The following reflection was presented by graduating Master of Divinity student, Raphael Iluyomade, during Acadia Divinity College’s Commissioning Service held May 6, 2022:
The Presidents of Acadia Divinity College and Acadia University, Dr. Anna Robbins and Dr. Peter Ricketts, Staff and Faculty, the Executive Minister CBAC, Dr. Peter Reid, Board of Trustees, Pastors and Ministry Mentors, Special Guests, Family, and Friends – I am honoured to stand here today on behalf of the graduating class of 2022.
We have journeyed thus far by the measure of grace and strength given to us first from above and then our families – spouses, parents, children, church – and our ADC family. To each one of you, we say thank you.
I was born in Ondo in Nigeria, a small town where I learned to treasure the value of community. In 2018, I got to know about Acadia Divinity College through a friend in Singapore who graduated from Acadia University over 30 years ago. Upon inquiring about what it would mean for me to study at ADC, she replied, “You will be going to a community that is lit with the golden hearts of men and women.” I came to Wolfville in 2018 and joined ADC in 2019. My family reunited with me that same year. My experience has been as my friend described it above.
“You will be going to a community that is lit with the golden hearts of men and women.”
Today is about putting the spotlight on our ADC community – all of you – celebrating you, as you do us. This is because of the special ways you have been a part of our diverse journeys. That we are here today is a testament to the success we all share together. Because you stood by our side, we have been able to successfully negotiate a terrain that everyone will agreeably say has been challenging.
To say, on behalf of my colleagues, that our journey has been challenging is, to say the least. All of us, our colleagues who are graduating with their Bachelor of Theology, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Theology), Doctor of Ministry, Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies, and the Certificate in Lay Leadership, have been stressed in every sense of it, but we have come out stronger than we started because we were deeply loved and cared for. The treasures we found in our studies and the compassion of ADC faculty and staff have formed us for the world of our time. We are going out there to give the same.
The treasures we found in our studies and the compassion of ADC faculty and staff have formed us for the world of our time.
Although our calling is diverse, we are sure of what we have in common. ADC has challenged us to constantly watch out for what God is doing in our communities, to stand together tall, and strong. We are called to go out beyond our comfort zones. We are called to be with the strong and the most vulnerable members of our community. We are called to be protectors, truth-bearers, and enablers of the weak. We are going to do this, and we are going to do it well by the grace of the Lord.
As we go, we are going with one certainty on our minds: we are winners because we will keep the Word always by our side, we will meditate on it day and night. For on this lies our success and prosperity. We will be courageous because the Lord our God is with us forever (Joshua 1: 8). Thank you!
Raphael Iluyomade graduated with a Master of Divinity in May 2022. He delivered the ‘Reflections of a Graduand’ at ADC’s 61st annual Commissioning service on Friday, May 6, 2022.