There is a special pleasure in being able to welcome you to the new academic year at Pilgrim in 2021. After the challenges of learning and teaching in 2020, it is a real joy to see enrolments come in for the rich and impressive timetable of units and courses on offer at the College this year. And it is particularly encouraging to know with significant confidence that classes will be available face to face as well as online.
Along with pretty much every other higher education institution, we are working to make sure that people can study in ways that are safe, and responsive to need. By the time semester is more than a few weeks old, you will perhaps notice some physical and technological changes intended to make that possible. But we want none of that to get in the way of making sure that your education at the College commences or continues in ways that support and deepen your understanding, faith, and commitment to working for God’s justice in the world.
I want to encourage you to take up your part in building our learning community this year. Take the time to get to know your teachers and other students. Find ways to have the kinds of conversations that ensure that learning continues even when class is over.
Make full use of our wonderful Dalton McCaughey Library, spend time in the newly opened Communitas Café, and use the Centre for Theology and Ministry as a place to make connections, share ideas, and foster theological conversation and reflection.
Talk with us and with each other about the difference that all of these ideas (about God, the Bible, the Church, Faith, Ministry etc.) make to you and to the world.
In joining the College this year, you are invited to create with us a place of belonging and connection. And if you meet students online who live in a different part of the city or the country from you…you could even have a Zoom meeting.
I hope that as many students as possible will join us for the Pilgrim Orientation event on February 19th at 2pm, whether you can come to the College campus or will beam in online. We will tell you more about studying here at that event, and you will get a chance to ask any questions. But, for now, a warm welcome to the new academic year.
Note: After this was written, we received news that Victoria will undergo a 5 day lockdown from midnight on Friday 12th February. As things currently stand, we are still planning for the Orientation event and semester 1 classes to run face to face where possible and appropriate. If the situation changes, we will be in touch!