Graham Hutchins was so taken by Edinburgh after a year of study that he decided to stay on to complete his degree. He talks to us about interning at the Parish of St. Ninian’s and the journal he kept.
Bachelor of Divinity
|Year of Graduation||
Your time at the University
It was while I was a student at Boston University School of Theology that I heard about Edinburgh’s excellent Divinity program and decided to attend for a year. I was so impressed with Edinburgh that I asked if I could complete my degree there and was told that I could do so if I completed all the degree exams when offered. As this extended my time there, I also worked in parishes of the Church of Scotland alongside my studies. After finishing most of my coursework and waiting for exams, I served a summer in Parish of Kilmallie, near Fort William, and then as an intern for a year at the Parish of St. Ninian’s in Corstorphine under Martin Shields. My experiences in these congregations were rich indeed, as was my time at New College. It was a privilege to study under such incredible teachers and a marvellous diversity of students from all over the world.
I am immensely grateful for the education I received at the University of Edinburgh, and for the rich experience granted to me by the marvellous culture, people, and environment of Scotland.
I made many friends, and cherish all my memories of my time there. It has certainly advantaged me in my career of seeking to teach the believers to think, and the thinkers to believe, and those that do neither to do both.
I fell in love with Edinburgh! Take advantage of your opportunity and avail yourself of all it has to offer. You will never regret it!
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
My experience of life in Scotland and at the University were so rich that I almost decided to stay there. I was informed by my denominational representatives in the United States that they wanted to appoint me to small church at Monitor near Wenatchee in central Washington State. I looked up the word Monitor and found its etymology came from Latin words that mean “to remind and to admonish”. This struck me with the need for a decision to return home to America, as I realized that the reason I had gone to Edinburgh in the first place was to find roots in the theological and historical meaning of the Church as I felt that we in the American church had lost touch with much of that significance. I felt called to remind us here in America of who we are called to be.
Upon my return to America after graduation from Edinburgh, I served congregations in the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church at Monitor, Ferndale United, Pullman, and Port Angeles. I also served two summer exchange Congregational churches in Hawaii. After retirement from the Port Angeles congregation in 1999, I was privileged to be called to serve in ecumenical English speaking international congregations in Jakarta, Indonesia, in La Paz, Bolivia, and most recently in Arusha, Tanzania.
While serving the Church I also have been privileged to teach. I taught philosophy, literature, and humanities at Wenatchee Valley College, religious studies for Central Washington University, philosophy again at Washington State University in Pullman, and the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, and most recently Religious Studies again at Peninsula College here in Port Angeles. I also have served as Chaplain to a School of Nursing in Wenatchee for seven years, where I taught courses in Ethics and Crisis care. I coordinated a program for American students in United Methodist history, doctrine and polity at Vancouver School of Theology in British Columbia, for several years while serving at the Ferndale congregation.
Consider yourselves fortunate indeed to study at one of the great universities in the world and to live in one of the most beautiful and charming cities anywhere. I remember soon after I arrived in Edinburgh, I heard that if you love Seattle or Boston you will certainly fall in love with Edinburgh. Having graduated in philosophy from the University of Washington in Seattle, and enjoying Boston for a time, I certainly found this saying to be true. I fell in love with Edinburgh! Take advantage of your opportunity and avail yourself of all it has to offer. You will never regret it!
New College Summer Party
Join fellow New College alumni for the 2016 Alumni Reunion to share food, entertainment and good memories at the New College Summer Party on 4th June 2016.
For more information see the event page here.