys hearing as much as you would like to share with her. So, come as you are and pull up a chair.
Denise is married to Ilia and is a new mom to their son, Lev. Together, they are thrill seekers who love the outdoors and exploring God's creation as often as possible.
Kelly is the director of the 1-year HMS: Intercultural Studies Certificate program at Vanguard College. At the age of 14, Kelly went on his first short-term missions trip to Ukraine where God completely changed his life. He has led and served on more than 25 short-term missions trips in Canada, Eastern Europe, as well as in East and Southeast Asia. Together with his wife Angela, they are passionate about missionally equipping and training the next generation of young people to “be the change that they want to see in the world” through innovative and creative platforms in order to reach their fullest potentials in Christ.
DR. CATH THORLAKSON, PHD, RPSYCH
Education: BRE, Canadian Bible College; MRE (Counselling Specialization), Canadian Theological Seminary. Phd, Educational Psychology Capella University.
Experience: 10 years as pastor over various ministry areas. 11 years in private clinical counselling, 4 years as Addictions & Mental Health Therapist, 12 summers of camp ministries in Alberta and BC, Adjunct faculty for Ambrose University College
REV. DR. JONATHAN KIENZLER
Education: B. Th. (Pastoral Ministries Major), Northwest Bible College; M. Div., Taylor Seminary; M. Th (Biblical Studies Major), Newman Theological College; Doctor of Philosophy in Divinity (New Testament), University of Aberdeen
Coordinators & Assistants
Education: B.B.S., Prairie Bible College; Dip. in Electronics Engineering, NAIT; Master’s Diploma in TESOL, Prairie Graduate School; MA in Intercultural Studies
Paul has been working cross-culturally since 1993
Education: Royal Conservatory A.R.C.T. (Piano Teaching), B.Ed (Music Major), University of Alberta.
Practical Experience: Elementary School Teacher for 4 yrs; Private and Class Instructor in Piano, Theory, and History for 35 yrs
Education: B.A Intercultural Studies, Vanguard College; M.A. Intercultural and International Communication, Royal Roads University.
Since her first Missions trip to China, Angela has been passionate about Missions and God’s heart for the world. This passion has led her and her husband, Kelly, to serve and live in Thailand for one year, as well as lead many other missions trips throughout Asia and Ukraine. She is passionate about mentoring and equipping youth and young adults to share God’s love and peace with a broken and hurting world.
Education: Diploma in Youth Ministry, Vanguard College; 1 Year Certificate in Dental Assisting, NAIT; Graduate Certificate in Youth and Young Adults Ministry
Denise has served in youth and young adult ministry for over 10 years in a local church context in Edmonton, Alberta. She is passionate about equipping and empowering the next generation of young leaders to know, love and serve Jesus to their greatest potential. It brings her great joy to see youth and young adults using their gifts and talents to further God’s purposes.
Education: Dip.Th, Christ For The Nations; B.A.Th (Youth Ministry), Vanguard College; M.A. Christian Ministries (Youth & Family), Briercrest Seminary; M.A.Th (Old Testament Studies), Briercrest Seminary.
Practical Experience: Pastoral Ministry in Edmonton and British Columbia for 15 years; Youth Ministry Assistant Director at Vanguard College (2005-2009)
My name is Alisha and I am the new Academic Assistant. I lived in Africa for about 5 years doing mission work with vulnerable communities in South Africa & Zambia, where I left a part of my heart. I recently received my MRS degree and got married to the love of my life. Being a part of the Academic team at Vanguard has been an amazing blessing and I am excited to serve the staff and student body in such a way.
Education: Coming Soon
Practical Experience: Coming Soon
Education: Certified Professional Bookkeeper
Practical Experience: Administration Management 14 yrs, Self Employed Bookkeeper 5 Years
Education: Diploma in Human Resources Management, University of Winnipeg; Diploma in Theological Studies; Horizon College Candace Derksen is the Executive Assistant for Development at Vanguard College. She provides administrative, Human Resource and Management skills and assists in strategic Development planning for the Development team. She also actively promotes Alumni connections with Vanguard College.
Education: B.A. Th.: Music Ministry & Youth Ministry, Vanguard College; MLI S, University of Alberta (in progress).