Providence University College and Theological Seminary are celebrating their largest graduating class and also their most close-knit class, in recent memory.

Dr. Nicholas Greco, Academic ProvostDr. Nicholas Greco, Academic Provost says, “this is the first time that we've met in person after a couple of years of virtual graduations. It's sometimes hard to gauge how large our classes have been in the last little while, but this year is the first time that we've been able to, and we're excited to celebrate in person with all our graduates.”

The 94 graduating students are mostly from Canada which is different from years past when a large percentage of their students were from other countries. However, with the pandemic that number has gone down considerably.

Students in the 2022 Prov Graduating class

The past two years have also influenced their students’ ability to learn. Dr. Greco says that they have “risen to the challenge and found different ways of doing things.” He continues. “This has been our story for the last few years. Many of the students that are graduating now, have had maybe one or two years of the normal pattern of schooling, and so the last couple of years have been different. I'm glad to say that at Providence, we've been able to run our classes in a more regular way this year, but we still had all kinds of restrictions. Distancing requirements in our classrooms. Wearing masks. We even gave people the opportunity to get vaccinated on campus.”

Greco is proud of this graduating class because despite the unconventional season of learning, “they have been successful in it. They've stepped up to the challenge and that's why this is a really special graduation.”

“These students have really been brought through the wringer, so to speak. They've needed to gain skills and knowledge. Character. All of these things in an atmosphere that maybe wasn't ideal and certainly, nothing that any of us have been prepared for. So I must commend our students for being successful to the end. And really, their faithfulness to God is something that we have to commend. And of course, God’s faithfulness to all of us through this time. We are certainly thankful and I think this ceremony is not only a ceremony to congratulate our graduates, to celebrate their achievements, but also to celebrate the faithfulness of God through these years.”

"Providence students, as a whole, have come together, more than ever these last number of years."Greco notes that Providence students as a whole have come together, more than ever, these last number of years. “I had a comment from one of my colleagues here, who suggested that we are more a community now than we have been in the last 10 years. We have people coming together for Friday chapels with numbers that we've never had. Keeping in mind, those are student-led chapels. So, good things are happening at Providence, and it seems that out of this pandemic we are coming closer and closer together. So, in some ways, as we celebrate these graduates and the end of their particular journey with us, we also celebrate their journey as they continue in the world. And we're looking forward to next year on the journey that we will take with our new students and the students who are continuing on with us and to see what God will do in their lives and in the world.”

The ceremony took place on Saturday, April 23rd at the Otterburne campus, in the gymnasium. It included both the University College as well as, the Seminary graduates. Greco says “this year we thought it would be a good idea to bring everybody together to celebrate as a community and to recognize everyone's achievements together.”

Noting since not all the graduates, family members and friends were able to be at the ceremony, Greco says they will be able to log on to the school's website and watch it.

Although there are no restrictions currently in place, the school still made sure that all in attendance were in a comfortable and safe environment and set up 400-chairs instead of the full capacity of 700.

The graduating class of 2022 from Providence University College and Theological Seminary received their bachelor's degrees in arts, business administration and science. As well as, Seminary Masters, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry.

Greco says after graduation some students will continue on to complete another degree, while others are planning on going right into their vocation.

“I think for us at Providence, we're very happy to know that our students are going out in the world in order to make a difference and we're seeing that that's happening. Hopefully, when students leave here they will take what they learnt and make a difference wherever they go.”

2022 Providence University College and Theological Seminary Program.