Charles Sturt University, School of Theology: Nurturing tomorrow’s leader by integrating faith and learning
Promoted by Charles Sturt University

Charles Sturt University, School of Theology: Nurturing tomorrow’s leader by integrating faith and learning

A community of disciples and scholars — these best describe Charles Sturt University’s School of Theology. Here, every student and faculty member is seeking to deepen their understanding of the Christian faith.

“I have enjoyed every single class I have studied so far: Introduction to Christian Theology, Introduction to New Testament Studies, Introduction to Old Testament Studies, Jesus the Christ, Early Church History and World Religions,” says Jackie Blue, a Master of Arts (Theological Studies) student. “I am a deep thinker and I have never thought as deeply as I’ve been challenged to think as I have been in these classes.”

Studying here is a chance to enhance your knowledge of the Christian faith. The school delivers teaching and supervision for a wide range of programmes, including the Bachelor of Theology, Undergraduate Certificate in Theology, Graduate Diploma of Theological Studies, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), Master of Theology, Master of Theology Research, Master of Ministry, and PhD.

Charles Sturt University, School of Theology runs flexible, student-focused programmes. Source: Charles Sturt University, School of Theology

With Australian-based campuses in Canberra and Sydney (North Parramatta), the School of Theology has also fostered a partnership with the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (HKSKH) Ming Hua Theological College.

It offers the Bachelor of Theology and Master of Theology degrees in partnership with Charles Sturt University. “Put differently, the work of the college goes beyond CSU’s coursework into other important areas,” shares Dr. Stephen Lim, a Lecturer in Theology at HKSKH Ming Hua Theological College.

Across the whole school, learning is practical, engaging and flexible. Various teaching modes, including distance by Zoom, evening classes and intensives, cater to those working full-time jobs. For Blue, her experience has been a blend of live and recorded classes. There have also been lessons with a mix of asynchronous and synchronous learning, which the mathematics teacher dubs a “’lovely approach.”

Teachers are experts in their field and lead research — making them ideal individuals who are attentive to cultural needs, individual differences, and diverse learning styles. Such a skillset is important given the school’s cultural diversity.

“I think that’s always been a gift and our location [in Australia] places us in that sphere that attracts people from different cultures,” says Dr. Seforosa Carroll, who lectures on cross-cultural ministry and theology. “The school also creates an environment where people from other cultures can feel free to explore differently.”

Female empowerment

The School of Theology is diverse in many ways. There is a particular encouragement of female leadership for ministry. “I think it is wonderful that Charles Sturt University so proactively promotes women in leadership,” Blue shares. “It means that even when I can’t attend, I feel a sense of peace that my place of study includes and empowers women for leadership in faith communities and more broadly.”

In the classroom, Carroll teaches feminist theologies as a subject. Beyond this, she supplements readings and resources on feminist perspectives on whatever subject she teaches, including feminist thinkers, LGBTQI, and race theories.

Dr. Seforosa Carroll is an Australian Fiji-born Rotuman theologian who spent her formative years growing up in Lautoka, the Western side of Viti Levu in Fiji. Source: Charles Sturt University, School of Theology

The Cross-Cultural Ministry and Theology lecturer is actively combatting the stereotypes of women studying theology — whether that is through making more resources available for female students or working with agencies that provide scholarships for women to study theology.

“We also want to encourage women studying theology to attend conferences,” Carroll adds. “It’s about creating those intentional spaces where we invite, empower, enable, and encourage women to participate.”

Beyond this, the School of Theology encourages spirited worship, whether traditional or contemporary, fosters personal devotion and common prayer, provides hospitality to the range of authentic styles of Christian spirituality found throughout the Churches attended by faculty and students of the School.

“For example, a colleague and I led the Synod Bible studies this year on transforming spirit. We aim to give resources to the national church, and one of the works that we are going to engage in next year is to have a theological consultation on what a cross or intercultural theology looks like and ought to be for the Uniting Church,” Carroll shares.

As a student, programmes and initiatives of the School of Theology are designed to prepare you for a changing world. You graduate not only with a degree, but also with a profound sense of responsibility, compassion, and the tools to effect meaningful change in the world.

To learn more about how you can join this community, explore available scholarships.

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