Thena Ayres

Professor Emerita, Adult Education

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Regent has shaped my life over fifty years. My theology has deepened, as has my love for God and His world, and I have been given the gift of lifelong friends in students, staff, and faculty!

I attended Regent’s first Summer School in 1969, and was immersed in the poetry of Margaret Avison. Later, as a young InterVarsity staff member, I took summer Bible courses from John Stott and others, and would then teach everything I had learned to university students in the fall.

Having done further studies, I joined the faculty in 1991. I loved teaching and getting to know the students! A highlight for me was always Summer School, when students and faculty from all around the world, engaged one another, encountered thoughtful theology and wrestled with how to live that out in every sphere of life. I was deeply moved by the stories they would share and the gracious ways God would meet them in their studies, through chapel services, and through one another. There were times when Regent felt to me like “holy ground.”

Since becoming a Christian I have wanted to be a good steward of all that God has graciously given. I see it as a privilege to have resources that could be profitably used by the charitable organizations I have been connected with over the years. I am so pleased to think that I might be able to be a practical help to these organizations whose vision and work I deeply value. I want these organizations to continue to have an impact in our world!

To write a will is a sobering task. It confronts us with our mortality. It also focuses our heart. It gives us an opportunity to identify the people and organizations that we care about now, and that we want to care about into the future. It is a clarifying and very important thing to do.

I think the key question to ask as we think of our wills is, “How can the resources God has given be used to forward His work in the future?” We live in a complex world. We need more people who understand and live out a clear biblical faith to address global, societal, and personal issues. Regent has been engaged in this critical work throughout its history.

For fifty years, Regent has been a unique place where church leaders and laypeople from varied professions have studied in a lively community. It’s been a place where the arts and theology have flourished together. It’s been a place of healing and hope that strengthens students' commitment to serve God in their generation. Over the years I have seen the ways in which God in His grace has used the whole experience of Regent to transform people’s lives. It is vital that this work of transformation continue!

I feel strongly that those of us who have loved and richly benefitted from all that we have received from Regent should take on financial responsibility for the future. Legacy giving is one important way to do this. To include Regent in our wills is to make a wise and strategic investment in God’s Kingdom.

More from Thena

In response to Regent's 50th Anniversary Reunion, Thena reflects on Regent's transformational impact and the importance of wisely investing the resources God has given us.

Thena Ayres: Investing in Regent's Future

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