Wollaston Theological College
Fascinating, fun, and important
The Revd Dr Raewynne Whiteley, Warden
People sometimes ask me, why did you study theology? I began as a uni student wanting to connect my faith with my studies in psychology. And then I found that the more I studied theology, the more I wanted to study it. Why? Because, in the words of Stephen Cherry.1, it’s fascinating, fun, and important.
In a world where we spend so much of our time on things that are trivial (like the games on my phone), theology matters.
When we study theology, we can dig deeper into our faith. The thirteenth century theologian Thomas Aquinas said that theology is about studying what God teaches us, what teaches about God, and what leads to God. Understanding more about God helps us to love God more. It helps us answer questions from the increasing number of Australians who don’t know anything about Christianity or who call themselves ‘spiritual but not religious’. And it gives us skills for ministry that we can use to serve God in our church and our community.
Where else can you discuss such peculiar questions as whether Adam had a belly button, can several angels be in the same place (Aquinas again!), and whether Christians can and should handle poisonous snakes? Studying theology lets you ask all those obscure questions that pop into your head at the most inconvenient moment.
And because we believe that God created the world and everything in it, no part of life is out of bounds. Often we find connections with our faith in films, in books, and in music (one of my passions is seeing how faith is explored in the music of U2).
But it’s also fun because you get to hang out with other people who share your love for God, who won’t look at your strangely when you tell them you go to church. I have great friend who I met thirty years ago when I was studying theology, and we still enjoy hanging out together.
Studying theology means encountering all sorts of opinions, ideas, and people. Have you ever wondered why people who claim to love God end up disagreeing so fiercely? I have, especially as my father grew up with the divisions between Roman Catholic and Protestant in Northern Ireland. People see the world and God very differently, and when we study theology, we get to understand a bit more of why that is. But we also get to know more about how deeply our faith connects us.
It’s also fascinating because every time you think you have answered a question, you come up with five more!
So if you’ve been wondering about learning more about your faith, take the plunge. There are lots of opportunities coming up at Wollaston in the next few months. Why not give it a try?
1. Stephen Cherry, God-Curious: Asking Eternal Questions (London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017)^
What’s on at Wollaston
Wollaston Certificate in Theology (beginning 7 February)
|Introduction to the New Testament||Dr Robert Myles||(Tuesday evenings, beginning 7 February)|
|Ethics||Dr Erich von Dietze||(Thursday Evenings, beginning 2 February)|
University of Divinity Undergraduate and Graduate units (beginning the week of 27 February)
|Conflict in Corinth||Dr Robert Myles||(Monday mornings)|
|Turning Points in Church History||The Revd Professor Rowan Strong||(Monday mornings)|
|Jesus Christ: Saviour and Advocate||The Revd Dr Christy Capper||(Monday afternoons)|
|Being Anglican||The Revd Dr Raewynne Whiteley||(Monday evenings)|
|Humanity: Theology and Vocation||The Revd Dr Christy Capper||(Tuesday afternoons)|
|Introduction to Preaching||The Revd Dr Raewynne Whiteley||(Wednesday mornings)|
|Foundational Skills for Studying Theology||Faculty||(Online, beginning immediately)|
All subjects can be taken in person in Mt Claremont or online, for credit or to audit.
If you are interested, contact us at email@example.com