Guyanese exposed to yet another university
A tertiary education is becoming more and more of a necessity. For quite some time, Guyana had only one university—the University of Guyana. However, over the years, the country has been seeing the opening of numerous new universities. One such is the recently launched Bakke Graduate University (BGU).
BGU was officially introduced to Guyana on Friday at a launching ceremony held at King’s Plaza on Main Street.
BGU is a United States-based university that has been fully accredited in that country.
Rev. Murtland Raphael Massiah blessed the proceedings and prayed that “men and women who attend this university will seek to transform themselves, their communities, city and nation.”
Chief academic dean of BGU- USA- Dr. Gwen Dewey, at the event, brought greetings from the mother campus and gave a brief history of the university.
Dewey informed that the BGU, formerly Northwest Graduate School of Ministry (NWGS), was founded in 1990 by Overlake Christian Church in Seattle, Washington.
According to her, the need for the School grew out of the annual pastors’ conferences held at Overlake Christian Church in the 1980s and 1990s. Its primary emphasis during this first decade was serving Northwest US pastors. NWGS received full US accreditation to the doctoral level in 1995.
She stated that a crisis in leadership at Overlake Christian Church in 1998 created the need for the school to have a new vision and ownership. The new Sr. Pastor, Rick Kingham, sought to find a group of owners for the school. These women were expected to expand the vision of the University to include greater student diversity and a broader mission.
The ownership of the School passed from Overlake Christian Church to an independent board organized through the cooperation of Northwest Leadership Foundation, International Urban Associates, Serve Seattle and the Coalition for Community Development and Renewal.
Under this new leadership, NWGS retained its strong commitment to biblical truth and practical ministry, but expanded its emphasis toward urban challenges and a global constituency.
In April, 2005, the Board of Directors unanimously approved changing the name to Bakke Graduate University. The name Bakke allowed this vision to be told through the story of the Bakke family that included three brothers who were leaders in global urban ministry, multi-national business and local church ministry, as well as a sister who exemplified women’s Christian leadership.
Today, Bakke Graduate University is a cutting-edge leader in developing a new model for educating leaders in business, urban studies and Christian theology.
Dr. Dewey said that BGU is unique in that it has a combination of faith and works as the university is grounded in Christianity. Nevertheless, she indicated that the university is open to students from all spiritual backgrounds.
“At BGU the world is your classroom.” Dr. Dewey stated that the university created city immersion experiences designed to expand student’s worldwide view as they learn, as the university is attended by students from 40 nations and six continents.
“All our lectures are qualified with doctorates,” boosted Dewey.
She further stated that the professors are not only theorist but practitioners and “most often develop lifelong relationships with students.
BGU has two schools— a school of theology and a school of business.
According to Dr Dewey, graduates from the university have become; head of Non Governmental Organizations, professors, bank managers and entrepreneurs.
“We encourage our students to reach up to the powerful and down and work with the powerless. Also, we ask them not to do projects that can’t be beneficial to society in some way or the other.”
Overseas-based Guyanese Dr. Dale A. Dan said that she is pleased to be a part of a transformational venture for her home country and opined that “education means nothing unless it is transformational.”