AST and its Founders Renew Agreement

Seated: David Griffiths (Chair, AST Board of Governors). Standing (l to r): Neale Bennet (AST President), Ron Cutler (Archbishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada), Anthony Mancini (Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth), Bonnie Fraser (Chair, Pine Hill Divinity Hall Board of Governors).

November 8, 2018 will be forever marked as a milestone in the story of Atlantic School of Theology.

That day, the founders of AST re-committed to an ongoing relationship with the university they had the foresight to create almost fifty years ago. At a Thursday chapel service which was both our regular gathering of community and at the same time a remarkable and historic celebration, representatives of our founding parties put pen to a covenantal document which strengthens and sustains the bond between us now and far into the future.

The significance of that shared bond, and indeed of the diversity of faith traditions which is central to AST’s character, was captured by student April Hart in her sermon during the service. “Human beings desire deeply to belong to one another,” April said. “In a culture where that sense of belonging has been lost, the only way to be safe is to divide and polarize ourselves. In a world which is increasingly divided, it is evermore important to make an effort to come together.”

Well said, April. Well done, to those who had the courage to come together to form AST those many decades ago. And well done, too – and our deep gratitude – to our founding parties for their renewed and ongoing commitment to AST, which continues to be Canada’s only fully-integrated ecumenical school of theology.

In this increasingly divided world, we give thanks for the shared commitment of our Anglican, Roman Catholic, and United Church (Pine Hill) founders to AST and to our mission of shaping faithful and effective leaders and understanding among communities of faith.

Rev. Canon Neale Bennet
Atlantic School of Theology