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Columbia Bible College – Abbotsford, BC

Proper Title

Columbia Bible College fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

83 cm of textual records

Administrative History

Columbia Bible College had very modest beginnings. On September 26, 1936, the South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church opened an evening Bible training program with Cornelius C. Peters as teacher. The Abbotsford Bible School functioned intermittently for several years, served by several local teachers. Frank C. Thiessen was appointed principal during this time. In 1943, a building suitable for the school was moved to the church site and the school was renamed Bethel Bible School. With the introduction of a day program there followed a decade of steady growth.

In 1944, Jakob F. Redekop was appointed principal, continuing in that position for nine years. Under his leadership, a four-year course of studies was introduced and then further enhanced by a “post-graduate” fifth-year program. In the process of expansion Bethel gained the support of six Abbotsford area congregations and was renamed Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute. In 1960, the British Columbia Mennonite Brethren Conference assumed responsibility for the school.

By 1970, a further consolidation was negotiated in which the B.C. Conference of Mennonites and the Mennonite Brethren Conference agreed to merge their two schools, Bethel Bible Institute and Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute. The new training center was called Columbia Bible Institute. During the administration of presidents Peter R. Toews and Walter Unger, CBI continued to expand.

By the end of the decade, the working agreement of the two Conferences was under considerable stress. Consequently, a joint meeting of the COM and MB Conferences in 1982 resulted in a full partnership whereby the ownership and development of CBI would be jointly managed. Thus during the presidency of Roy Just the first fully fledged inter-Mennonite Bible institute in North America was established.

Further significant institutional development was to follow shortly. CBI developed college status with the passing of the Columbia Bible College Act on June 26, 1987, in the B.C. Legislature. During the early 1990s, CBC also gained full accreditation with the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges. The growth of CBC has resulted in a significant expansion of the curriculum, and of energetic campus development to include a new residence, a library and administration complex, and a gymnasium.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection consists of minutes from faculty meetings which express their issues, reports and notes from the presidents on the progress of the school, reports showing the amalgamation of the two schools and of the two conferences, and objectives of the school. The collection also includes yearbooks and catalogues that show students, faculty members, and courses offered at the college.

Custodial History

The custodial history of this fonds is unclear.


  • Volumes 703–705.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Described by Leslie Wiebe, August 7, 2002.
  • Location: Institutional Records – Columbia Bible College.

File List

Volume 703

  1. CBI/CBC Publicity. – pamphlets, bulletins, articles, applications. – 1973–1998.
  2. MBBI Newsletters, Bulletins. – 1963–1969.
  3. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1968.
  4. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1969.
  5. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1970.
  6. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1971.
  7. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1972.
  8. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1973.
  9. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1974.
  10. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1975.
  11. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1976.
  12. Faculty Meeting Minutes. – 1977.
  13. Administration Committee Minutes and Correspondence. – 1974–1975.
  14. Administration Committee Minutes and Correspondence. – 1976–1977.
  15. Board of Executive Minutes and Reports. – 1970–1971, 1978.
  16. Reports on the Amalgamation of MBBI and BBI. – 1970–1974.
  17. Report to Study Commission by P. R. Toews. – 1977.
  18. Working Arrangements between the Mennonite Brethren and United Mennonites. – 1974.
  19. Working Agreement between the Mennonite Brethren and United Mennonites. – 1976.
  20. Report on Interconference Relations by J. B. Toews. – 1976.
  21. Reports on the President’s Plans for the Future. – 1971, 197.
  22. Reports from the President. – 1969–1970.
  23. Reports from the President. – 1976–1977.
  24. Reports from the President. – 1972, 1975.
  25. Reports from the United Mennonite Conference. – 1973, 1975.
  26. Notes on the Reorganization of the Office. – 1976.
  27. Objectives of Bible Institutes. – [1970?].
  28. Reports of Special Concerns from the Faculty. – [197?].
  29. Notes on a Student Assembly. – 1977.
  30. Introduction to the Objectives. – 1971.
  31. Notes for Open House. – [1973?].
  32. Notes for Orientations. – 1976.
  33. CBI de Vine. Collection of students work. – 1974, 1976.
  34. Handbooks. – 1974–1975.
  35. Catalogues. – 1948–1949, 1951–1952, 1964–1965, 1969–1970.
  36. Catalogues. – 1974–1987.
  37. Catalogues. – 1991–1996, 1998–1999.

Volume 704

  • The Torch Yearbooks. – 1947–1956, 1958–1965, 1967–1975.

Volume 705

  • The Torch Yearbooks. – 1976–1981, 1983–1987, 1989–1992, 1994–1999.
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