Future Kirk ministers and readers celebrate
Published on 6 July 2023 2 minutes read
Future ministers of the Church of Scotland were among the students celebrating the successful completion of their degrees at Highland Theological College (HTC), part of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Graduates came from a variety of religious backgrounds, but included a number of students who intend to train for ministry with the Church of Scotland.
They include BA Theological Studies graduates Tommy MacGregor, who is currently on placement at St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney having previously been on a placement with the chaplaincy department at Highland Hospice, Judith Macleod from Inverness, who is a part-time co-ordinator with Eco-Congregation Scotland and was graduating in the same week as her son, and Dawn Westwood, who will begin her probation period in Carluke, alongside her role as sports chaplain to Livingston FC's women's team.
Jonathan Lyall and Christopher Watt, who are also training to be Ministers of Word and Sacrament with the Church of Scotland, graduated in absentia.
Catherine (Cat) Rawlinson-Watkins, who is also training as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, was awarded a BA with Distinction for her work.
Also graduating were Sandy Gillies from Lewis, Elaine Hogan from Edinburgh and Tim Podger from Angus, who are training as Ordained Local Ministers (OLMs), and Readers Dugald MacPherson and Fulton Hunter.
This was HTC's first full graduation ceremony since the Covid-19 pandemic, and hosted by Dingwall and Strathpeffer Free Church opposite HTC's Dingwall campus.
HTC principal Rev Hector Morrison told the graduates, their friends and families, and the others attending the event that it was a real joy to have a full graduation ceremony once again and congratulated those receiving their awards for their achievement and hard work.
UHI deputy principal Professor Neil Simco, who revealed that he had had also been a student of UHI after enrolling for a full-time course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI Gaelic college on Skye, told the graduates that it was an amazing achievement that was being celebrated, adding: "Life is for living and education is the fuel for life."
Also adding her congratulations was guest speaker Elaine Duncan, the chief executive of the Scottish Bible Society, who urged the graduates: "Don't stop asking questions, but don't forget to give your questions the perspective that the love of Christ can bring."