"As I reflect on the past 4 years at Morling College – I know God has been preparing and equipping me for a new season in my life. The best part of my learning journey is in discovering who I am, and in being transformed to become everything God created me to be."
In the years preceding my decision to study at Morling, I was privileged to journey alongside people, sharing life and faith – particularly those from non-English speaking backgrounds. On one occasion, a couple that I had been meeting with regularly, arrived at church early, bursting to tell me they had decided to follow Jesus. It was at that very moment, I felt convicted of the need to do some additional study - to be trained and equipped in some way.. I had no idea of what that would look like, but after much prayer and reflection, I submitted my application to study at Morling.
The course I enrolled in was Counselling, as I wanted to journey with and connect with people on a deeper level. And as a people manager within an IT company, I figured counselling skills would come in handy in my workplace.
So in 2016 my Morling journey began.
My first two years were fantastic. I received quality training and insights into key aspects of professional counselling - learning how to ‘be with’, and ‘hold’ the client well, being a ‘non-anxious presence’, and conveying empathy. These are all essential qualities for a counsellor, and as I would soon discover, they were also a wonderful foundation for ministry and further studies in chaplaincy.
Mid way through 2017, Morling announced a new Chaplaincy course would soon be offered. I knew immediately, this was ‘closer to my heart’, so I swapped out of Counselling and enrolled in the new Chaplaincy program, commencing in 2018. Despite this change in direction, I received ‘advanced standing’ (course credit) for the majority of the Counselling units I’d already completed.
In terms of a specialisation, I chose Aged Care Chaplaincy. This was an easy decision, as I had already been volunteering with BaptistCare, leading Sunday chapel services once every 8 weeks or so. In addition, working in the Aged Care sector would give me the opportunity to use my gifts in music (singing and cello).
Looking back on the course, there were two areas that impacted me the most.
During my chaplaincy course, I was able to pursue areas of interest to me from highly-experienced lecturers, particularly Dementia and Palliative care. One of the most significant lessons was realising the growing rate of dementia in society, and the mis-information that still exists regarding those who are experiencing it. I aim to have a role to play through in promoting awareness, helping re-define dementia and reverse the negative social stigma it still carries. The task for us all is to discover alternative ways of building connection and relationship, and in creating “dementia friendly communities” – this is vital.
The other area of significant learning was from my clinical placement with BaptistCare. I can honestly say, this practical aspect of the chaplaincy course brought to life all the theory we had been learning about in the classroom. My supervisor was truly inspiring. From the very start, she nurtured me, challenged me, invested in me, generously giving of her time and experience. I was exposed to many different aspects of Chaplaincy, and developed wonderful relationships with the residents. Over the course of my placement, it was my singing voice and cello that became a ‘spiritual conduit’ for many, accelerating trust and relationship, which opened the door to many significant conversations.
As I reflect on the past 4 years of learning at Morling – I know God has been preparing and equipping me for a new season in my life. But the best part of my learning journey is in discovering who I am, and in being transformed to become everything God created me to be. I believe we are all expertly handcrafted, forged in His image, yet unique in size, shape and utility. I’m like a spanner in the Master’s toolbox, looking forward with anticipation to being picked up and used in His service.
This course has been wonderful preparation for me, as I look to transition into the not-for-profit, aged care sector later this year, following 22 years working in IT companies.
If you feel God is calling on you to study - be it Chaplaincy, Counselling, Bible, Ministry, Theology or Education - just do it. It could be the start of a wonderful learning journey for you to becoming everything God intended for you, and even a possible career change.
Enrolments for Semester 2 (July - Nov 2020) is now open. If you'd like to explore your options for study, register for our Online Information Night on Wednesday 13 May at 6.45pm. It’s a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have and e-meet course advisors. If you'd like to apply for Semester 2, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.