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Reflections of a Graduand 2024

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The following reflection was presented by graduating Master of Divinity student and winner of the 2024 President’s Award, Keegan Perry, during Acadia Divinity College’s Commissioning Service held May 15, 2024. 

Good evening, everyone. My name is Keegan Perry, and I am graduating from the Master of Divinity program. I am gratefully honoured and humbled to have been asked to share the Reflections of a Graduand with you tonight. As I was preparing to speak, I found it very difficult to capture my time at ADC because I have studied here for seven years, first as a Bachelor of Theology student, and as both a fully in-person and fully online student. But I have tried my best to keep things short.

Today is a day of celebration! Graduates, congratulations! All your hard work and dedication has finally paid off. It also needs to be said that this accomplishment is not just mine or ours as students but is all of ours because it has taken a whole community of supporters to get to graduation. Whether you have driven us places, or have allowed a student to stay in your extra bedroom, or have prayed for the students, or even supported us financially through the many generous scholarships ADC has; whether you have encouraged us, or even listened to us sing the Greek alphabet song in our sleep, which my wife insists I did… thank you everyone for your support! Thank you for partnering, supporting, helping, and encouraging us as students. This is your celebration as much as it is ours.

By far the best part of my time at ADC is being a part of their community. The staff and faculty at ADC went out of their way to include us as students in their community, got to know us outside the classroom, and encouraged us in our studies. You would be amazed at the amount of community that can be built, and the depth of conversation that can be had, with pizza, a pop, and ADC’s president Dr. Anna Robbins all sitting around the table! I will never forget the community that ADC has. We can take joy today because we will continue to be a part of this community as alumni.

The professors have also greatly impacted me. Not only did they care for us as students well, but they also had so much wisdom to pass onto us. I really appreciated how every prof shared their personal and ministry experiences in their lectures. I, as a student, felt more prepared to minister because of their wisdom. I also appreciated how our professors made classes memorable: Whether role playing Charles Spurgeon during the downgrade controversy of the late 19th century, or reading the children’s  book ‘I’m a little caterpillar,’ or even making Old Testament memes about the strange things God told Ezekiel to do… our profs made sure to make our class time enjoyable and memorable.

Additionally, I was greatly impacted by my fellow students. ADC has a beautifully diverse community of people coming from all different walks of life and from all over the world. The beautiful part of ADC is their online infrastructure. We had students joining our classes from western Canada, and even from different continents! A huge shout-out needs to go to Rev. John Campbell and the technology team because they made sure we as online students received quality education while feeling a part of their community from a distance. We as students also learned from each other, from our different perspectives, life stories, and spiritual gifts. One of the greatest times this occurred was in our preaching class when fellow graduate Olaniyi Cole preached a powerful sermon to KEEP THE FAITH. I have always remembered that sermon and was encouraging to see God moving. It is important to remember these memories and the strong friendships we made because we can be sure God had a hand in it all, and we should never forget what God has done for us.

There are many more memories I could share from ADC, but I’d like to end with the greatest lesson I learned here. Coming into my last year, I figured it would be my easiest year yet because I had six years under my belt and only had to take six classes over two semesters. Unexpectedly, this past year became my most difficult one.

Two weeks into the semester my mom suffered a large brain aneurism, which resulted in her hospitalization for four months. I come from a small family where I’m the only child, so I had to drop everything to be with her. Completing my studies became very difficult with the constant beeping of a hospital room.

I remember one overwhelming day I was questioning, “How would I continue to move forward in this difficulty?” when I came across the following words in Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT): “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now.”

I felt God saying that he could be trusted, and that all I needed was to keep enduring, keep seeking him. Boy was God right. I am blessed to say that my mom is here with me today and was able to walk in under her own power. We truly witnessed one of God’s miracles. During the difficulty, I could feel the support of ADC, their prayers, their phone calls, their encouraging messages that helped me keep enduring.

From this difficult time, I learned that our goal moving forward should be to endure for Christ. We will always have difficulties; we will always have overwhelming situations that will leave us wondering what to do next. Keep enduring!

As Graduates it will be tempting to strive towards being the best pastor, scholar, deacon, leader out there but what this world needs are pastors, scholars, deacons, and leaders who can endure the storms of life, especially in the age of burnout we live in. We do this by keeping our eyes on the Jesus, who had the greatest endurance ever through enduring the cross.

So, as we graduate, transition into ministry or further studies, or even another job, continue to endure for Christ. May we keep the faith, so that one day we may hear the words ‘well done my good and faithful servant’. Altogether my time at ADC has deeply impacted my life and I know I am not alone in saying that. We have made many memories and have learned life-changing lessons that have, and will, influence our kingdom impact.

Thank you everyone for your support in making our graduation possible. May God bless you and keep you.

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