Meet the 2009 theological student interns

The freshest crop of theological student international interns was in Toronto this week, preparing for overseas trips with a program run by the Canadian Churches’ Forum for Global Ministries. The three students spent a day at the national office to learn about General Synod, and share their stories so far.

The 2009 interns, L-R: Michelle Taylor, Jeffrey Hooper, and Nicolas Alexandre
The 2009 interns, L-R: Michelle Taylor, Jeffrey Hooper, and Nicolas Alexandre

The Theological Student International Internship Program (TSIIP) places theological students with international Anglican partners for three months. Clementina Thomas, Program Associate with General Synod’s Partnerships department, coordinates the work at General Synod.

So who’s going where in 2009? Nicolas Alexandre, a student at the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, will travel to the Philippines in May. Jeffrey Hooper, a student at Wycliffe College, leaves sooner; on Jan. 19 he and his wife, veterinarian Michelle Taylor, will travel to Uganda.

(There’s a bit of providential coincidence in Michelle’s story: she wanted to use her veterinary skills overseas, and lo and behold, she will be teaching with Canadian Anglican volunteer Dr. Carolyn Langford, a veterinarian and ordained minister working in Uganda!)

Already the interns are getting a taste of cross-cultural experiences. As part of the program, they visited a First Nations community, a Hindu temple, and a mosque. They also heard a panel discussion on living and working overseas, and watched videos on international debt, the immigrant experience, and racism.

“The preparation has been a little bit of a whirlwind,” said Ms. Taylor. “However it’s been valuable to hear different perspectives and voices, challenging us to figure out where we come from.”

Through the TSIIP program, students will support work that Anglican partners are already doing overseas. This could include leading worship services, supporting local development projects, or organizing Bible studies. However, program coordinators believe that just the experience of being overseas and learning about life there is a valuable part of ministry training.

“I’m excited about just walking with people in the church,” said Mr. Alexandre. “As human beings we all share common issues of suffering, joy, hope, and hopefully just by being I can add to some of that witness.”

Interested in hearing more? You can keep up with their correspondence on the TSIIP webpage, or by checking out Michelle and Jeffrey’s blog.

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