Inaugural Recipients of UK BursaryOctober 2017
The Friends of Regent College Canada Trust is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of the Friends of Regent College Canada Trust Bursary.
Naomi Pattison-WilliamsNaomi, a lawyer from London, has worked in both the legal aid sector (working with prisoners) and in the corporate sector (representing corporations). She has a natural bent towards justice. She loves how God is revealed in Scripture and through the church as a God of justice who prioritises the plight of the widow, the orphan and the poor. Naomi is at Regent working on her Diploma in Christian Studies.
Gareth CleggGareth has been a geotechnical engineer for a small sub-contractor in Northern Ireland. He loves theology, church history, and has a passion for evangelism and conversing about Jesus. He believes God is equipping him to use his gifts as an engineer to further the gospel and God’s kingdom. Gareth is at Regent working on his Master of Arts in Theological Studies.
After allowing them to settle in to student life in Vancouver, we asked Naomi and Gareth to tell us a little about their time at Regent thus far:
What has your transition to Regent College been like?
Naomi: In the months of preparation, moving to Canada for Regent College seemed like a huge step – which in lots of ways it was. Once we arrived, though, from the first day of orientation, it has felt like we are in the ‘right’ place and we are loving it. The community at Regent is really unique and we have been amazed by how generously people have welcomed us into their lives.
Gareth: My transition to life at Regent has been thoroughly enjoyable, though sometimes difficult. I come from an engineering background and wrestling with new ways of thinking in the humanities has taken time. Adjusting to the volume of reading has been occasionally overwhelming, but the experience has also been an incredible time of learning. At Regent, I am living out a dream, and at the same time it has taken hard work. Regent College Faculty, staff and students have been great at recognizing and appreciating the variety of backgrounds and experiences that people bring with them. There is a great emphasis on community life, and from the top down, everyone is involved in the learning process and experience here. Regent has come to feel like home very quickly.
What is something new/exciting/interesting that you are learning?
Naomi: I am finding the Old Testament Foundations course really enriching and challenging – in all the best ways! In our first lecture the professor took us through several common misconceptions about the Old Testament, and I felt quite uncomfortable as I realized that I subscribed to all of them – at least to a certain degree. To learn about the context, background and inherent contradictions within familiar (and unfamiliar) Old Testament stories is blowing the Bible open for me in a way which is utterly refreshing and exciting.
Gareth: Regent has been a place where I have been able to ask questions, learn, and grow in a safe but also challenging environment. It has already pushed me to think differently about my approach to faith, knowledge and life. In particular, my course in church history has been incredibly helpful. It has illuminated for me God’s active presence in the past through his people. It has helped me to recognize his providence and presence today, and has cultivated an awareness (through church services, doctrinal statements and other acts of the body) of the rich history which we are heirs to.
Summary thoughts on your time at Regent thus far?
Naomi: My hope and prayer before coming was that this would be a season where I could take a deep breath – and that’s what it feels like being here as I listen to, learn from and share with people hungry for God, from all around the world. My overall sense is one of deep gratitude – to God and to his provision that made it possible.
Gareth: I have loved my time here and have been deeply challenged and encouraged thus far by the lectures, study material, and other students. It has been more than I imagined my graduate experience would encompass, and I am thoroughly looking forward to the rest of my years here at Regent.
Thanks to all who have supported the Friends of Regent College Canada Trust Bursary. If you’d like to donate to support students like Naomi and Gareth, click here for information on how to donate and be sure to indicate that your gift is for the bursary!