>Today’s post is the final Christian college president interview from the feature that appeared in the April 28, 2010, issue of Christian Renewal. I posted my interview with Derek Halvorson on Tuesday, and I posted my interview with Philip Graham Ryken last Thursday. This is a slightly edited version of my interview with Dr. Hubert R. Krygsman, which took place before his inauguration as the current president of Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario.
Redeemer College began classes in 1982 and Dr. Krygsman serves as its third president, following the retirement of Dr. Justin Cooper, who served as Redeemer’s president for 16 years. Prior to coming to Redeemer, Dr. Krygsman was the Associate Provost and Director of the Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and Service at Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA.
Glenda Mathes (GM): Dr. Krygsman, I understand that you will assume the presidency on June 14, 2010. Is that correct?
Hubert Krygsman (HK): This is correct. Technically, I assume responsibility on June 14. But I will begin working at Redeemer on June 1 to learn from and work with Justin Cooper before he leaves office.
GM: Although most institutions of higher learning seem to want a multi-function president, they appear to vary in their desired focus. How would you describe the expectations for your presidency? Will you be more of a scholarly instructor or more of a development administrator? What primary categories of work are included in your job description?
HK: My understanding of the role is that of a multi-function president. I understand my responsibilities to include leadership in the following areas: affirming and articulating Redeemer’s Reformed identity and perspective; ensuring that Redeemer maintains and develops high quality programs that are rooted in its wholistic, Biblical perspective; developing Redeemer’s administrative organization; expanding Redeemer’s enrollment and supporting constituency; and cultivating Redeemer’s relationships with and service to its broader community, including with legislators, other colleges and universities, and other service organizations.
GM: What do you view as the probable challenges you will face in your new position?
HK: I’m sure there will be many challenges that I don’t yet know, but among the challenges I expect are the following: First, we will continue to face the pressures of a predominantly secular culture, and we will have to show the positive contribution that Redeemer makes to our students and our society. Second, we will need to continue building understanding and commitment to Redeemer’s Reformed perspective among our increasingly diverse community of students and supporters. Third, we will need to continue developing our programs in ways that serve our community and engage the wider world with a transforming vision. Fourth, we will need to find and develop the resources to sustain and expand Redeemer’s programs and impact. And fifth, on a personal note, I’m sure I will find the task of developing my own leadership a challenge. To meet all of these challenges, I trust that God will continue to provide for Redeemer, and we will find our strength and hope in Him.
GM: What do you view as the possible joys of the work?
HK: Here too, I’m sure I will find unexpected joys, but I hope to find much joy in following God faithfully, in working with colleagues and a supporting constituency that are share a deep commitment to Redeemer’s mission and vision, in seeing Redeemer’s faculty and staff flourish in working together in carrying out our mission, and in seeing our students grow into mature, faithful, and able servants and leaders of God’s kingdom in the world around us.
GM: What are the hopes or goals you have for your work at Redeemer?
HK: My goals are, generally, to lead successfully in the areas that I mention above, and in doing so to help Redeemer to flourish in fulfilling its mission in service to God. More specifically in the shorter term, I expect to focus the institution’s efforts especially on implementing the Strategic “Great Goals” adopted by Redeemer’s Board of Governors, which I share deeply. These goals include developing Redeemer’s international and global engagement; refreshing Redeemer’s distinctive Reformed worldview in ways that speak to a wider Christian community, demonstrating that Christian faith relates to all of life; and developing programs that connect academics and student life to develop the whole person.
GM: How can you see that God’s providence in your life has prepared you for this position?
HK: God has provided for my family and I in many wonderful ways, starting with being raised in Christian homes, schools, and churches in southern Ontario. I pursued graduate studies in Canadian history, always with the commitment of one day serving the Reformed Christian community and its witness in Canada, especially in Christian higher education. God also provided an opportunity to work in Christian higher education at Dordt College, where during twenty years I had opportunities to develop my teaching and leadership in many facets of Christian higher education, and to work out a vision for Christian higher education that is intentionally based on a wholistic Biblical perspective. Finally, the search and interview process was a wonderful, Spirit-filled experience in which we discovered that we had a common vision, and where Redeemer’s needs and priorities matched with the experience, passions, and skills that I could offer. Throughout this process, we have sensed God’s leading, clearing a path, and giving us peace that His purpose was served.
Redeemer University College is an undergraduate Christian liberal arts and science university located near Hamilton in southern Ontario. Its more than 900 students are educated in small classes with a low student to faculty ratio. Redeemer University College offers a scripturally-direct education from a Reformed Christian perspective and in all things seeks to glorify God.