CHRISTABELL Selvalingham

ORAL HISTORY:Nicholas Archibald INTERPRETIVE TEAM: Christopher Shackleton, Eleanor Howell.

Called to Serve

Christabell Selvalingham is a pastor, social worker, and counsellor with three Master’s degrees and approximately nine diplomas – enough that she’s lost count. Born and raised as the daughter of a Christian school principal and an English graduate mother in Sri Lanka. Christabell had her elementary to high school in a private Christian school called Uduvil Girl’s College, the first female boarding school in Asia, started in 1824. Christabell received her bachelor of divinity and diploma in theology through Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary and Serampore College. She earned a scholarship to do her Masters in Canada and came to Canada as a student of theology in order to become a pastor and return to serve her home community. The civil unrest in Sri Lanka meant she was unable to return and so she settled in Toronto. Christabell became qualified to work as a social worker to fulfil her desires to serve many people from many different places. In response to her own personal experiences, she felt compelled to focus on helping vulnerable, immigrant women. She currently works as a social worker at the Rexdale Women’s Centre in Etobicoke, as a pastor at the Church of Nazarene, and she is in the process of completing her PhD. She is working towards becoming a registered family therapist and hopes to open her own practice soon.

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Point of Departure

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Travel to Toronto

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Experiences as a Newcomer

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Working in the Settlement Sector