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Convocation 2013

    St. Andrew’s College celebrated its 98th convocation by conferring degrees on three students and awarding honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees to two women in recognition of their contributions and leadership within the church.

    Master of Divinity degrees were conferred upon Michele Rowe and Ursula Wiig while a Masters of Theological Studies degree was awarded to Sun-Do Hyun during the Saskatoon Theological Union joint convocation ceremony held May 10.

    Honorary degree recipients were The Rev. Bernice Saulteaux of Carry the Kettle First Nation and The Rev. Patricia Wotton, a 1986 graduate of St. Andrew’s.

    The day’s events included chapel service and luncheon at St. Andrew’s College honouring the college’s graduates and honorary degree recipients and an evening ceremony along with graduates of the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad and the Lutheran Theological Seminary.

    Hyun, an international student from the Republic of Korea, delivered the sermon during the morning’s chapel service, linking his experience at St. Andrew’s to the scripture reading from the Gospel of John Chapter 21 that tells of the appearance of the risen Jesus to his disciples at the Sea of Galilee.

    “St. Andrew’s College, a place of justice-driven education for Christian leadership, is also a place of calling to ministry and a place of our struggling with doubting, questioning, challenging, and even failure to some degree,” he said.

    “Sometimes we doubt whether we are really fit for the vocation of ministry; whether we have ability enough to fulfill all the academic and practical requirements.  Sometimes we also get troubled with unexpected challenges and difficult situations as students usually share with one another at core group meeting or personally.”

    He evoked the notion of Sea of Galilee as a place of calling, training, struggling, and, eventually, a place of strengthening and empowering.

    “Sometimes we find ourselves totally at sea as we find Simon Peter sitting at the Sea of Galilee today.  Sisters and brothers, let us know that this is not the end of the story.  As we read the story of the Sea of Galilee, St. Andrew’s College is eventually a place of strengthening, encouraging, and affirming our lifelong vocation. Let us remember and keep this in our minds.  We will never forget this place of calling, training, and strengthening as Simon Peter might have never forgotten the Sea of Galilee until he died.”

  Each of the college’s degree recipients followed different paths during their journey.

Michele Rowe says she “resisted a perceived call to ministry for some time” until she entered the college and “and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime.”

“Unlike many, I was not raised in the church and soon found myself adrift in a sea of theological language and liturgical tradition. I grew in confidence over time, due in large part to the support of teachers, family and friends and the tenacious presence of the Spirit.”

Ursula Wiig previously received a Master of Theological Studies and then worked 11 years as a campus chaplain before returning to St. Andrew’s.

“St. Andrew’s College first took me in 20 years ago when I wasn’t at all sure I could remain a practicing Christian. It was there I discovered there was a place for me in the church after all . . . The past two years at St. Andrew’s have once again been both challenging and rewarding. In preparation for part-time congregational ministry, I have appreciated the opportunity to gain more skills, experience, and knowledge in the professional components of an M.Div.”

Sun-Do Hyun came to St. Andrew’s College from the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea and his next step is ordination as a United Church minister and taking on a leadership role in the church and community.

“I am really grateful for what I have experienced and learned from St. Andrew’s College, including contemporary theological perspectives, justice-oriented Christian education, a strong sense of community, the faith in the radical inclusiveness of the grace of God, respecting and learning from one another, and the ecumenical dialogue among the STU,” he said.

“I am also grateful for my experience at Grosvenor Park United Church, a congregation making continuous efforts to be a truly affirming and inclusive community and a church for the wider community.”

Bernice SaulteauxBernice Saulteaux received the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in recognition of her multi-faceted ministry at Carry the Kettle that blends First Nations and Christian traditions and serves the whole community.

She has been involved with Plains Presbytery, All Native Circle Conference, the United Church’s Residential Schools Steering Committee, learning circles in the Master of Divinity program at St. Andrew’s College and with many aspects of the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre.

Saulteaux has contributed to the United Church at the national, conference, and presbytery levels, including assisting the church in working toward reconciliation with First Nations peoples and residential school survivors.

Pagricia WottonPatricia Wotton, who entered at St. Andrew’s following a first career as a nurse, was ordained in 1986 and served  pastoral charges in the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario and Saskatchewan conferences for more than 20 years. Her ministry included many leadership roles in church, including president of  conference and as a member of the St. Andrew’s College board.

A recent contribution to the college and wider church is Wotton’s authorship of With Love, Lydia: The Story of Canada’s First Woman Ordained Minister a biography of the Rev. Dr. Lydia Gruchy, a St. Andrew’s graduate who became the first ordained woman in The United Church of Canada in 1936.

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