Women at Wycliffe

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Aug 18, 2022

By Amanda MacInnis-Hackney

If a picture is truly “worth a thousand words,” take a moment to reflect on what this image is saying. The women in this photograph were inspired to capture and preserve the moment because they realized it would speak volumes.

It all started with a random observation of the mix of students in the Academic Graduate Degree study room. On that particular day, at that particular time, all of the people working in the room were women. In taking that picture, we collectively took a moment to appreciate the vibrant community of female scholars and students at Wycliffe College. From top-notch faculty, including Prof. Marion Taylor, Ann Jervis, and Annette Brownlee, to a healthy community of female students in both the Professional Graduate Degree and Academic Graduate Degree programs, Wycliffe College is a nurturing and robust academic setting where women from a variety of academic, denominational, and experiential backgrounds choose to study.

Jumping into life at Wycliffe

Take for example Rachel Krohn. After graduating from Regent College in B.C., Rachel came to do her PhD in Old Testament in the new conjoint PhD program between Wycliffe and the University of Toronto. Rachel, her husband Tyler, and their two daughters moved from Calgary to Toronto, and quickly jumped into life at Wycliffe. Besides taking classes, the Krohns regularly attend Wycliffe’s Community Eucharist and Community Supper. As Rachel finishes up her coursework and prepares for her comprehensive exams, she is grateful for the professors who mentor her, especially Marion Taylor. “I always know that she is interested in my success, not only as a scholar, but in every arena of my life,” says Rachel.

Suet-Ming Yeong, originally from Singapore, also graduated from Regent College prior to coming to Wycliffe. Studying under Prof. Christopher Seitz, Suet-Ming is interested in the history of historical-critical interpretation of the Pentateuch. In her second year of the conjoint PhD program, Suet-Ming appreciates the community at Wycliffe. She regularly works in the Academic Graduate Degree study lounge because “it is a place that allows me to be shamelessly nerdy and to revel in the joy of investigating what others might consider to be esoteric!” Like Rachel, Suet-Ming also appreciates and participates in the chapel activities: “The regular rhythm of morning prayer in the Founder’s Chapel reminds me that I am part of the wider body of Christ. This sets the tone for my research and reflections for the rest of the day as I remember that I participate in academic theology as a member of the community of faith.” 

An ongoing, growing experience

Adrienne Findley-Jones is in her fourth year of the ThD/PhD Program and is studying ecumenism and ethnographic ecclesiology, looking specifically at Anglican-Lutheran dialogue in Canada, under the supervision of Prof. Joseph Mangina. Originally, Adrienne planned on pursuing ordination to work in a church, but while she was doing her MA in Waterloo, she realized that because there were so few women studying and teaching theology, she could serve the broader church community by becoming a teacher of theology. Wycliffe has been a space that continues to train and nurture Adrienne’s gifts and talents. “It has been an ongoing growing experience as I am encouraged and challenged by my colleagues — both male and female — to be a better scholar than I was before.” 

These three women are just a few of the women in the Academic Graduate Degree programs at Wycliffe College, but they are all examples of the vision and mission of Wycliffe to assist “in the theological formation of Christian men and women, equip those who are called to specific lay and ordained ministries, and foster excellence in theological scholarship.”

About the Author

Amanda MacInnis-Hackney is in her second year of the PhD program at Wycliffe College. Her main area of study is systematic theology, and her current research is focused on Karl Barth’s theological interpretation of Scripture outside of the Church Dogmatics.