2011 Hannah Coyne
Palliative Care Chaplain • Charleston, South Carolina, USA
On Campus 2009-2011 ∙ MCS ‘11
Originally from western Massachusetts, I now live and work in downtown Charleston as a Palliative Care Chaplain. I’ve also dabbled in non-profit work, catering and event planning, church work, and teaching Spanish.
How I got to Regent:
Before I came to Regent, I was working at a Christian non-profit organization in Washington, DC, and reading Eugene Peterson and Gordon T. Smith books on the side. I was feeling burnt out from the speed and fractured pace of life in Washington, where I had been living for six years, and I was longing for “more.” I was also babysitting for a clergy couple at my church who were both Regent grads (Dean and Mary Ellen Miller), and the way they lived life and integrated their theological worldview into everyday life really inspired me. I had also heard great things about Regent from my campus minister in university. When I came to campus to visit, I just knew deep in my gut that this felt like “home” and was where I needed to be.
More From Hannah
Most important lesson:
How to sum this up briefly? At Regent I learned how to experience the love of Jesus at a deeper level: intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. I became more integrated as a person.
How Regent made a difference:
My Regent education has deepened my love and capacity for reading and interpreting Scripture, as well as giving me an ability to share that with others, whether in a small group Bible study or with hospital patients. It has also developed within me a cogent and deep Christian worldview that is able to encompass and even embrace both the challenges and joys of life. It gave me a place to feel at home, spiritually. It gave me people to grow with, and continue to grow with. It encouraged healthy spiritual habits in me such as silence, simplicity, Sabbath-making, spiritual direction, retreat-taking, and lectio divina. It helped me get to know myself better so that I could be a more effective minister (in whatever setting that might be). My experience at Regent encouraged me to welcome more grace into my life, rather like my Hebrew namesake in the Old Testament.
Life after Regent:
After graduation, I spent a year in Washington, DC, before moving to Charleston in 2012. I’m enjoying pastoral ministry as a hospital chaplain at a large academic and trauma medical center. I am a part of the Palliative Care team, which is an interdisciplinary medical specialty that treats patients with serious illnesses and at the end of life. I currently worship and sing at a Lutheran church.
Since graduating, I’ve also been able to feed my love for international travel. I got to be part of the Taize community in France for three days in 2018. I was surrounded by an international community centered around Jesus, prayer, Biblical study, and listening to one another amidst great cultural and theological diversity—in many ways it was the most spiritually “at home” I’d felt since my time at Regent.
Why I support Regent today:
I support Regent because I fully believe in its mission of forming thoughtful and joyful students who will be empowered to be agents for Christ, his mission, and his world, wherever they go. A Regent education is unique: it is whole-person, it is relational, and it is transformational. Regent changed my life and sharpened my Christ-centered worldview. I hope my fellow alumni join me in making a Regent experience possible for the next generation of students. A gift to Regent is a gift to the world: our alumni are worldwide, but carry within them the seed of transformation that was planted and nurtured during their time in Vancouver, ready to scatter this seed and share the good news of Jesus in their own corner of the globe.
I also wholeheartedly support Regent because I was a grateful recipient of a scholarship that helped tip my answer towards “yes” as I contemplated picking up and moving 3,000 miles to pursue my Masters at Regent. Out of my own gratitude, I hope over time to pay this scholarship forward to a future student.
Aspect of my life that would have surprised me as a student:
Living in the American South
Regent in three words:
Best Regent memory:
Performing a song and dance routine along with five other students at the fall retreat: “I Got Luther on a Cloudy Day” (to the tune of “I Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day”)—complete with Vancouver-appropriate raincoats and umbrellas! Memorable lyrics included: “I don’t need an amanuensis, prof, or TA! I got all the theologians, baby, one girl can claim! Well, Basil, Cranmer, Julian of Norwich! Houston! Springsted! Nouwen! Talkin’ about Calvin! Luther!” The song ended with the epic closer, “I even got the Didache!” Maybe you had to be there...
Funniest Regent memory:
During my first week of classes, I realized that I had left my wallet at home and had no money to buy lunch. I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I approached a fellow student whom I wanted to get to know anyway and said, “Hey, I’m Hannah. Would you want to get lunch? And also would you mind paying?” I remain great friends with the person I approached (and I paid her back for lunch)!
A few other memorable moments:
Recovering from a hectic part of life and being first stunned and then incredibly appreciative to find that most of my classmates either didn’t have a car or a cell phone—and everyone was okay with that.
Coming home from my first semester of Hebrew and reciting Psalm 121 from memory at the top of my lungs on Christmas morning.
Fomenting a feminist rebellion (in written form) while pacing around the wind tower before Soul of Ministry class with several “MDivas” (some of my favorite women working on their MDiv degrees). We were responding to a particularly striking Et Cetera article that we felt deserved a response!
Feasting on dozens of French pastries at the Wilsons’ house with my community group at the end of the year.
Favorite Regent class:
Spiritual Writings of the Global South with Gordon T. Smith. I had classmates from four continents, and each week a different student would bring a snack that represented their culture!
Favorite place to study:
The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC
Favorite things about Vancouver:
Staying for the summer to soak up the sunshine and blue skies!
1. I once saw a three-toed sloth in the Amazon while studying abroad in Ecuador.
2. I speak Spanish, French, and a smidge of Italian.
3. I despise most fruits.
As a donor, I'm supporting Regent's ongoing mission.
Would you join me?