Following God’s call has led Frédérique Ndatirwa from her home in Edmonton to Toronto and now North Carolina, where she will be studying a one-year Master of Theology (ThM) program at Duke University.
The recent Tyndale grad (MTS 2022) received a full scholarship from Duke University, an award that is only offered to one student in the program and prepares students for a PhD or ThD (Doctor of Theology).
“I was really encouraged not only by Tyndale professors, but the professors at Duke to consider doing a PhD because my passion is justice on all fronts, beginning with our faith,” says Frédérique. “I don’t know how it’s all going to work out or the full picture, but I’m taking it season by season.” Frédérique describes her experience at Tyndale as one that encouraged and nurtured her soul.
“I had heard about Tyndale through my friend, who was also a youth pastor at my church, and went in not knowing what I was doing, but knowing it was what God was telling me to do,” she says. “Dr. Dennis Ngien was the first professor I had, and in his Systematic Theology class, I wrote a paper in my first week of class.
“He wrote a comment on it that said something to the effect of, ‘I feel like this is a prophetic word for you: I think you need to get your PhD in theology,’” recalls Frédérique. “My entire experience at Tyndale was shaped by his discipleship and encouragement, as well as other professors.
“The professors at Tyndale see what God has already planted and they cultivate and water it.”
— Frédérique Ndatirwa
Frédérique continues to stay in touch with the Tyndale community and the friends she made during her studies. She is grateful that studying at Tyndale showed her she could combine her love for God with passion for justice. “Tyndale gave me the space to articulate that because of God’s love for me, I can seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with him as it says in Micah 6:8,” she says. “He’s not separate from everything I do, Jesus can be at the centre of everything.”
Frédérique is already plugged into Duke University’s extracurricular activities and has joined the Prison Justice Action Committee, gospel choir, and the Office of Black Church Studies.
“For anyone considering seminary who may not know what they’re walking into, I want to encourage them that I still don’t know what I’m doing and what God is leading me to,” she laughs. “But it’s an experience I would never regret taking.
“I’m so grateful that God was persistent with me on this journey and for the community that has come out of it. So, stay the course. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s worth it!”
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