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President of MB Seminary
Associate Professor of Biblical Studies for Leadership
The common threads in much of Mark’s experience and education are leadership, teaching, and spiritual formation. Mark is passionate about biblical studies and leadership, and loves helping others effectively integrate them in the local church and the marketplace.
Prior to becoming President of MB Seminary, Mark was a pastor at Westwood Church for ten years (Lead Pastor for the last six), and before that he was a regional manager for the provincial government in the area of land development. Mark has taught at public, private, and Christian universities, both in the classroom and online. In addition, Mark has been a chaplain in hospital, prison, and university sports contexts. More information about Mark’s interests and activities can be found at www.wessner.ca.
How does the Bible inform your life and teaching?
Ideally, it is the foundational lens through which I see God, myself, others, and the world. Not only does it inform my thinking and guide my life, but through it, I encounter God and experience his presence.
Why do you value a theological education?
We invest time and energy into the things that are important to us, and since wisdom, understanding, truth, and leadership are critical these days, we need to enthusiastically embrace theological training.
What are some of the diverse voices you incorporate into your teaching?
One of my goals is to introduce students to Christian voices from history (both well known and lesser known) from a variety of Christian traditions when possible. Equally as important is to have students encounter global perspectives. We read the Bible in the contexts that we are in, but we mature as followers of Jesus when we explore the wisdom of others.
What do you hope your students get out of your classes?
I hope they learn the content, of course, but more than that I want them to encounter God and be shaped for life and ministry. My heart is for students to experience the truths and love of God and the same time, and be inspired and enabled to help others experience the same truth and love. My hope is that our brief time together in class will play a small part in growing the Kingdom of God throughout the world.
Why are you at ACTS Seminaries?
Strategically, MB Seminary can achieve its mission in powerful ways through the beautiful multi-denominational collaboration that is ACTS. Relationally, the diversity within ACTS is a small glimpse of the worldwide Kingdom of God (which seems to be increasingly rare in the fractured world within which we live).
President and Associate Professor, MB Seminary
2016 - Present
Adjunct Professor, Briercrest College and Seminary
2013 - 2018
Lead Pastor, Westwood Church
2010 - 2016
Professor of Religious Studies, American Public University System
2002 - 2015
Instructor of Christian Studies, University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)
2007 - 2010
Bachelor of Biblical Studies - Canadian Bible College
MA in Old Testament Literature - Regent College
PhD in Biblical Hebrew Narratology - University of Pretoria, South Africa
Text-based Approaches to Biblical Studies
Spiritual Formation and Health
Team-based Organizational Leadership
Introduction to the Bible
Spiritual Formation for Ministry Leaders
Old Testament Leadership and Spiritual Formation