Hi! As you all know, I’ve been studying at Regent College here in Vancouver, working towards a Master of Arts in Theological Studies with a concentration in Christianity and the Arts. Last year I was blessed with a fantastic group of people—you!—who came alongside me in my journey to offer prayers and help with my financial needs. Your generosity and enthusiasm was an amazing support during a very big life change, and I’m so grateful that God has shown me His grace through you.
I’m writing to ask for your continued help as I get ready for the next phase of school life, and also to provide a little update on what I’ve been doing and where I’m at now.
My first year at Regent has been wonderful, full of ideas and stimulation and challenges. I’m pleased with my grades and the new horizons my studies have opened up. And I’ve forged friendships with people who I know I will probably remain close to for years to come. Regent is a place where community thrives, as we bond over lunches and discussion groups. The photo you see above was taken during a class retreat to Galiano Island, and it captures perfectly my sense of wonder and curiosity as I study at Regent.
It’s been a fascinating, though tiring, fall and winter with three courses each. Getting to the end of April felt a little like running a marathon, so I decided ultimately to take the summer off from school itself. But I was far from lazing around, since I put much of what I’d been learning to use in two sermons at my home church, sharing a refreshed passion for the Bible and Christian practice with my spiritual family.
My writing has also had a chance to grow alongside a small group of Regent friends who also write. Every two weeks we share and give feedback on each other’s stories and poems, and it’s been my favourite part of this summer. Just getting to talk to and be with other writers was the thing my creative life was missing.
This coming Fall term, I’ll be scaling back to two courses instead of three. One of them will likely be a language course, either Hebrew or Greek, because I’ll need it before I can continue further in any Biblical studies. The other is an important seminar for my degree, called Vocation of the Artist. We’ll be discussing readings and presenting papers in front of the group. I’m also starting to get ideas about what my final Integrative Project In Arts and Theology (a major paper paired with an artistic work) will be about and what it will look like; that’s going to be a lot of work, so I want to decide now what I’ll focus on.
And next summer, Regent has an impressive lineup of courses and teachers, including some very big names in the world of theology and Biblical studies. So there’s a lot to look forward to in my second year!
I’m hoping that you’ll be open to joining me, or continuing to walk with me, through what promises to be a big and busy period. The first and most important thing I need is prayer. There’ll be times when I’m stressed and exhausted and feeling the pressure, so I will need strength to soldier on and the ability to find joy in every paper and test. This is something God has carried me through already, and I would love it if you could pray He would again.
The second thing is finances. Unlike last year, I won't have a scholarship to cover part of my tuition, so for the fall, I’m looking at a budget of approximately $5,000 that would cover tuition, textbooks, and living costs until December.
GoFundMe doesn’t yet offer PayPal donations. If you’d like to give in some way other than by credit card, please feel free to contact me and we can make arrangements!
Thank you so much for all the support and love you’ve given me so far, and your continued help in my studies at Regent College!
Grace and peace,
- Christine Axelson
- Joseph Sun
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