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Eastern's Graduate Programs in Education Announces First Class of Student Studying in New Zealand (August 29, 2011)

St. Davids, PA -- Earlier this month, Associate Dean Harry Gutelius escorted a group of five sophomore Education majors from Eastern's Graduate Programs in Education to Laidlaw College (New Zealand) to begin study for the fall semester. 

The five young women who comprise the inaugural exchange group to Laidlaw are Annie Baranik, Megan Bates, Emily Fisher, Sarah Reist and Guilia Voletto. They are joined by a senior Collin Whipple, who is majoring in Theology and is a student in the Templeton Honors Program.

Eastern students take their courses for the semester at Laidlaw, but the credits are counted on their regular transcript and their tuition is paid to Eastern; costs for room and board are paid to Laidlaw. The program is being initiated with the sending of Eastern students to New Zealand, and beginning next fall the exchange will include Laidlaw students coming to St. Davids for their classes as well as Eastern students continuining to go there.   

The Laidlaw partnership, which is Eastern's first such exchange program, has been led by two members of the Eastern staff, Gutelius and Stephanie MacTavish, who is an Eastern Vice President who works through the Office of the Provost on Asian Relations and other special programs. The pair has worked in close consultation on this project with Dr. Dianne Scouller, Laidlaw's Chair of the Education Department.

Laidlaw College is a Christian school located in the heart of Auckland with a mission very similar to Eastern's. Auckland is a city of about a million and a half residents, easily the country's largest metropolitan area, for the entire nation has only about four million residents. And this year has been an especially exciting one for New Zealand, as the country will host the Rugby World Cup in September.

With the success of this exciting program, a second exchange is now being planned to begin in January, 2012 with Trinity Western University in Vancouver, British Columbia. The city was the recent host of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

(Portions of this piece were added from an upcoming edition of Spirit Magazine)

Eastern University and Laidlaw College (New Zealand) Announce Partnership (March 29, 2010)

Auckland, New Zealand -- During the week of March 15, 2010, Laidlaw College (Auckland, New Zealand) hosted visitors Harry Gutelius (Associate Dean, Graduate Programs in Education) and Stephanie MacTavish (Vice President for East Asian Relations) from Eastern University. The purpose of the visit was to finalize an agreement for a student exchange program allowing students from both institutions to experience a semester abroad. This will allow for a great cross-cultural experience for the students as well as facilitating opportunities for further interactions between faculty and staff of Eastern University and Laidlaw College. Discussions were also held about possibilities for exchanges in masters level programs, and these discussions will be ongoing.

Laidlaw College provides a dynamic learning environment for over 1,100 students throughout New Zealand and around the world. Their mission is to equip students and scholars to renew their communities with a faith as intelligent as it is courageous. This takes place in their face-to-face classrooms in Auckland, Christchurch and Palmerston North. But it also happens in living rooms, small groups, and towns - big and small - through their distance learning and hybrid courses.

Laidlaw's vision is a world shaped by love compelled and informed by the gospel. They've been pursuing this vision for over 86 years through their quality programs. Laidlaw College was founded in 1922 by Reverend Joseph Kemp and businessman Robert Laidlaw. Originally known as the Bible Training Institute (BTI), the College trained men and women in the Scriptures and theology. In 1972 the Institute was renamed the Bible College of New Zealand (BCNZ). For the past thirty-five years, the College has continued training men and women for work in the fields of pastoral ministry and mission but has also equipped men and women for leadership and service in a broad range of roles across New Zealand society.

Laidlaw College was renamed in August, 2008 to honor one of its founders and carry on his vision. Laidlaw imagined a college that brought theology to the marketplace in order to form leaders passionate about the biblical story, and capable of being successful across all of society. Both parties greatly enjoyed their time together and were inspired by the possibilities this type of experience would offer their students.

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