Faculty Profile: Brenda Stephenson
Brenda Stephenson is an associate professor in psychology.
3 min. read
October 28, 2021

Home Base

I was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. I spent time in America pursuing graduate studies in psychology, but returned to South Africa and opened a private practice in clinical psychology. In August 2001, my husband, Geoff, and I moved to Canada when I got my job at Redeemer.

Stimulating Subject Matter

The course I love teaching the most is Topics in Psychoanalytic Seminar, where we dive deeply into the theories and worldview of Carl Gustov Jung. It invites us to wrestle with the need to hold the “both-and” and not the “either-or” nature of life. Jung calls this Enantiodromia – the ability to hold the “tension of the opposites.” I love seeing this truth lived out in the here-and-now of students’ lives.

Teaching Tips

In all my classes, I invite students to take a moment of contemplative silence at the beginning to help them gather themselves and their thoughts into the present moment and into the silence. I believe this allows students to become more receptive to their own thoughts as well as to hear with more clarity what is being taught, and this often leads to more meaningful dialogue.

Faith Moment

When I was a few years out of university and working in my therapy practice, I was in a situation where I experienced my own vulnerability more than ever before. I encountered Romans 8 again and the verses about “nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus… not even nakedness.” The idea of standing naked before God and letting him see me was terrifying. I was also seeing my own brokenness and humanness and not liking what I saw. I did not know if I could believe that I would be loved even though I’m imperfect. I was at the beach at the time, and after this wrestling moment with God, I went for a walk and picked up cowrie shell after cowrie shell. These shells are rare in South Africa and my favourite. I felt that God had provided them at this moment for me. This gave me the courage to face my naked self and come to terms with my own humanity, all because I could believe that Christ was walking with me in all of it.

In Conversation with Christ

If I saw Jesus face to face, I would ask him how to find more inner spaciousness in a too-busy world.

Redeemer Love

Most professors say what they love about Redeemer is the students. I cannot disagree! I love the openness of students’ minds and how they wrestle with difficult material. I love to see their transformation between first and fourth year. I love to see how Redeemer students are transforming Hamilton as a city. So many of them have been part of this city’s revitalization through their creativity, their new ways of forming Christian community and their willingness to live among the marginalized and disenfranchised and help them find their voice.

You might also like

New not-for-profit management certificate teaches students how to effectively and efficiently steward the resources of their organizations and registered charities.
The Innovation Centre empowers students to think, try, and launch their own entrepreneurial ideas, offering a makerspace, mentoring, hands-on learning opportunities and events.
Dr. Sophia Kusyk, a strategic leader, teacher, scholar and champion of redemptive business practice, will lead Redeemer University’s School of Business into its next chapter.

Resound is Redeemer University’s online, multi-faceted publishing hub for the wide variety of stories coming out of Redeemer year-round. It is also offered in a print edition.