May in Northern Virginia means the weather is warm, trees and grass are a vibrant green, and the air is filled with bird songs. It also means that our Women of the Anglican Communion year is coming to a close, and the time has come to bid farewell to the graduating class of 2017, as they go out into the world to begin new chapters in their ministry.
For the Center for Anglican Communion Studies, this also means we are celebrating and saying goodbye to six international students. Rose Mpango, D Mark Togba, Saw Ni Ka Mwee, Goodwell Timverane, and Peter Gachira Wanjiku will graduate from the MA program. Wadie Far will graduate from the MDiv. program.
One of the requirements of the MA degree is to write a Summative Capstone Project. It would be impossible to fully convey the depth of work that goes into these projects in a relatively short amount of time, but to give you a sample of the range of topics our international MA students have engaged with, here are their titles:
Saw Ni Ka Mwee: “The Book of Common Prayer for Myanmar: Liturgy in Our Own Language”
Rose Mpango: “From Mission To Church: The East African Revival's Impact on the Anglican Church of Tanzania”
Goodwell Timverane: “The Call and Hand of God in Ministry: Deep Listening to Our Call Narrative”
D Mark Togba: “Seeking Peace and Reconciliation between Christians and Muslims in Liberia: An Agenda for Co-existence”
Peter Gachira Wanjiku: “The Dodoma Statement and Interfaith Dialogue in Nairobi”
The MDiv program from which Wadie Far is graduating does not require a capstone project like the MA, but it is one year longer (3 years instead of two) and has its own set of rigorous academic standards.
Each one of these individuals has blessed VTS with their presence, and enriched our understanding of global Anglicanism as they shared perspectives from their own context. Through them, we got a glimpse of the life of the Church in Tanzania, Liberia, Myanmar, Malawi, Kenya, and Jordan. Each has engaged in serious theological study, made friends across cultures, worshipped, struggled, played, and broken bread with us and they have left their mark on this community. The Center for Anglican Communion Studies sends these students forth with our prayers and we hope they know that, as Dean Markham is fond of saying, “once you’re a part of VTS, you’re always a part of VTS.”