Mary Andrews College celebrates biggest graduation yet
Forty-eight students were awarded Diplomas and Certificates at the ceremony, held on 23 March at Village Church, Annandale. Over 250 guests attended the ceremony. Among the graduates honoured on the night were two students whose prizes were awarded posthumously and received by family members.
The ceremony began with a welcome from Rev. Jackie Stoneman, Director of Studies at MAC, followed by worship, Bible readings and an address from Dr Louise Gosbell, MAC lecturer.
Dr Gosbell spoke on the value of theological study. She challenged the graduates and their guests, saying, “If we are willing to spend three or more years training for a career as part of our earthly lives, how much more should we consider training in God’s word – not just for a career, but to train us for life? And not just earthly life, but eternal life.”
Rev. Kerrie Newmarch, the ADM Director of Church Engagement and Training, interviewed Nada Appleby, a graduating student, about her experiences studying at MAC. Following the interview, the ACT awards were presented to graduates by Dr Martin Sutherland, the Dean and CEO of the Australian College of Theology.
This year’s Mary Andrews Prize, awarded to the student with the highest mark, was a tie between Debbie Cox for OT208 (Psalms and Ezra) and Maxine Lean for CH206 (The Reformation).
The ceremony concluded with the presentation of Internal Pastoral Care Course Awards by Dr Kate Harrison Brennan, CEO of ADM, and prayer and worship.
Though all MAC graduates leave with training for eternity, many graduates have also gained practical skills that have opened doors for new jobs. Several new graduates are already working as pastoral workers and community chaplains as a result of their studies. Others have enthusiastically shared that their ministries at church have been enriched by a deepened understanding of God’s word.
Rev. Jackie Stoneman says, “I’m delighted that so many people have chosen to study at Mary Andrews College. We congratulate the 45 graduates on their hard work. I have been encouraged to see the way they have grown in confidence as they have gone through their studies.”
She continues, “We send our graduates off, confident that they have been equipped with deep theological knowledge and practical skills to enrich their relationships, ministry and service of God. I am excited about the flow-on effect too – so many other people have been, and will continue to be, encouraged through what God has done in these graduates’ lives.”
Read Dr Louise Gosbell’s address to the graduates and guests.