By Julie Cole
Rob Bancroft received top honours in this year’s graduation at Briercrest College and Seminary.
The Fredericton, N.B. resident is modest about his accomplishments.
“I like reading, travelling and drinking coffee,” he said. “I think I’m a little bit boring, to be honest.”
Bancroft’s college experience sounds anything but boring.
He came to Caronport by way of Briercrest’s Kaleìo program on Vancouver Island. The eight-month program allows students to live in a camp setting and experience outdoor adventure while earning one year of college credit.
“I was looking for something to do, so I applied without really knowing what Kaleìo was at all,” he said laughing. “I learned a lot about it when I arrived there. It was fantastic.”
During this last year at Briercrest, Bancroft has lived in a house on campus with five other college guys. He says this has been a very significant experience for all of them.
“(We’ve been) learning how to live together and not be possessive about it,” he said. “(Having) a house that’s been open all the time . . . the community’s kind of grown around this space that we’ve learned to share.”
Bancroft plans to continue learning about community after graduation. His church in New Brunswick is hiring him for six months to implement the house church idea into their ministry. After that, he plans to “embark on a grand adventure” to India and Thailand with two of his housemates.
“It’s pretty significant for us to go live in community with people in a different place,” he said. “We have hopes for learning a lot.”
Bancroft hopes to have some side ventures during this trip. He would like to revisit Afghanistan, where he did his TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) internship last year.
“I’d like to reconnect with some people and check out some job opportunities and that kind of thing,” he stated.
In his classroom experience at Briercrest, Bancroft says Rhoda Cairns, his English Literature professor, was particularly significant for him.
“She takes such personal interest in all her students,” he insisted. “I’ve attended house church with her for the last couple of years and this year I’m working for her . . . so she’s been a significant friendship for me here.”
Cairns expresses the same appreciation for Bancroft.
“During the three years that I have known Rob, I have been so impressed by his commitment to learning, his thoughtful engagement with what it means to be faithful to Christ in today’s world and his willing service in a number of different contexts,” she said. “He is the kind of student who makes teaching at Briercrest exciting and rewarding, and I believe that God is going to use Rob in really unique ways in the future.”