T.E.G. Award Recipients 2019
VST NAMES FIRST RECIPIENTS OF PRESTIGIOUS T.E.G. AWARD
For Thoughtful, Engaged and Generous Christian Practitioners
The Vancouver School of Theology has named Rev. Ryan Slifka and Rev. Ingrid Brown as the inaugural recipients of the T.E.G. Award launched earlier this year. This distinguished award offered by VST recognizes leading practitioners in Christian ministry.
Both Rev. Slifka and Rev. Brown serve in leadership roles with St. George’s United Church in Courtenay, BC.
Rev. Ryan Slifka shepherds St. George’s as Minister of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care. He previously served as Campus Minister for the United Church of Canada at UBC, and as Associate Minister at University Hill Congregation. In addition to St. George’s, Ryan serves on the Board of the Community Justice Centre, an organization dedicated to implementing and advocating the principles of restorative justice, and is a contributing member to the Theology, Inter-Church, Inter-Faith Committee of the United Church of Canada.
As minister (or pastor), Ryan is primarily charged with carrying the Christian story and tradition forward, and empowering others in the community to live out the Way of Jesus day-to-day. He does this through leading worship, teaching and spiritual formation, building community relationships, offering one-on-one guidance and compassion, and keeping congregants focused on the grand vision for the church in all things done.
Though originally from Calgary, Alberta, Ryan grew up in Black Diamond, a small town just south of the city. He received his bachelor’s from the University of Calgary and is a graduate of Vancouver School of Theology (MDiv, 2013). He was ordained by British Columbia Conference of the United Church in May of 2014.
Rev. Ingrid Brown is the Minister of Christian Formation at St. George’s, having previously served as Associate Minister at Eagle Ridge United Church in Coquitlam with a focus on Children, Youth, and Families and Small Group leadership and development.
Ingrid is tasked with the education and spiritual formation of the younger members of the congregation at St. George’s, focusing on children, youth and young families. seeking to find ways to connect the way we encounter God, walk with Christ, and are energized by the Holy Spirit in our lives with the ways Christians have done through the centuries.
Rev. Ingrid is also the founding Pastor of Weird Church, a neighbourhood based, non-traditional expression of church which engages with folks who are not connected or only minimally connected with the Christian faith, building spiritual bridges through relationship, intentional conversations, and alternative worship forms, in safe spaces in Cumberland.
Ingrid has lived in small towns, big cities, and in between! Ingrid became a Christian on Bowen Island, and was baptised into the faith at 16 at Bowen Island United Church. While attending a Performing Arts Conservatory in NYC, she was able to explore many churches, spending three years in a non-denominational Christian church plant that grew from 40 to 5,000 in weekly attendance during that time! Ingrid identifies her faith as the strength, the centre point of her life, and in 2007 heeded God’s persistent call to serve the church by seeking Ordination, entering seminary in 2010.
Ingrid graduated with her Master of Divinity from the Vancouver School of Theology (VST) and was ordained in June 2018. Ingrid and Ryan met attending classes at VST and were pleased to reconnect when Ingrid moved with her husband Todd, their two children, and her mom Lauma, to the Comox Valley in 2015.
The VST Principal’s T-E-G Award is an expression of VST’s stature in the wider community, with a strong and growing reputation for leadership development, innovation and change. It is not restricted to alumni or affiliates of VST.
This award is intended to have a continuous presence in the community, through the annual support of its founding donors and others who also recognize the importance of the VST Principal’s T-E-G Award.
For 2019, Ingrid and Ryan will each receive $1,500 as a result of donations received. Along with the financial acknowledgement, Ingrid and Ryan participate in VST’s in leadership initiatives during the coming year, interacting with students, faculty, staff and the community. The VST T.E.G. Award will be presented to Ingrid and Ryan at VST’s annual convocation ceremony on May 13, 2019 at Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church in Vancouver.
About the T.E.G. Award
VST is grateful to accept annual contributions and those earmarked to endow this award to ensure its continual presence and acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Christian leaders.
Nominations for the 2020 VST T.E.G. Award are welcome. They should be received by November 30, 2019. The award is open to all full-time ministry leaders within the first ten-years of full-time employment. Candidates will be known for their exemplary leadership and contributions in Christian ministry for the 21st Century, reflecting the virtues of thoughtful, engaged and generous in keeping with the mission of VST. Nominations should be directed to the VST Principal’s Office – firstname.lastname@example.org. Successful recipients may receive this award once.
Nominations should include an overview of the candidate’s ministry contributions and community impact, as well as a biography. In addition, all nominations should be accompanied by a minimum of three (3) letters of endorsement. Successful candidates will be selected by a committee including the Chair of the VST Board of Directors, VST Chancellor, VST Vice- Principal and the VST Principal. Ministry experts external to VST may also be called upon for input.