News & Resources


Partners Without Borders! Trinity Western Joins Sustaining Partner Family!

May 17, 2017

The Au Sable Institute is pleased to announce and welcome the addition of Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley, British Columbia to its family of Sustaining Partners. Sustaining Partner colleges and universities make direct financial contributions to the operation of Au Sable’s academic program, and in return receive discounted tuition, reserved course slots and special consideration in research opportunities for their students.

With the new partnership agreement, Trinity Western joins a distinguished family of eight other Christian schools including Bethel University (Minnesota), Calvin College (Michigan), Cedarville University (Ohio), Cornerstone University (Michigan), Covenant College (Georgia), The King’s University (Alberta) and Redeemer University College (Ontario). Over 80 past and present Trinity Western students are now Au Sable alumni, including Katharine Sell, a TWU student who took Marine Mammals and Ecological Agriculture at Au Sable’s Whidbey Island Campus, in association with Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship. Katharine expressed her thoughts about the new Partnership between Au Sable and Trinity Western this way “I am thrilled for the new partnership between TWU and the Au Sable Institute as this will provide life long memories, skills, and impacts on an array of TWU students for years to come. My educational experience at Au Sable was pivotal to my degree and contributed to TWU’s mission statement to develop Godly Christian leaders through inspiring hearts and minds. At Au Sable, the inspiration of both mind and heart is continuous and contagious, and helps bring a TWU education full circle.”

Katharine Sell during 2015 Marine Mammals Course at Au Sable's Whidbey Island campus at the Pacific Rim Institute.

“Many people contributed to the formation of this new Partnership,” noted Fred Van Dyke, Au Sable’s Executive Director. “We’ve always admired Trinity Western for their outstanding environmental program, their beautiful campus, and its unique natural areas, and the Au Sable Representatives there, David Clements and Karen Steensma, who worked hard to make this Sustaining Partnership a reality between these two great institutions.” Speaking of his own role in and reactions to the Partnership Agreement, Dr. Clements, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at TWU remarked, “We have had some extraordinarily talented students who have attended Au Sable in the past, who have come back to our home campus even more charged with creation stewardship energy. I look forward to seeing the number of students positively influenced by Au Sable increase next year!” David’s colleague, Karen Steensma, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, said, “Our long-standing positive relationship with Au Sable has been incredibly beneficial for our students and faculty. Students adding Au Sable experiences to their transcripts receive not only an enriched academic skill set but a lifelong network of connections that help them professionally and spiritually.” Dr. Craig Montgomery, Dean of Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences who oversaw the Partnership review process added, “Through the years, our students have benefited tremendously from their experiences with Au Sable and so we are very excited about entering into this partnership. Au Sable is able to provide many courses, field courses in particular, that TWU is not able to offer. It is our hope, therefore, that many more future students will likewise benefit as a result of this partnership.”

The Au Sable – Trinity Western Sustaining Partnership is being instituted at the same time that TWU is elevating its program in Environmental Science to the status of a department in the new Department of Geography and Environmental Science. The combined academic, faculty, and professional resources of Trinity Western and Au Sable will now give TWU students a distinctive and exemplary education in environmental study. Dr. John Wood, Dean of Faculty of Natural Sciences at The Kings University in Edmonton, Alberta, understands the advantage the Partnership provides for students, having enjoyed its benefits for Kings’ students for many years. “Au Sable offers superior field-based education. But even more important than course content is the life and career path guidance that students receive. Peer to peer counsel from Christian students all across North America is vital in shaping tomorrow’s leaders.” Dr. Jeff Hall, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia (USA), a Partner institution for many years with Au Sable, noted the important role and added strength the Au Sable curriculum brings to a college, “The partnership with Au Sable provides faithful, quality instruction in venues that expand the instructional program for our environmental study students. Au Sable adds breadth and depth to our program.”

All of us in the Au Sable Community celebrate this wonderful new collaboration. As Dr. David Foster, Chair of the Au Sable Board of Trustees and Professor of Biology at Messiah College put it, “Sustaining Partners have explicitly recognized the value an Au Sable partnership brings to their environmental programs. Trinity Western and our other Sustaining Partners play an international leadership role as we together provide for inspiring and educating people to serve, protect, and restore God’s earth.” Well said. Welcome to Trinity Western University, Au Sable’s newest Sustaining Partner!