Master of Arts (Theology) Graduate, PhD Candidate at the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at Western University
I found my spark and pursued it at Huron, and the experience was phenomenal.
Master of Arts (Theology) graduate, Michael Bodkin, discovered the rigorous two-year program through another alumnus who had thoroughly enjoyed Huron’s distinctive educational environment, which for more than 155 years has been meticulously curated by supportive professors within strategically-small classes. Intrigued by the opportunity to engage with the spiritual, creative and theoretical components of the social sciences, Michael successfully applied to one of the oldest theological institutions in Canada.
Michael had developed a passion for critical thinking, creative writing and research during his pursuit of an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, but it was his interdisciplinary experience at Huron that elevated his passion for these academic pursuits. “This type of education is part of who I am: theology has always been an underlying thread throughout my academic explorations,” he shares. “I found my spark and pursued it at Huron, and the experience was phenomenal.”
Michael focused his research on the artistic portrayals of passion narratives and theological aesthetics. Supported by world-renowned academics, he looked at what goes into theological works of art, delving into their essence and what makes them unique and, at times, forbidden. Through this research-intensive program, Michael cultivated skills that have been essential during his transition into doctoral studies.
While the MA degree structure empowered him to pursue independent research that aligned with his specific interests, Michael never felt as though he was progressing – academically or personally – in isolation. “I met an amazing group of people I could engage in meaningful discussions and explore thought leadership with,” he explains. “Together, we explored subjects I am extremely invested in – not only as a researcher, but as a human being who wants to support a more ethical world.”
Another aspect of Huron this impassioned academic recognizes as one of its greatest strengths is that it is the founding institution of Western University, which means our students become woven into a rich historical tapestry that celebrates traditional roots in theology, while also encouraging growth beyond these structures to reflect modern ideologies and marketplace demand.
One of the defining characteristics of a Huron education is the university’s commitment to nurturing students’ individual gifts – a benefit of its close-knit department, which can be difficult to access in other graduate institutions. “Studying theology at Huron develops a dynamic and confident personality because the community is so nurturing it becomes something like a role model itself,” Michael says. “You see the ways the professors care for and develop their students’ success and you learn to model yourself after that.”
If you want to pursue a master’s degree that prepares you to be as successful within your academic pursuits as in your future leadership roles, consider engaging with an intensive program that will encourage you to “understand and embrace diverse cultures, while fostering a set of guiding principles that shape the way you think about the world – and contribute significant value to it.”