True education leads you to the unexpected – within yourself, and what emerges when you put your knowledge into action. This certainly holds true for theological study. Many students and alumni of Moore College, Sydney, are surprised to see how quickly what they learn translates into practical tools in their Christian work.
Here are 5 ways that students tell us their studies have changed them, and how they’ve helped change the lives of others.
1. “I’ve become so much better at answering people’s questions about faith.”
Moore students are often impressed at how their intensive, in-depth study of the Bible quickly translates into a confidence boost for sharing the Lord’s message in their immediate, day-to-day interactions. Annabel Nixey, a graduate of the Bachelor of Divinity, who ministers with her husband Simon in Canberra, says: “College was different from what I expected. It was quirkier, warmer and better. It was less about the Bible as the end-goal, and more about the Bible as the means to the greatest end: knowing and loving and serving God.”
“Our focus at church is on new members and new Christians and it’s surprising how much we’re drawing on our doctrine classes when talking to people. People come from varied backgrounds with lots of questions, so we need to be able to explain helpfully and clearly who God is, how we know him and what he expects of his church and his people.”
2. “Theology is immediately relevant.”
Theology by its nature is deeply philosophical. But taught skilfully, it has instant practical applications in the “nuts and bolts” of modern ministry, says Tim Clemens, a 2015 Bachelor of Divinity graduate.“What Moore College does well is develop its students into theologians,” says Tim. “My primary responsibilities are now preaching, evangelism and overseeing the nuts and bolts of ministry. Each of those would be next to useless in the long run if I wasn’t equipped to think theologically.
“What model of ministry will we adopt? How will we approach social action? What kind of songs will we sing? Whether they sound like it or not, these are all theological questions. Thanks to Moore College, I can now give them theological answers.”
3. “Now that I know the scriptures, I’m able to offer so much more to others.”
Even as someone with decades of ministry work behind her, Robyn Fowler – a chaplain from Deniliquin – felt especially empowered during her Moore theology course, by her study of the Bible. “I now feel far more equipped for what might be thrown up to me. When leading Bible groups, I now understand the scriptures better, and people have commented that they’ve noticed my contribution is more valuable in terms of being able to use scripture to help others.”
4. “I didn’t just learn theology – I grew as a community member.”
“At Moore, one key difference is the learning culture,” says Jonathan Wu, an alumnus of the University of Oxford, England, who is now studying a Bachelor of Divinity. “Secular universities, of course, also promote discussion and sharing of ideas, but it’s quite a competitive environment. It’s different at Moore – we’re encouraged to share, support, and build each other up.
“At the end of the day we’re here to serve the Kingdom and to grow; we’re not here to serve our personal kingdoms.”
5. “It put my own ministry service into meaningful context.”
Moore studies foster a greater understanding of the history of Christian thought. Much like having one’s own family tree revealed, this enables students to understand how God has worked in history to give them the Church experience that they have today. For Robyn Fowler, such insights have been profound in helping her put her own work as a chaplain into context.
“I understand the importance of my Christian service and it’s become much more meaningful to me than it might otherwise have been. It makes me focused in where I put my energy, especially the verbal contribution I might make in conversations and situations.”
Join the Moore College community and change lives. Apply before November 30 and beat the admin fee.