1985 Kathlyn Ronaldson
Epidemiologist • Melbourne, Australia
On Campus 1984-1986 ∙ DIPCS ’85
I am a single woman from New Zealand, currently living in Australia. I assist the Head of the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, where I’m a Senior Research Fellow. My life has been ordinary but satisfying, through the grace of God.
Why I support Regent today:
I benefited greatly from attending Regent. Attending Regent is financially costly. I want to do what I can to see that Regent doesn’t make cuts to quality and that students are not discouraged from attending simply because of the cost. Supporting Regent is a way of investing in the future vitality of the Christian church internationally, as well as giving others the opportunity to experience the blessing I enjoyed.
More From Kathlyn
How I got to Regent:
Before coming to Regent, I was doing a postdoctoral fellowship in organic chemistry at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. I had heard about Regent and knew some people who had attended. Things had not gone well with my fellowship and I was eager to take some time out from secular employment. The interdisciplinary emphasis and academic rigour of Regent matched what I wanted for theological training.
Highlights since Regent:
At one stage during my postdoctoral fellowship in Edmonton, prior to going to Regent, my research supervisor said, “I know you, Kathlyn.” By this he meant he knew me to be lazy and incompetent. It came across as something of a curse.
My boss in my current position was a member of the expert committee of which I was secretary during from 2002 to 2005. After I had applied for my current position and I asked if he had contacted my referees, he said, “I know you, Kathlyn.” By this he meant he knew me to be diligent and skillful. Although the sense of curse had dissipated by this time, this statement felt as though it came from the voice of God and with his blessing.
In 2018 I wrote references for seventeen people who were going for promotion. Sixteen of these were successful, including five who became professors and five who became associate professors. I also wrote references for three people nominated for Australian honours, and these were successful. I find supporting people in this way to be very satisfying.
In recent years I have assisted with the Community Care Ministry at my church, St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Prahran. This is a program for the poor and marginalised in the area. We are open on Tuesdays with morning tea, conversation, and food parcels. A year ago, I was telling Bible stories on alternate Tuesdays. The discussion following each story was very good, with the participants well engaged. But during the year this ceased, as members of the core group stopped coming. Nevertheless, I have been able to walk with some in their struggles. One woman acquired a brain injury following the flu in 2017 and is still in hospital. I visit her once a week and tell her a Bible story most times. Another woman overcame a gambling addiction a few years ago but is now addicted to alcohol. This is difficult work. Jesus is our example.
How Regent made a difference:
I came from a denomination which actively taught that it was right, and all others were wrong. At Regent I learned to appreciate other Christian traditions. Since Regent, I have been a member of churches of other denominations, with appreciation.
I have developed nourishing friendships with fellow Regent alumni, not all of whom attended at the same time as me. In fact, my closest friend attended Regent several years after I did.
After studying at Regent, I felt that my education had been rounded. I had added arts to my study of sciences, and I had developed or honed my capacity for critical thinking in the theological and biblical areas.
Blessed by friendship:
I have a close friend in Wellington, New Zealand, who also attended Regent. She and I converse for about 1.25 hours every week if at all possible. We discuss, we share, we confess, we seek advice, we ask for prayer, we encourage. I live alone, and my family and long-term friends live in New Zealand, so these conversations are essential to my spiritual and mental health. Her friendship is a provision of the Lord.
Most important Regent lessons:
I did a seminar on the New Age Movement with Loren Wilkinson, and for this I chose to contribute a paper on a formal program for turning a person’s life around. I think it was called “The Forum,” and it involved several days of intensive indoctrination, which attendees reported to be revolutionary and helpful. I was somewhat fearful of approaching the topic, which was partly why I chose it. But I found I could analyze it sympathetically and biblically, reaching a conclusion that affirmed the benefit of the program but was not at all threatening to my faith. The important thing was discovering that such an outcome was possible, and that it is possible in other settings and with other issues as well.
Keeping in touch:
In recent years I have greatly benefited from listening to recordings from Regent Audio, particularly lecture series on biblical material. These lectures have challenged me in my attitudes and lifestyle and opened my eyes in regard to biblical interpretation and the cohesion of the two testaments. They have also given me additional reason for wonder and cause to praise and worship our great God. Series that I have found especially helpful have been Rikk Watts on God’s Faithful Character and Isaiah, and Gordon Fee on Romans and Revelation.
Favourite Regent class:
Church History with Don Lewis. I did the cut-down, single unit version, and enjoyed it far more than I expected.
Best Regent memory:
I remember lots of good conversations, classes that developed my understanding, and assignments with topics I’d chosen for the sake of the challenge.
Favourite thing about Vancouver:
Granville Market; cycling around the seawall at Stanley Park.
Aspect of my life that would have surprised me as a student:
That I now work in the field of epidemiology, and that I am skilled at writing references for people and derive pleasure from doing so.
- I cycle to work every day, and I have done the nine-day annual Great Victorian Bike Ride twice.
- I love telling Bible stories. It’s a way I can share my faith when other options fail me.
- I spent two weeks in Damascus with a group of Christians in 2010. We were teaching English in the context of English conversation to a church group and to university students. This was a great privilege.
Regent in three words:
As a donor, I'm investing in the next generation of Regent students.
Would you join me?