Pilgrim Theological College held a busy End of Year service last week, which recognised nine exiting candidates for ministry and farewelled 22 students who had completed or were completing a variety of awards.
The ceremony also welcomed two “new” members of faculty, although as worship leader and Head of College Dr Sean Winter remarked both Dr Robyn Whitaker and Dr Stephen Burns are already a familiar part of the Pilgrim community.
Both joined Pilgrim in July, Robyn as coordinator of studies – New Testament and Stephen as coordinator of ministry studies as well as professor of liturgical and practical theology in the University of Divinity.
Rev Graeme Harrison gave a formal welcome and induction.
The valedictory address was delivered by Rev Nigel Hanscamp.
He drew on the Gospel reading of Mark 12:28-34, where Jesus told a Pharisee that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord and then to love your neighbour as yourself.
Such love does not allow us to turn people into “others”, Nigel said, even those we disagree with, which was something to remember when using social media.
“For love always demands more of us than justice,” Nigel said.
“And love always takes the first step to reconciliation. Love is collective and inclusive. Love wants all of us.”
In the final part of the service those completing awards were presented with candles, while those exiting for ministry received candles and holding crosses from Associate Professor Katharine Massam and Rev Dr Sunny Chen.
Paulo Kwajakwan said exiting for ministry, which he did mid-way through the year, had been the culmination of a long journey.
Paulo was brought up as a Catholic in a remote South Sudanese village and felt a calling to ministry leading him to complete a Bachelor of Theology in Cairo in 1996.
On returning to his village he found he was under military surveillance and not safe. So he fled South Sudan as a refugee and arrived in Australia in 2001.
Paulo founded Chollo Community Christian Fellowship which later developed ties with the Noble Park Uniting Church, where is a candidate for ministry.
Here is a list of the 2018 valedictorians and exiting ministry candidates:
With an Advanced Diploma in Theology and Ministry
Anne Naomi Hardham
With a Bachelor of Theology
Bethany Marjorie Jean Broadstock
Paulo Jwokdoch Kwajakwan
Trang Thi Kieu Vo
With a Graduate Certificate in Divinity
Nola Dorothea Chatterton
With a Graduate Certificate in Research Methodology
Loni Sesitoni Vaitohi
With a Graduate Certificate in Children and Families Ministry
Trevor Keith Vernon
With a Graduate Certificate in Theology
Juli Anne Lincoln
With a Graduate Diploma in Theology
Christopher Andrew Booth
Wayne Morris Myers
With a Master of Divinity
Liam Andrew Miller
With a Master of Theological Studies
Kathryn Ann Stoel-Cousineau
Sarah Elizabeth Tomilson
Maureen Frances Waddington
Belinda Ann Clear
Hannah Louise Jamieson
Matthew Stephen George Julius
Malcolm Ellis Kreltszheim
Carlynne Ruth Nunn
With a Doctor of Philosophy
Kerrie Jean Handasyde
The exit candidates
Heather Glen Hon: exiting at the end of 2018 for ordination to Ministry of the Word in the Presbytery of Port Phillip East
Deborah Jane Kottek: exiting at the end of 2018 for ordination to Ministry of Deacon in the Presbytery of Yarra Yarra
Paulo Jwokdoch Kwajakwan: exited mid-year 2018 for ordination in the Presbytery of Port Phillip East
Joedy Lee-Anne Meers: commended to an exit formation Panel in November 2019
Carlynne Ruth Nunn: exiting at the end of 2018 for ordination to Ministry of the Word in the Presbytery of Port Phillip West
Alister Lachlan Pate: exiting at the end of 2018 for ordination to Ministry of the Word in the Presbytery of Yarra Yarra
Kathryn Ann Stoel-Cousineau: exited mid-year 2018 for ordination to Ministry of the Word in the Presbytery of Port Phillip West
Sarah Elizabeth Tomilson: exited mid-year 2018 for ordination to Ministry of the Word in the Presbytery of Yarra Yarra
Trang Thi Kieu Vo: exiting at the end of 2018 for ordination to Ministry of the Word in the Presbytery of Port Phillip West.