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The Vancouver School of Theology has named the Reverend Amanda Ruston (Anglican) and the Reverend John Snow (United Church of Canada) as the 2021 recipients of the Chancellor’s Scholarship. These scholarships are the most prestigious and generous scholarships offered to VST students each year. They will be officially awarded on November 18, 2021 at the Chancellor’s Dinner.

Mtr Amanda-Magdalene Ruston, OSBCn
Amanda Ruston is an Anglican priest, a professed Benedictine, an artist, and a student at VST. Amanda is starting the final year of the MDiv program this fall, as well as a unit of CPE and a part-time curacy at St. James’ Anglican Church in the DTES of Vancouver. Amanda states:

“I absolutely love being in ministry in the Anglican church, especially serving in the amazing and vibrant neighbourhood of the Downtown Eastside. I feel incredibly grateful to have been called by God to do this work, and to have been formed to do so by the excellent mentors I have had, as well as the education I received through VST. I love theology, liturgy, and the amazing collegial relationships and friendships I get to have through ministry, but when I am not working or studying, I also love reading, spending time in nature, or working on an art project. These past couple years living through a global pandemic have been really hard on all of us - emotionally and financially - and as such, I am deeply thankful for the generous support of the people that make scholarships possible and am especially humbled and honoured to have been selected for the prestigious VST Chancellor’s Scholarship. This will enable me to finish my degree on pace, and to continue my ministry in the Church without undue barriers. I am really excited to see what God does with and through me in the year ahead and am committed to ongoing learning and personal spiritual development, so that I may continue to be faithful and sensitive to God’s voice in my life and in the life of the Church.”

Reverend John Snow Jr., B.Sc., P.M.L.M., M.A.
John is a Traditional Land, Cultural and Environmental Specialist. He belongs to the Stoney Tribe, Treaty 7, Member of ICD., CAPL, CAPLA.

John is an advisor, teacher, contract consultant for Indigenous communities, various colleges, universities, and governments. John is an Indigenous Instructor and Lecturer for Land, Cultural and Environmental Monitoring courses and a lead writer, researcher, and interpreter working amongst Indigenous Elders on multiple resource projects. John has advised many Indigenous organizations throughout the world. He is a specialist on legislative, regulatory, and corporate processes. He holds a Graduate degree in Public Policy, Law and Administration and more recently completed and serves as instructor on Pipeline Monitoring and Operations certifications. His visionary approach has helped to implement innovative solutions to many challenging issues. John is a Reverend with the United Church of Canada, a Nakoda pipe holder, traditional and cultural specialist and assists instruction and advisory roles for diverse organizations. On receiving the 2021 Chancellor’s Scholarship, John states:

As a 4th year M.Div. Indigenous Student by Extension at VST I have been grateful for the opportunity and support for my program. I hope to continue my studies in the Ph.D. program when I complete the M. Div., to guide my Indigenous Ministry in the Church, Educational Institutions and in Community. My work in the United Church continues at the regional level and involves Reconciliation, Indigenization and Decolonization. My father began our work with ordination in 1963, in the United Church of Canada and was also a Nakoda pipe holder. His Father before him taught from the Cree Syllabics Bible and was a pipe holder. Following the tradition of my family I have been ordained September 2020 and am also a Nakoda pipe holder. I hold the teachings of Christianity alongside those of my Indigenous Traditional and Cultural Heritage that have served to illuminate Understanding, Hope, Love, Joy, Kindness and Healing.

About the Chancellor’s Scholarships
Each year two Chancellor’s scholarships of $7,000.00 dollars will be awarded to students entering their final year of studies at Vancouver School of Theology, as an encouragement to fuller-time engagement in their studies. The award is intended to support the costs associated with the recipient’s tuition and related personal investment in theological education.

To qualify to receive a Chancellor’s Scholarship, the recipient needs to be: (1) a student who is in a degree program that aims at congregational ministry and who will be entering their final year of study in the fall; (2) a student with at least a B+ average in courses in which a grade is assigned and; (3) a student who shows promise for ministry, in the opinion of faculty and their relevant judiciary. These awards were assigned by the Faculty of VST in keeping with the criteria of the scholarships. We are grateful to former Chancellor, Dr Heather Clarke, and previous Chancellors for their personal contributions. VST has contributed to a second Chancellor’s Scholarship to double the impact of this important award.

About VST
VST’s core mandate is to educate and form thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders for the church in the 21st century. Among theological schools, VST is viewed as a change agent and an innovator for the church. As an affiliated college of the University of British Columbia, VST is now ranked in the top 50 schools globally and in the top 10 of most improved theological schools. In 2020 VST was identified by In Trust Magazine as instituting bold transformative change for the renewal of theological education. VST is accredited by the Government of British Columbia, and in North America by ATS (Association of Theological Schools).

The Vancouver School of Theology welcomes students from many Christian communions, other faith traditions and Indigenous communities, while celebrating its core relationships with the United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Presbyterian Church in Canada. The Indigenous Studies Program at VST is central to the school’s identity and commitments. The Vancouver School of Theology celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year as a leader in theological education.


  • The newly priested Mother Amanda Ruston with Bishop John Stephens, June 12, 2021
  • Prior to her ordination to the priesthood, Mother Amanda proclaims the Gospel at the June 12 Ordination Eucharist.