Robert Derrenbacker has been appointed as Thorneloe University's president, provost and vice-chancellor for a second five-year term.
The board of governors unanimously approved the recommendation from the executive committee on June 12. Derrenbacker is Thorneloe’s 12th president. He began his current term of office on July 1, 2009.
Founded by the Anglican Church in 1961, Thorneloe University is federated with Laurentian University. It is an interdisciplinary centre of teaching, learning and research in the humanities, the arts and theology.
“Dr. Derrenbacker, who brings a blend of scholarship and executive skill to the position, has served Thorneloe with distinction,” said Steve Moutsatsos, chair of Thorneloe's board of governors.
“Under his leadership, the university has made tremendous progress. We renewed our strategic directions, enhanced our course offerings, expanded our enrolment, renovated and renamed the Thorneloe Theatre and Chapel, and celebrated our 50th anniversary with a series of events that brought together current and former students and staff.
“We remain focused on our mission of providing an accessible education fostering critical inquiry in a student-focused environment.”
Derrenbacker said he is delighted to lead Thorneloe University into the future.
“As a federated partner, Thorneloe University plays an extremely vital role in the education of students at Laurentian,” he said. “We offer students an exceptional learning opportunity in a warm and welcoming environment.” He added: “I look forward to working with the Board, faculty and staff as we continue to evolve to meet the needs of students in our classrooms and in our residence.”
Prior to joining Thorneloe University, Derrenbacker was associate professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a PhD from the University of St Michael’s College at the University of Toronto.
His dissertation, Ancient Compositional Practices and the Synoptic Problem was published by Peeters in 2005. A scholar of early Christian literature, Derrenbacker is the author of a number of essays and articles, including several published in the Journal of Biblical Literature, the Toronto Journal of Theology and the Journal for the Study of the New Testament.
From 2000 to 2003, he was Associate Dean and Assistant Professor of New Testament at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto and in 2005 he was a Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Theology at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. He has also taught at St. Peter’s Theological Seminary, London, Ontario, and St. Michael’s College and Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto.
He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Q Project, the Board of Trustees for the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, and he belongs to the Catholic Biblical Association and Society of Biblical Literature, where he is Chair of the Synoptic Gospels Section. He is a Priest in the Anglican Church of Canada and is an Honorary Associate at the Church of the Ascension in Sudbury. He is married with two children.