Pursue Discipleship

Send me Info

"We are called by Jesus to become His disciples, further His Kingdom, and make other disciples. During this year at Vanguard, you will have the opportunity to pursue God, to study His Word, to know His Heart for you and the world, and to be a part of His Mission around the globe."

His Word . His Heart . His Mission.

Pursue is a 1-year Discipleship Program that focuses on foundational biblical and theological principles through college-level courses. Throughout the year you will engage in a program uniquely designed to help you develop spiritual disciplines, leadership skills, and being part of a team. You will serve as an active disciple of Christ through various ministry opportunities and projects.

His Word

  • Introduction to college-level learning through five accredited and transferable courses
  • Interact and participate in five Formation and Discipleship courses tailored to the Pursue program
  • Learn how to read the Bible well; understand context; know the overarching story of the Bible and how life, death, and resurrection connect the story from Genesis to
  • Develop skills in Bible study and interpretation

His Heart

  • Discern what you love/worship through spiritual practices and reflection
  • Learn to relate well to others by being part of a team and being mentored by leaders
  • Develop principles and practices for effective emotional, physical, and spiritual self-care

His Mission

  • Understand what it means to align your personal interests to further the purposes of God's kingdom
  • Focus on the unreached; those far from God through acts of mercy, serving, justice, and evangelism
  • Discover your spiritual gifts and explore your calling
  • Gain confidence in your abilities, accomplishments, and decision making


Ministry Opportunities:
  • Working with newcomers to Canada in Edmonton
  • Serving the inner-city population in Downtown Vancouver
  • Partnering with local churches and ministries in Edmonton and around Alberta

Personal Growth Opportunities:

  • One-on-one Discipleship/Mentorship
  • Leadership Development
  • Spiritual Disciplines (prayer, fasting, worship, etc.)

Community Experiences:

  • Pursue Retreat (Repelling, Mountain Biking, Mountain Climbing, Worship, Community and more!)
  • Local Edmonton Attractions (Corn Maze Night, Movie Nights, Board Game Nights, etc.)
    Small Groups
  • Other Ministry Opportunities

Follow us on Instagram!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions regarding Pursue, please contact Enrolment Services.  Some questions are answered below.

What is the purpose of this program?

The purpose of this program is pretty simple. We focus on 3 main objectives which are to help people ground themselves in their faith in Jesus, allow people to experience and see the world in a new way, and to help students figure out what God is asking them to do with the rest of their lives! Everything we do is designed and done with the hope that God will be able to speak to you so that you actually hear and understand what He is saying. His Word. His Heart. His Mission.

Who is the ideal student for this program?

  • Students who want to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and try some college-level academic study.
  • Students who can handle longs days of travel in vans and on planes to do anywhere from 10 days to five weeks of ministry.
  • Students that are able to dedicate a year to reflect and discern the leading of God for what's next in their lives.

What specific opportunities will I have when we go and do ministry?

Each person in the Pursue program will have opportunity to be pushed in gifts that they have including public speaking/preaching, leading games and small groups, leading worship and music, working with children and youth, as well as working with New Comers to Canada. So if you are musical and can sing well, there is opportunity to lead worship, and be developed more in that as well!

What will I be doing on the trips that we do?

Vancouver – Working with homeless, drug/alcohol addicts to share Jesus with them and literally give hope to the hopeless on the streets of the inner city in Vancouver (East Hastings is the poorest postal code in Canada). We partner with lots of organizations that have feeding programs, and other organizations that help the people by giving clothes, showers, and places to sleep.

Overseas – Where we go exactly will depend on how many students are in Pursue, but people will be on teams of approximately 4-6 people and will go to 1 country for 4 weeks to work with Global Workers on field, and help in their ministry. You will have possible opportunities to work with children, feeding programs, church ministries, local outreaches and gatherings, and a variety of other programming that we will prepare in Canada prior to going on field.

Local Ministry – We will be partnering with a variety of ministries and non-profits in Edmonton that work with New Comers to Canada, homeless in Edmonton, and other Local Church ministries. The goal is to help expose people to a variety of ministries, as well as working in teams, and developing community all while trying to further the Kingdom of God in Edmonton.

What will transfer into a degree or certificate?

17 credits from the Pursue program will transfer into a certificate, diploma or degree at Vanguard College.

Do you have dorms?

No, we do not have dorms. Instead, we have student housing. These are houses within walking distance to our campus that are leased to first-year students.

Why should I do this program if I already know what I’m supposed to do with the rest of my life?

It's pretty simple, to ground yourself in Jesus. There is no better investment and no better way to spend your time and resources than growing and deepening your faith in Christ. You will never regret taking a year to learn more about the Bible, as well as see and experience a different country and way of living!

Program Outcomes

  1. Gain foundational biblical and theological knowledge through discipleship and college-
    level courses.
  2. Develop spiritual disciplines, practical personal care, and leadership skills and abilities.
  3. Serve as an active disciple of Christ through ministry opportunities, and projects.

COVID-19 Impact:

The Pursue Discipleship program involves travel and ministry across Canada and around the world. With this in mind, we are closely monitoring all restriction and guidelines presented to us by Alberta Health Services and the Canadian Government. Our top priority is making sure that the team and the organizations we work with are safe. While ministry may look slightly different, the foundational elements of the program continue to remain the same. We will be communicating with all incoming Pursue students about our upcoming plans and how COVID-19 can potentially affect the program.

Discipleship Certificate

Fall Courses


Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Online Course Code DEBT102

The heart of this course is centred around the importance of the Bible as God’s revelation to mankind, the metanarrative of God at work in history. The course intends to instruct students in how they read and study the scriptures. The student will be acquainted with the purpose and methods of responsible biblical interpretation, both general hermeneutics and special hermeneu-tics. The intention is to provide tools for interpretation, an emphasis on role of the Holy Spirit their personal reading of the Bible, and an appreciation for the different genres of scripture.

BT101The Bible As Story

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Online Course Code DEBT101

This entry level course is designed to demonstrate the importance and relevancy of the whole Bible for today. For many, it is a mystery how the Old Testament is related to the New Testament. Some think the former is a source of unrelated devotional stories, laws and prophecies. In truth, the two testaments are the complete story of God’s progressive plan for his people. It is the purpose of this course to concisely trace the story of Scripture, and to help students build a central foundation with which they can understand, interpret and apply God’s word to their lives today.

BT103Introduction to Personal Formation

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Online Course Code DEBT103

The purpose of this course is to examine the teaching of the Bible and develop a systematic theology that addresses four important themes: the Word of God, the doctrine of God, biblical anthropology, and the doctrine of sin. Efforts will be made to explain how these themes are developed through promise and fulfilment from Genesis to Revelation.

DF101Formation 1: Foundational Living

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Being a disciple of Christ comes at a cost, but also comes with an eternal hope that so many are without in our world. Through this course students will take an in-depth look at the Biblical lessons learned from being a follower of Jesus including the costs, and practices needed by every disciple of Christ. Students will take time to develop personal habits of a disciple of Christ, as well as be involved with a small group, and mentorship.

FE101Practicum: Pursue - Local

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Through this practicum students will have a focused time of discussion and preparation for a variety of ministry opportunities which will help to develop a compassionate heart for unreached people in Canada. Students will also learn how to effectively work with non-profit agencies, as well as communicate with people in a Canadian context from various countries around the world.

Winter Courses


Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Online Course Code DEBT104

This course is an introduction to the Gospels. It will focus on the four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Issues relating to the synoptic problem will be explored, as well as the unique contribution of each gospel. The literary nature of the gospels will be examined, exploring the gospels as story, as well as their theological impact. As the title implies, this course will emphasize our response to the gospels: what it means to follow Jesus.

BT105Theology 1: God and the Human Condition

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Online Course Code DEBT105

The purpose of this course is to examine the teaching of the Bible and develop a systematic theology that addresses four important themes: the Word of God, the doctrine of God, biblical anthropology, and the doctrine of sin. Efforts will be made to explain how these themes are developed through promise and fulfilment from Genesis to Revelation.

DF102Formation 2: Personal Understanding

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Being a disciple of Christ means that we must be able to contextualize the gospel in all that we do. Through this course students will learn about different ministry styles and discover their own personal ministry style through the S.H.A.P.E. Profile and Spiritual Gifting’s assessments. Students will practice initial approaches to contextualization and ministry by engaging with people of other cultures and religious beliefs through off campus tours and trips.

DF103Formation 3: Life on Mission

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Recognizing the need of Spiritual Disciplines is fundamental in our personal journey of being a disciple of Jesus. Through this course students will engage with and identify these spiritual disciplines through hands on learning and practical experience. Students will utilize Foster’s book, as well as other biblically founded material to work through these various disciplines, as well as analyze how these change as they continue to move into a variety of stages of life.

FE102Practicum: Pursue – Global

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Through this practicum students will develop in their understanding of cross cultural ministry, and begin to prepare for a hands on experience in a global context. We also focus on preparing students for going into another country/culture through our Global Orientation. Students will also be able to experience practical, and hands on ministry in carious countries that we are going to this year.

Meet the team

View all staff
Mark Klassen

Mark Klassen, BA

Pursue Director

Mark is a graduate from Vanguard College and brings with him a variety of ministry and leadership experience. Having himself completed a Discipleship Training School at YWAM Australia and going through the PURSUE program (then known as HMS), Mark understands the importance of giving one year to dedicate oneself to God, learning about the Bible, growing in character and developing spiritual maturity. Mark and his wife Courtney have overseas experience in over 15 countries. Mark recently became a father to Maverick and looks forward to leading Pursue in the coming years.