1981 Murray Cornelius
Missions Director • Mississauga, Ontario
On Campus 1979-1982 ∙ DipCS '80, MCS '82
I currently serve as the Executive Director for International Missions for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, overseeing 350 workers in 75 countries. While I’m now based in Mississauga, I’ve spent more of my life in Africa than North America. My wife Cindy and I celebrated 40 years of marriage in 2018. We have two sons, Jared and Jason, and two grandsons, Liam and Nico.
Why I support Regent today:
Regent was and is intellectually challenging, socially engaged, and theologically rich. It remains a premier graduate school for students who wish to influence society and engage intelligently in the public square. The church in Canada and around the world needs leaders who understand the times and can speak to issues from a biblical perspective with insight and intelligence. I regularly encourage students to consider Regent for their graduate studies.
Keeping in touch:
While I haven’t visited campus often, Regent’s bookstore and the lectures available online have been a great help to me. I continue to avail myself of material from Regent Audio.
More From Murray
How I got to Regent:
I came to Regent after completing an undergrad degree in science from Carleton University in Ottawa in order to ensure that I could integrate my passion for natural resource management with my Christian faith. I initially planned to complete a one-year course of study and return to Africa as a resource management professional.
How Regent made a difference:
Regent enabled me to ask serious questions about doctrine and to find my own journey of conviction on certain potentially divisive questions. While I remained in my Pentecostal faith tradition, my time at Regent instilled an appreciation for all of God’s family that has allowed me to engage ecumenically and read widely with a critical yet open mind.
Most important lesson:
Regent provided the foundations of a worldview that integrated my faith with my understanding of the world around me. The biblical grounding of my education gave me a passion and love for the Scriptures. The interdisciplinary approach gave me a framework for a strong faith in God and his word, as well as an open-minded approach to the big questions of life. The learning environment enabled me to question my faith tradition, examine my scientific convictions, and realize that all truth is God’s truth.
I left Regent with a sense of integrity. My faith was alive, my mind could engage difficult questions, and I had acquired tools for lifelong learning.
My journey since Regent:
Following graduation, Cindy and I served for five years on the pastoral staff of Broadway Church in Vancouver. We then moved to Harare, Zimbabwe, where we served in pastoral ministry, church planting, formal and informal leadership training, community development, HIV/AIDS response, food security, and regional leadership. Including a two-year term in Kitwe, Zambia, as Academic Dean at Trans-Africa Theological College, we served in southern Africa for twenty years.
Also during that time, Cindy and I initiated a ministry called Villages of Hope Africa Society, which cares for over 4,000 vulnerable and orphaned children. I continue to serve as the Board Chair for this organization.
In 2006, we received a request from our church, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC), to give leadership to our international mission engagement as a fellowship of churches. I am now in my thirteenth year serving as Executive Director. I also serve as Board Chair for ERDO, the PAOC’s humanitarian agency.
The world of mission has marked my life from the beginning: my parents were missionaries for over twenty years, and I was born and raised in Kenya. It’s my passion to keep a missional identity alive and well in PAOC churches across Canada. I’m also passionate about serving our many international partners as they live out their faith in their local context. Our goal is to offer them friendship and fellowship as they seek to reach their communities with the good news of Christ’s redeeming work.
My wife and I always enjoyed the evenings at the homes of our professors. I greatly appreciated the encouragement that came from those who taught us. During my first inter-term, our class was held at Whistler and I learned to ski. I also greatly enjoyed the visits of people like John Stott, Gordon Fee, and other guest lecturers.
History with Ian Rennie.
Favourite thing about Vancouver:
After five years in Ottawa, I appreciated the lack of snow!
Aspect of my life that would have surprised me as a student:
I’d have been surprised that I’d end up as a denominational official. I was a bit anti-establishment.
Fun (and sporty) facts:
- I remain a soccer nut.
- I learned to love cricket.
- I’ve become an avid cross-fitter.
As a donor, I'm supporting Regent's ongoing mission.
Would you join me?