Members of the Wycliffe College community along with others in the development sector in Canada and around the world mourn the passing of Jennifer Harold on February 13,2014.
In a career spanning almost three decades, Jen was a compassionate advocate for the vulnerable and an agent of change. Her diverse career in development ranged from building teams and discipling youth at IVCF, nurturing groups of micro-finance specialists, co-founding an international training school for micro-enterprise development, spearheading gender, child protection, health, water and food security projects in DR Congo, managing development professionals at World Vision Canada, and most recently directing staff and programs in Sierra Leone. In all these endeavours she displayed, in the words of a colleague, experiences “full of love, laughter and productivity.”
Jen Harold was a key figure in the establishment at Wycliffe College of a masters program in Urban and International Development. Her vision for the program was based on a sharp but thoughtful theological sense. She believed Jesus when he said “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” but she queried: “I wonder how Jesus wants us to make this abundance happen for the marginalized? For the women without voice? For the children hidden behind a disability, caste, gender?” Such questions epitomized her academic and strategic mind constantly wanting to apply theology to the issues of community justice.
She believed Wycliffe College to be the location where such a vision could be implemented. “I love to see theology students knowing how to take what they are learning to the streets,” she once said. She had a passion for waking up lay and ordained leaders and seeing them engage in urban and cross-cultural transformation across the globe. It is because of this vision and passion that Wycliffe College is now graduating community advocates and practitioners.
In recognition of her contribution Wycliffe College granted Jennifer Harold the degree of Doctor of Sacred Letters (h.c.) at its convocation in 2013.
Our sympathy goes out to Jennifer’s mother Laura, brother Stan and sister Kathy (husband Raymond).
Celebration of Life: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 1:00 pm at Walmer Road Baptist Church, 199 Lowther Avenue, Toronto.