Congratulations: Faculty of Divinity Class of 2024

Posted: May 15, 2024

On May 14, 2024, ߲Ƶ held the Faculty of Divinity Convocation 2024 for conferring of Degrees in Divinity and an Honorary Degree, and the presentation of Prizes to Divinity students.

Following the reading of the Prayers of Convocation by the Humphrys Chaplain, The Rev’d Canon Andrea Budgey, Provost Mayo Moran welcomed graduates and their families, the honoree, distinguished guests, faculty and staff to the ceremony. The Dean of Divinity, Professor Christopher Brittain addressed Convocation and presented the prize winners to Provost Moran. Professor Timothy Chan, Vice Provost, Strategic Initiatives, conveyed greetings from the University of Toronto to the graduating class. Registrar Nelson De Melo presented the candidates for degrees to Chancellor Brian Lawson; and the Chancellor conferred the honorary degree upon The Most Reverend Anne Germond. Archbishop Germond then addressed graduates – she shared her wisdom about the wonders of the world and humanity’s place in it, and offered her heartfelt congratulations to the graduating class, who she termed “the voices of hope.” Chancellor Lawson closed Convocation and invited everyone to celebrate with graduates in Seeley Hall. On behalf of the College, congratulations to Trinity’s Faculty of Divinity Class of 2024, this year’s honoree and prize winners!

A few photos from Convocation are below in the image carousel. More photos are available on .

  • Faculty of Divinity Convocation 2024: graduands in the chapel
    In the Chapel following Caput, graduands and faculty line up for the academic procession
What is Caput?

The Royal Charter and the Statutes of ߲Ƶ provide that the Charter Members of Convocation have the powers and duties to grant Degrees. The Statutes require that “the supplicat of a candidate who has qualified for a degree in course must have passed the Caput”, a committee selected by the Charter Members of Convocation. Charter Members of Convocation are defined as “the Chancellor, Provost, and professors of ߲Ƶ, and all persons admitted in ߲Ƶ to the degree of Master of Arts, or to any degree in Divinity, Law or Medicine, and who from the time of their admission to such degree shall pay the annual sum of twenty shillings of sterling money for and towards the support and maintenance of the College.”

Immediately preceding Convocation, the Chancellor Brian Lawson, Provost Mayo Moran and members of Caput convened with the candidates. The Registrar, Nelson De Melo read the following supplicat for candidates.

Placetne reverentiis vestris ut admittantur in hos gradus? Placet.
Is it your decision that they be admitted to these degrees? It is.



Click on name to view graduate’s bio (as provided by graduates).

Monica Green

Monica Romig Green

BA, Stanford University; MA, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

The Reverend Monica Romig Green is honoured to serve as the Assistant Curate at Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton in the Anglican Diocese of Niagara. She previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University and a Masters of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care from Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. After serving as a lay spiritual director for twenty years, she is now applying her interest and experience in spiritual formation and prayer to her work in ordained ministry. A native Californian, Monica and her husband Matthew first came to Canada in the early 2010s while he was doing PhD studies at Regis College. They felt drawn back to this beautiful country, and while they miss their families back in the States, they are enjoying their new life and ministries in Hamilton.

Vivia Kay Kieswetter

Vivia Kay Kieswetter

Doctor of Philosophy, Musicology. York University; Masters of Music, Performance, University of Toledo; Bachelor of Arts, Music and Humanities, Rollins College

David Joseph Montgomery

David Joseph Montgomery

Bachelor of Commerce, McMaster University 

David Montgomery is an Assistant Curate at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington, Ontario and is passionate about parish ministry. Prior to attending ߲Ƶ, David enjoyed a long career in health care administration and is a Chartered Accountant/Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Health Executive, Certified Human Resources Leader, and Chartered Director. David lives in Caledonia, with his wife, Kate, daughters Kyra and Lucy, and mother-in-law Betty, and is grateful for the love and support they gave while he was studying. David is looking forward to his ordination to the priesthood in September 2024.

Patricia Fern Rocco

Patricia Fern Rocco

BA (Hons), Brock University; MFA, University of Alberta; BEd, Brock University

Patricia is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. After graduation, she will be continuing her studies in Spiritual Direction at The Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. She holds degrees in Drama, Theatre Design and Education. Patricia and her husband, Gregory, have three adult children, Bianca, Dominic and Alexei and two granddaughters, Aisling and Payten.

Roberta Yeo

Roberta Yeo

BA, MA, McGill; MA University of British Columbia

Roberta (Reilly) Yeo is a Candidate for Ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Prior to entering seminary, she was the Director of Communications at the David Suzuki Foundation. Her community ministry with MyClimatePlan.com draws on her background in climate justice activism and her UU spirituality. She lives in Victoria, BC with her partner Jamie and two young children Avery and Elyse, on the unceded traditional territories of the Swenghung, a Lekwungen-speaking people.


Kelsey Cunningham

Kelsey Cunningham

BA (Hons.), MA, University of Toronto

Kelsey is a practicing Acupuncturist in Montreal, Quebec, where she is also currently pursuing pastoral training in Health and Spirituality at UdeM.

Thesis: Towards a Feminist Theology of Creation

Nicholas Robert Fournie

Nicholas Robert Fournie

BA (Hons.) Arts and Contemporary Studies, Toronto Metropolitan University

Nicholas Fournie is a Zen Buddhist practicing with the Ocean Mind Sangha in the White Plum lineage. Before coming to Trinity, he completed a B.A. in Arts and Contemporary Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University. Nicholas is grateful to have studied amongst renowned scholars in Christian theology and hopes to continue contributing to interfaith dialogue and trans-religious studies throughout his career.

Thesis: Discovering Divine Kinship: A Pluralistic Reconstruction of Christian Morality for Universal Theosis

Sarah Griffin

Sarah Emily Griffin

BA, Classics and Contemporary Studies (University of King’s College); MA Philosophy (Memorial University)

Sarah Griffin has completed a BA in Classics and Contemporary Studies at the University of King’s College in Halifax, NS. After a few years working at a non-profit youth organization in Halifax, she flew over to Newfoundland to complete an MA in Philosophy at Memorial University. This year is a very exciting one for Sarah, as in June, she will be getting married, and in August, she will begin a PhD program at Boston College in Historical Theology.

Thesis: The Natural World as a Teacher of the Soul: Resonance of Clement’s διδάσκαλος in Maximus’ Natural Contemplation

Marc Guany

Marc Guany

Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and Environmental Design, The Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Cairo, Egypt

Marc Guany, a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church, focuses his scholarly pursuits on liturgical theology, particularly in the realm of liturgical reform with the Coptic liturgical tradition. He actively participates in catechetical ministry at St. Peter and St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church in Oakville, ON. He is joyfully engaged to Marina, with plans to get married next August.

Thesis: Partakers of the Form of Your Christ: Coptic Liturgical Reform – Past, Present, and Future

Jennifer Sarjeant

Jennifer Sarjeant

BSc, MD, MSc, University of Toronto

Jennifer Sarjeant has thoroughly enjoyed the intellectual and spiritual growth that she experienced as a result of her part-time studies in Theology. She would like to thank her family for their patience with her seemingly continuous essay writing and Latin learning. Jennifer is grateful to Professor Neelands for his supervision of the MTS thesis, and for his comprehensive teaching on St. Augustine and Richard Hooker.

Thesis: Baptism in the Anglican Church of Canada: Past, Present and Future

Edwina Thomas

Edwina Thomas

BSc, Master in Public Health, University of Waterloo

Dena (Edwina) Thomas has been a member of Christ’s Church Cathedral and the St. Luke’s Community of Common Prayer in Hamilton for five years now. Dena has served as sub-deacon at the Cathedral and is one of the founding members of the Community of Common Prayer, an ecumenical prayer community stewarded by the Anglican Diocese of Niagara. Dena earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health from the University of Waterloo. Dena is a certified Spiritual Director and a Chaplain at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton. She and her husband are proud parents of three adult children, Jaime, Shanika, and Caitlin. Dena hopes to continue her work in fresh ecclesiastical ministry, supporting emerging leaders and building ecumenical partnerships across Hamilton. Dena is a postulant for ordination with the Niagara Diocese and hopes to be ordained as a Deacon in the near future.


Susan Dorcas Wilson

Susan Dorcas Wilson

BSc (Occupational Therapy), University of Toronto; MDiv, Wycliffe College; STM (Spiritual Direction), Regis College

Canon Susan Wilson began her professional career as an Occupational Therapist and found great personal satisfaction in serving and helping others live their best life. After she married her best friend, Michael, and they started a family, Susan began to discern a call to ordained ministry. This lead to the completion of a Master of Divinity at Wycliffe College. After completing this degree and beginning parish ministry she discovered gifts for the ministry of Spiritual Direction and pursued a Master of Sacred Theology at Regis College. Her passion for scripture, preaching and teaching, and her deep desire to invite others to encounter God through scripture, study and prayer, led her into the Doctor of Ministry program at ߲Ƶ. With God’s grace she hopes to continue to help others to learn and grow in faith through dwelling deeply with the Word.

Doctoral thesis: The Word is Very Near You, In Your Heart and On Your Lips: Learning and Telling Scripture by Heart Yields Growing Disciples

Abstract: This dissertation considers one issue facing mainline Christian churches and specifically the Anglican Church in Canada today in regard to fulfilling its purpose of forming disciples: declining knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. The decline is due in part to overall lower church attendance and the loss of intimate connection within the Word of God.

This dissertation considers one specific spiritual practice that may help to address this gap, that is, the spiritual discipline of learning and telling scripture by heart. This practice encourages deep dwelling with scripture in prayer and study, with the aim of committing the passage to memory. It is the deep internalization of the words rather than mere memorization that makes the practice meaningful and effective. The history of the oral tradition required in pre-literate and non-literate communities, as well as the shift towards more narrative and literary study of the bible, form the foundation for the practice. The gifts and insights from Ignatian spirituality provide inspiration for this method of learning scripture.

Through this qualitative study, I explore the experience of nine individuals, who are taught a method for learning and telling scripture by heart. The participants share their reflections on their experience of reading, praying with, studying, and sharing scripture by heart. They consider if/how the experience impacted their knowledge of scripture and/or their relationship with God. Each participant successfully learned and told a scripture passage by heart, and in varying ways expressed change in their relationship with God through this internalization practice. Learning and telling scripture by heart is one way to support the formation of disciples.


Rorik Nikolaus Hrothgar

Rorik Nikolaus Hrothgar

BA, Dallas Christian College; MTS, Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University; ThM, Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University

Rorik Hrothgar has been a member of St. Seraphim’s parish, as well as the Albanian Orthodox mission in Toronto for several years. He has completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dallas Christian College, and a Master of Theological Studies as well as a Master of Theology from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He and his wife Anna have one son, Konstantin. Rorik currently works developing A.I. in the fields of theology and religion for Toloka. He is looking forward to professional writing and teaching.

Doctoral thesis: “Fire and Light: A Palamite Theological Evaluation of Kuṇḍalinī”

Abstract: The line of inquiry for this thesis came about after seeing several statements from yoga organisations, which stated that, “The kuṇḍalinī is the Holy Spirit.” The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the question: does kuṇḍalinī experience involve the same operative energy as that within Christian mystical experience? To make a solid comparison requires that an established tradition of Christian mysticism, with a canon of texts, and solid accounts of mystical experience are used to compare and evaluate. Yoga systems dealing with kuṇḍalinī are highly systematic and use many central texts. The parity between mystical experiences in kuṇḍalinī and the mysticism of the Hesychasts have several common points among them, e.g. psychosomatic methods which share basic commonalities, bodily-centred praxis, noetic perception of energy and light, and experiences of self-transcendence. This thesis explores mysticism as a noetic vision which is super-rational, and it examines commonalities and differences between kuṇḍalinī experience and the hesychastic vision of light as mystical experiences. The history and basis for Hesychasm is reviewed, including the significant contribution of Gregory Palamas, as well as pertinent accounts of those ascetics who experienced the vision of the divine light. Personal accounts of kuṇḍalinī experience are examined, together with analysing the religious/metaphysical backgrounds that give insight into the nature of the phenomenon. Finally, all of the preceding investigation will come to focus in evaluating the nature of kuṇḍalinī and the experience of its awakening from the basis of Palamite theological perspective. The unique cultural, religious, and linguistic contexts are brought into the evaluation to illustrate the specific constructions of meaning and interpretation. To establish the centrality of noetic-awareness in the mystical experience examples from several religious contexts that demonstrate noetic-mind as the medium of mystical experience are shown and analysed.

Andrew N. A. Youssef

Andrew N A Youssef

BA, McMaster University; MTS, ߲Ƶ; MPS, Emmanuel College

Andrew Youssef has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies at McMaster University, a Master of Theological Studies at ߲Ƶ, and a Master of Pastoral Studies at Emmanuel College. He has taught at academic institutions and universities including ߲Ƶ and the Patriarchal Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy. In addition, he serves as a Chaplain and is a qualifying Registered Psychotherapist. With the support of his wife, Contessa Youssef, Andrew has been a coordinator of Church services at the Coptic Orthodox Churches of Daniel the Prophet and the Three Saintly Youth in Mississauga, and St. Mary and St. Demiana in Etobicoke for the past few years. In the future, Andrew hopes to find a teaching position in academia where he will integrate his academic and pastoral skills to support students from various walks of life.

Doctoral thesis: Comparative Christology: Hypostasis, Nature(s), Will(s) and Energy(ies) in Severus of Antioch and Maximus the Confessor


Alana Alexandra Harton Morgan McCord and Maria Aleksandrovna Simakova

The following candidates graduated with the PhD from the University of St. Michael’s College at their convocation on November 11, 2023

Alana Alexandra Harton Morgan McCord

Maria Aleksandrovna Simakova



The Most Rev’d Anne Germond

Anne GermondPresented by The Most Reverend Colin Johnson
Hooded by Dean Christopher Brittain

߲Ƶ conferred a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) degree upon The Most Rev’d Anne Germond in recognition of her significant leadership across a substantial part of the Province of Ontario as the first woman to hold the role of Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario. Archbishop Germond is also being recognized for her work as  and for her service as the ; in particular her work with the numerous Indigenous communities across northern Ontario and northwestern Quebec in this diocese.

(Image: The picture behind the Archbishop Germond is the Tree of Life by local Indigenous Ojibway artist Blake Debassige. The original hangs in the Anishnabe Spiritual Centre in Espanola. Photo by Dr. Colin Germond)



Click on the Year to view recipients.

First Year

Presented by Fr. Geoffrey Ready

  • Yasha Fard: Dean Feilding Scholarship for highest standing; The Spencer Prize in Mission Study
  • Madison MacGregor: The Doolittle Prize in Reading for most improved preaching skills
  • Lisa Rumble: The Sidney Childs Prizes in Dogmatics (systematic theology)
  • Wesley Weima: The Rupert Fenwick Williams Prize in New Testament

Second Year

Presented by Professor Jesse Billett

  • Denise Byard: The Alexander Burnside Chafee Prize for best preaching skills
  • Nicholas Fournie: The Fourth Bishop of Toronto’s Prize for General Proficiency; The Kent Testimonial Prize for best Master of Theological Studies thesis
  • Sarah Griffin: Archbishop Kingston Memorial Scholarship for highest standing; The Margaret L. Muckle Prize in Church History
  • Yinan Lu: Canon P. M. Lamb Prize in New Testament Greek
  • Adedayo Olomodosi: The McDonald Prize for General Knowledge of the English Bible
  • Timothy Rogers: The College Prize in Hebrew

Third Year

Presented by Professor Marsha Hewitt

  • Monica Green: The Margaret L. Muckle Prize in Christian Education
  • Joel Houston: The Hamilton Memorial Prize for best honours thesis
  • Patricia Rocco: The Gordon Kent Stephen Memorial Prize for highest standing
  • Rebecca Vendetti: The Canadian Bible Society Prize for Excellence in Scripture Reading; The J. Nicholson Prize in Liturgics
  • Rose Wang: The Canon Charles Frederick Pashler Prize in Moral Theology; The Dorothy Shuter Prize in Liturgics; The McDonald Prize for General Knowledge of the English Bible
  • Roberta Yeo: The Gordon Kent Stephen Memorial Prize for highest standing

Arts & Science

Presented by Professor Marsha Hewitt

  • Kaelem Moniz: The David Neelands Divinity Associates’ Prize for College involvement

Governor General’s Academic Medal

  • Monica Green: Governor General’s Academic Medal

For nearly 150 years, the Governor General’s Academic Medals have recognized the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. They are awarded to the student graduating with the highest average from participating educational institutions, and are presented on behalf of the Governor General, along with a signed personalized certificate.