Prairie Update (February 14, 2012)
Update from Prairie Bible Institute, Three Hills, Alberta
Over the past several weeks Prairie Bible Institute (Prairie) has learned more from those alleging they
were recipients of some form of abuse during their time at the school. Several have come forward to
tell their stories, most emanating from previous decades.
"It has been a painful experience for me to personally hear some of these stories of abuse," says Mark
Maxwell, President of Prairie Bible Institute. "Prairie leadership remains committed to dealing with
allegations in an open and transparent manner. To the best of our ability, our goal is to assist
complainants to find healing, including, and where appropriate, to help call those responsible to
In a November 15, 2011 press release, Prairie announced that it had alerted the RCMP to allegations
and rumors of past abuses at the school that had been raised on a Facebook site created by former
members of the Prairie community. At the same time Prairie encouraged:
- Any complainants to contact the Three Hills RCMP in that regard and the RCMP has encouraged victims wishing to press charges to report to them. At the same time, a group of alumni also offered to be available to those who wish to come to them instead, and they also have heard from several.
- Any who wished to speak to Prairie leadership directly about their experience at Prairie were encouraged to contact Mark Maxwell, and several have done so.
- Members of the Facebook site asked that another option making use of professional expertise in the Christian community be available to provide a safe and professional place where their stories could be told. In response to this request, Prairie asked Centre Street Church (CSC) if they would be willing to offer that safe haven and were grateful for their positive response.
The PBI board is pleased that Centre Street Church of Calgary has offered "to provide that safe place to
be heard" with a team of professional counselors led by Rev. Miriam Möllering, PhD. Dr. Möllering
holds the position of Pastor of Life Care Ministries at CSC and brings significant counseling expertise
to the role. She is well-qualified to work with individuals in an understanding and professional way.
Working with Centre Street Church provides a neutral place for those uncomfortable sharing directly
Speaking together with the Prairie board, President Mark Maxwell says that "much has been learned
through the process of hearing these stories and understanding where and how we can improve safety
within our community. Our policies and practices are being reviewed and updated. The Centre Street
team is advising us on the best practices to ensure, to the best of our ability, that Prairie will be a safe
and healthy environment for all. We believe that the Christian community should be a safe place for all
to find healing and forgiveness as well as where justice prevails within an environment of grace. We
hope that Prairie can be such a place."
In conclusion, we are confident that the participation of Centre Street Church adds an essential
component to our resolve to allow every voice that wishes to be heard, to indeed be heard. While we
certainly remain willing to hear any grievance, we strongly encourage those who believe they
experienced abuse at Prairie to be in telephone or e-mail contact with Dr. Möllering. She can be
Miriam Möllering, Ph.D., Pastor of Life Care Ministries
Centre Street Church
3900 2nd Street N.E., Calgary, Alberta T2E 9C1
Together, seeking truth and restoration,
Prairie Bible Institute