Student Interview: Mae-Ann Dunker
This past term, we have had two American students studying alongside our ordinands. We asked one of them to answer a few questions about her experiences here.
What American institution are you visiting Ridley from?
I currently attend North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I am pursuing an undergraduate degree in International Studies.
How have you found studying at the College?
In short, I love it! The Ridley Community is extremely special. I have really thrived in the mixture of academic rigor and spiritual development that Ridley offers. The academics are challenging-but there is so much freedom to really focus on studying what you are most passionate about. The faculty and staff here have really taken an interest in helping me develop my passions for different areas of study. Otherwise, the community here is incredible! Although my background is not close to being Anglican, I have really connected with the other students and staff to really feel at home. I've also really come to grow in my appreciation of worshiping through all sorts of traditions, but in particular the exposure to Anglican worship has been highly influential for me.
What has been your most memorable experience at Ridley so far?
Although it may sound ordinary, my first time taking the Eucharist with Ridley is by far my most notable memory. There is something very tangible that I experience when I partake in the bread and wine in this place, and I really felt the weight of God's presence in a new way. The various times I have had Communion here since then have been no different- it is a very special time for me!
What things have you learned from your stay here that you will bring back to America?
Gosh, I sure have many things I have learned. But the most important experience I have had here is learning how tradition and "free worship" interact. I used to think that the two were always in opposition to each other. But I have found just the opposite to be true. Rather, the two provide the framework for each other to be practiced well, in conjunction, not opposition. I really hope to use this perspective as I continue to grow in worship.
And finally… please give us five words that sum up your Ridley experience!
Not remotely ready to leave!