Graduation day is an important one for any student, ‘A moment of grace’ is how guest speaker, Alan Niven, described it. It is the day when all those hours of study in class and at home, and all the hard work of thinking, reading and writing, finally come to fruition. Graduation is always a significant personal achievement. But it is also an achievement best shared.
The University of Divinity’s Graduation Ceremony in Melbourne, held on the 24th of March, on the grand stage of St Patrick’s Cathedral, was an important milestone for a number of Pilgrim students. One by one, they crossed the stage to receive their award as they were surrounded and supported by family, friends, fellow students and Faculty. As a College, we offer our warmest congratulations to each student named here.
Two Pilgrim graduates can be mentioned in particular. Lima Tura, who came to study at Pilgrim from her home in the Solomon Islands, received the honour of being named as Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar. The commendation that accompanied that award said:
Lima Tura left home and family in the Solomon Islands to study at Pilgrim, completing a BTheol in 3 years. Her commitment to learning is infectious, and, as minister and teacher, she is passionately concerned to integrate her learning with life in the church and the wider community back home. Working in English as her second language, her dedication to her studies produced an excellent suite of results across the full range of subjects in her degree, including HDs in Greek and Christian Ethics.
It was also a great joy to celebrate with the now Revd Dr Randall Prior, former Principal and Professor of Missiology and Ministry Studies at the Uniting Church Theological College. Randall received his PhD after many dedicated years of research on the relationship between gospel and culture in Vanuatu.
Whether studying for a coursework award or research degree, those who pursue theological education continually speak of the transformative effects of their studies. We celebrate with all those who have concluded their studies (perhaps only momentarily), confident that there are many others who will benefit from taking the first steps on their theological journey.