Nota Bene – Deans’ Corner

Deans’ Corner

News from the Faculty of Divinity

Chris Brittain, Dean of Divinity
The Rev’d Prof. Christopher C. Brittan, Dean of Divinity

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the Faculty of Divinity and its students in many ways: interrupting in-person classes, chapel services, and field practicums. Despite these challenges, the lockdown has actually brought the community together in new ways, as we have gathered online for classes, social interaction, and worship. Weekly video updates from the Dean’s “DivBunker” not only kept the community up to date on new developments, but also offered some humorous distractions to try to keep our spirits up. The Faculty’s experience of online learning has heighted our appreciation of the fact that “distance” has more to do with the quality of our interaction and communication than with geography. As we now turn to plan for the coming academic year, the Faculty of Divinity will place a renewed priority on nurturing positive interaction and regular communication to all members of the community, particularly as we work to confront any forms of exclusion and prejudice that may have been forming barriers between us. While we hope to be able to soon return to in-person gatherings in the classroom and the beautiful Trinity Chapel, whatever the circumstances, the Faculty of Divinity looks forward to another rich year of learning, corporate prayer, and opportunities to serve our churches and our society.

The Rev’d Prof. Christopher C. Brittain

Dean of Divinity and Margaret E. Fleck Chair in Anglican Studies



News from the Faculty of Arts

Michael Ratcliffe, Dean of Arts and Vice-Provost
Prof. Michael Ratcliffe, Dean of Arts and Vice-Provost

As we welcome students back to the College for the start of the new academic year, we do so under very different circumstances from last year. I was on sabbatical last year, spending part of the year in Cambridge and part of the year in Yokohama, a short distance from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. While I had to cut the sabbatical short, due to the developing COVID-19 situation, I was thankful that I was not more seriously affected and I send my wishes to all in our extended community that you and your families are safe in these difficult times.

We are excited to start teaching all the courses and programs that make Trinity such a special place and have worked hard to ensure that all students will receive outstanding instruction, whether in person or online. Indeed, the development of online components to all our courses offers new and interesting opportunities to engage with students that I feel will upgrade our courses, not just this year, but for years to come.

This year will see further developments of the Trinity College Sustainability Initiative and we are excited to appoint Professors Stephen Scharper and Nicole Spiegelaar as Director and Assistant Director of the Initiative. The Initiative will bring together academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and reinforce our vision that a University education is much more than a simple collection of courses.

On a personal note, I am delighted to be returning as Dean of Arts and to continue to be surrounded by such enthusiastic and dedicated students, faculty and staff. We look forward to an exciting year at Trinity.

Prof. Michael Ratcliffe

Dean of Arts and Vice-Provost


As published in Trinity Magazine Fall 2020

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