Fall 2010 TRINITY Magazine, Career and Calling: Called to Lead
Dr. Justin Cooper ’72, executive director of Christian Higher Education Canada (CHEC) and recently retired president of Redeemer University College
Rev. Julius Medenblik ’82, pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in New Lenox, Illinois, and president-elect of Calvin Theological Seminary
Major: Philosophy (both)
Dr. Justin Cooper ’72, executive director of Christian Higher Education Canada (CHEC) and recently retired president of Redeemer University College; and Rev. Julius Medenblik ’82, pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in New Lenox, Illinois, and president-elect of Calvin Theological Seminary, recently reflected on their years as Trinity students, their past work and new callings, and their ideas on leadership.
In regard to their time at Trinity, both Cooper and Medenblik stressed the influence of great professors and the importance of being involved in the campus community. Becoming involved through clubs, work study positions, and service projects help students to “engage in a wider world,” said Medenblik.
Both said that their early experiences were building blocks for their future roles.
After graduating from Trinity, Cooper earned a master’s and doctorate in political science from the University of Toronto. He eventually came to serve as Redeemer’s president in 1994. Two milestones reached during his leadership have been the granting of the school’s right to issue degrees in 1998 and being one of the few private post-secondary institutions in Ontario to receive federal and provincial infrastructure grants. In addition to his new position with CHEC, he will also serve as part-time executive director of the Association of Reformed Institutions of Higher Education.
Medenblik holds a Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Florida Law School and a Master of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary. He is the founding pastor of New Life CRC, which started in 1996 with four members and has grown to over 700. His wife, Jackie ’82, serves as the director of Trinity’s Cooper Career and Counseling Center. Medenblik said that being nominated for the position at Calvin was a “knee buckling experience....But it puts me in a posture of prayer,” he added. He will take office in August 2011.