January 22nd, 2021

Local student earns Girod Fellowship

By Sulz, Dave on May 27, 2020.


A Dordt University senior who hails from Lethbridge has been selected by Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan for the prestigious Girod Fellowship.

The full-tuition scholarship will allow Tom Oord to study as a research assistant under Dr. J. Todd Billings.

Dordt University is based in Sioux Center, Iowa.

“Before I had received news that I had been chosen as the recipient of the Girod Fellowship, I was doing my best to decipher which path I should choose to walk down after graduation,” Oord said in a news release. “Upon being chosen I felt an affirmation that choosing to go to seminary and become a pastor was indeed what God was calling me to do.”

Dr. Justin Bailey, assistant professor of theology at Dordt, said, “We strive to work with each student to prepare them for a range of possibilities after graduation. We also try to alert them to opportunities they might not have considered.”

Girod Fellows serve as research assistants for Billings, who serves as the Gordon H. Girod Research Chair of Reformed Theology.

“The opportunity to receive a fully-funded research fellowship at the seminary level with a scholar of Dr. Billings’ calibre is incredibly rare, and thus quite competitive,” said Bailey. “It involved a rigorous application process and included a series of in-person interviews with the finalists. Such a prestigious award represents a significant commitment to mentor and invest in Tom’s development as a student and scholar.”

During his time at Dordt, Oord studied theology with an emphasis in Biblical Studies: Mission and Ministry. He has participated in Campus Ministries as a small group leader; has served as a research assistant for a project in Liberia; and served as a youth pastor and elder at a local church.

“The education, opportunities, and formation that I received in my time at Dordt shaped me into someone who pursues Jesus better and is the sole reason I won the Girod Fellowship,” said Oord.

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