Faculty - Church & Ministry Studies
Associate Professor in Youth Ministry
Phone: 403.443.5511 x 3827
BRE, North American Baptist College
MA, Bethel Theological Seminary
In 1977, at the age of 24, Al began attending North American Baptist College in Edmonton, AB (now known as Taylor College & Seminary) where he received a Bachelor of Religious Education. In 1982, he began his studies at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and graduated in 1984 with a Masters in Christian Education. In July 1984, Al accepted a position at Trinity Baptist Church, Kelowna, B.C. as Youth Pastor and this ministry continued for the next 22 years. He soon became known as “Pastor Al” to many teens throughout the city and was involved in many aspects of teens’ lives through: weekly Bible studies, mission’s trips, choir tours, high school graduations, youth outreach events, recreational leadership events, etc. In the early 90’s, the Youth Ministry built and hosted Kelowna’s first skateboard park and later developed a basketball outreach in the parking lot. In 2006, Al resigned as Youth Pastor to take his present position at Prairie Bible College as Assistant Professor of Youth Ministries where he continues to spread his passion for reaching teens to the students he teaches. Al enjoys kayaking, camping, biking as well as building and creating “things” from nothing. He lives in Three Hills with his wife, Shirley and has two sons, Ryan and Trevor presently living in BC.
Involvement at Prairie
Al currently plans and organizes the annual “Purely Canadian Youth Conference” which Prairie hosts on its campus each October. He is involved in students’ lives not only through teaching but also outside of the classroom—whether it is hosting a weekly Bible study in his home, connecting with students while eating lunch in the cafeteria or using his mechanical skills to help a student with their car.
Al is asked to speak at Youth Retreats, Conferences and Camps throughout the year and does youth consulting with a variety of denominations as well as pulpit supply. He feels it is important to stay current in one’s area of ministry and is presently teaching the Junior High Sunday School class at Mt. Olive Church in Three Hills.
In the spring of 2012 Al traveled across Canada doing forums in 12 cities for World Vision called "World Changers." He shared some of the most recent research on effective Canadian youth ministries.
ST 100 The Christian Life: Pursuing God Faithfully
SS 224 Marriage and Family Life
YO 151 Introduction to Youth Ministry
YO 224 Creative Teaching Methods
YO 313 Youth Issues & Culture
YO 314 Youth Communications
YO 460 Topics in Youth Ministry
Listen to Professor Mertes' February 16th, 2011 Community Chapel Message