The Vancouver School of Theology is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Mary Nichol as Director of Theological Field Education, effective January 16, 2024.
The Rev. Mary Nichol will succeed the Rev. Dr. Steven Chambers, who has served as Acting Director of Theological Field Education for the past five years. VST is grateful for Steven’s commitment to theological education.
“Steven’s wisdom, kindness, organizational skills, collegiality, and good humour are great gifts to VST. His initiation and guidance of the Lilly Endowment Pathways for Tomorrow grant for theological field education will be a gift to the school for years to come.”
—Richard Topping, VST President & Vice-Chancellor
The Reverend Mary Nichol is a Minister and Christian Educator with extensive experience in religious institutions. With over fifteen years of supporting young leaders in their work in day camp ministry and congregations, Mary currently serves as Regional Minister, First Third Ministry at Pacific Mountain Regional Council, The United Church of Canada. In her position, she has focused on supporting congregational leaders in First Third Ministry (those in the first third of life) and developed strong relationships with local United Churches in British Columbia, the Yukon, and Southern Alberta.
With a passion for equipping leaders with skills, experience, and holistic knowledge to lead authentically and passionately, Mary’s expertise lies in Faith Formation and Education, Nonprofit Organizations, Theology, Discipleship, Pastoral Care, and Public Speaking. She is committed to supporting sacred and brave spaces for people of all ages to ask questions, wonder, and deepen their faith. Mary completed her BA in Psychology at Simon Fraser University (1997), a Leadership Development Certificate at The Centre for Christian Studies (2012), a Certificate in Educational and Liturgical Ministry at The Centre for Christian Studies (2014), and her MA in Public and Pastoral Leadership at the Vancouver School of Theology (2016).
Mary identifies as a pastoral and practical theologian in religious and theological studies. Her research and teaching include an intersection of lived faith, intergenerational faith formation, faith formation and education across ages, pastoral care, and practical theology. Rooted in an action-reflection learning model and seeking to integrate Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, and Post-Colonial teaching and leading, Mary is a sessional instructor at the Vancouver School of Theology and a Godly Play Canada trainer and workshop facilitator.
Mary loves to cook and share her successes (and failures) with her husband, young adult daughters and her eldest daughter’s partner. She is an active gardener and recently took up knitting. One of her favourite ways to relax is to curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and read a mystery book.
“I am thrilled to become a part of VST’s vibrant community and actively participate in the transformative journey of students through theological field education. I am eager to connect with students, foster meaningful relationships, and contribute to the communal effort of educating engaged Christian leaders.”