An Interview with Dr. Margaret Wong
Dr. Margaret Wai Kay Wong provided the $3.5 million endowment to establish Regent's new R. Paul Stevens Chair in Marketplace Theology and Leadership. You can learn more about the establishment of the new Chair here. We spoke with Dr. Wong to discuss her vision for marketplace ministry and the reasons for this generous gift.
What inspired you to give to Regent?
As I’ve been observing Regent over the years, it has seemed to me that Regent occupies a unique middle ground—not taking a position on the right or left, but creating a neutral space where scholars from different backgrounds can explore thought-provoking questions. That is very valuable these days. That’s why I’ve given to Regent's Teaching Enhancement Project for Young Scholars in Mainland Chinese Universities in the past: I’m very happy to do whatever I can to help Regent.
I was born in Canada. I’m not living there, but I’m always missing it. One of the reasons I decided to give to Regent is that Canada is so important to me. This is my way of being part of that community; I wanted to give back in some way. I hope to spend some time in Canada again one day.
Why Marketplace Theology? What motivated you to support this particular Chair?
I have spent a lot of time in the business world, and my experience has led me to believe that marketplace theology is much needed. In the business world it’s hard to stay pure, to express faith in that context. There are many situations where it’s very tricky to balance ends and means. It’s a constant challenge. It’s important to have people who talk about that reality and support each other in it.
As we began conversations about funding this Chair, I came to realize that Regent has been a pioneer in the area of marketplace theology. It was wonderful to learn that. I’m very honoured to support it.
What do you hope your gift will do for the church?
My desire is for the church to have a wider sense of our being Christians during the weekdays, to support the daily decisions we have to make in the marketplace. The decisions that we make in the marketplace affect a lot of people: staff, customers, and others. There is this sense in business of having a wider scope for action than in your personal life: you are affecting society through your work. So it’s good to have support for the decisions being made in that sphere. The impact can be quite wide.
What would you say to someone who is considering giving to Regent?
God calls us to give. You have to be open to his call to give. When you are deciding whether to give, you have to have that sense of peace about your decision: it seems to click when it’s the right place at the right time. For me, that happened at the right time for this gift to Regent.
I hope people will be open-minded to God telling them what to do in terms of being a donor. There are a lot of issues out there to donate to. You have to be close to God in making that decision, listening to him more than anything else.