50 Years. 50 Grads. 100% Regent

50 Years•50 Grads
100% Regent

50 Years•50 Grads•100% Regent

2005 Santosh Ninan

Pastor Ithaca, New York, USA

On Campus 2001-2006 ∙ MDiv ’06

I’m proud to be one of the first second-generation Regent grads! My father studied at Regent in 1973, which led to my family immigrating from India to Canada. Much to my surprise, I now live in the US—but Saskatoon and Vancouver still feel like home as well. Feel free to look me up on Twitter or Facebook.

How Regent made a difference:

Regent gave me a vocabulary for unknown longings and questions that I’d carried through most of my life. It also taught me to be thoughtful rather than reactive when faced with theological, social, or emotional challenges.

Most important Regent lessons:

All of life matters. All of life is forming us. Nothing is wasted if we learn to steward it under God’s direction.

Santosh Ninan
  • More From Santosh

    My first Regent experience:

    Attending Regent was a unique experience for me because it wasn’t my first time as part of the community. Regent has always held a special place in the life of our family. When my father arrived in Vancouver for the first time, Dr. Houston picked him up at the airport, beginning a lifelong friendship between the two of them. My mom and I arrived a bit later, and Rita Houston took her grocery shopping because we didn’t have a car. At age three, I was already experiencing the hospitality of this special place. There’s a picture of me being held by a Regent student who babysat me during our time there. She lives in Illinois, and we’ve actually reconnected on Facebook!

    How I got to Regent:

    I came to Regent to continue my theological studies after spending a year in India, working with college students in Bangalore and observing work among the urban poor and people living with AIDS in Mumbai.

    My (re-)entry to the Regent community was marked by a sad circumstance that also perfectly embodied some of the best things about Regent. The first chapel of my first year was held on September 11, 2001. I remember driving to the UBC campus and hearing the news of what happened in New York on the radio. My wife and I had been at the Twin Towers just two weeks ago on our honeymoon. I walked into a college community in shock and grief. Rod Wilson and the faculty facilitated a time for sharing, lament, and prayer. I’ve never forgotten that difficult day and the comfort that community provided so early in my studies at Regent.

    Life after Regent:

    Life after Regent:

    After finishing my program at Regent, I went into ministry, first in downtown Vancouver and then at a small church in a Vancouver suburb. I then answered a call from a church in the college town of Ithaca, New York. Much of my ministry these days is to students, post-docs, faculty, and staff at Cornell University. It’s interesting to wrestle with them about how their faith bears on their work as scientists, engineers, and academics. It’s a unique ministry that God has provided for me.

    Why I support Regent today:

    As an alum, I count it one of the greatest privileges of my life that I studied at Regent and that it is part of my story. Regent College carries a unique and special mission within the Kingdom of God. It is a community that has managed to combine robust academics with loving hospitality, and it has a history of sending out women and men to be thoughtfully engaged in all sectors of society. My wife and I support Regent financially because we see it as a strategic Kingdom investment. I hope others in the alumni community will also prayerfully consider adding Regent to their “Kingdom portfolios.”

    Three words that describe Regent College:

    1. Thoughtful
    2. Warm
    3. Welcoming

    Only Regent people…

    …know the true value of a bowl of soup.

    Best Regent memories:

    My funniest and favorite Regent memories both feature J. I. Packer. In a class on Calvin’s Institutes, Dr. Packer asked a question and one of the students proceeded to give an eight-minute answer. When they finally finished, Dr. Packer quietly mumbled, “I’m sorry I asked!” We laughed at his gentle teasing of our friend.

    Later that semester I had to present a paper on Calvin’s teaching on prayer. When I concluded I asked Dr. Packer if we could close by praying the Lord’s Prayer as a class together. He slammed his hand on the table and exclaimed “Let’s do it!” It was a wonderful intertwining of academics and worship and it was great to see Dr. Packer so enthused!

    Favourite Regent class:

    Literature with Loren Wilkinson.

    Favourite place to study:

    A very distant study carol in a corner of the old library.

    Favourite thing about Vancouver:

    Everything! We miss it!

    Fun Facts:

    1. I’ve seen U2 in concert 14 times, and all my kids have seen them at least once. This is something I share with former Regent professor Bob Derrenbacker. I actually hung out with him before the U2 show in Montreal last year.

    2. I once preached in a Chinese church. I think the translator didn’t think the congregation would understand the joke, so he said, “The pastor has just said something funny. Please laugh.”

    3. I’m on the hostage negotiation team of our local police department.

    As a donor, I'm supporting Regent's ongoing mission.
    Would you join me?

  • Regent Round 1: Santosh with his parents (left) and the Regent student who babysat him (right)
    Regent Round 1: Santosh with his parents (left) and the Regent student who babysat him (right)
  • Regent Round 2: Santosh with his family at his graduation
    Regent Round 2: Santosh with his family at his graduation
  • Santosh preaching
    Santosh preaching