Australian Lutheran College (ALC) has engaged three experienced practitioners to teach in its higher education program.
Dr Tania Nelson, the LCA’s executive officer for local mission, and Ms Sue Westhorp, a clinical pastoral educator, will be teaching units in ALC’s new practical-based Diploma in Ministry. Dr Tim Stringer, who is pastor of Victoria’s Greensborough Parish and holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Biblical Preaching, will be teaching the unit ‘Preaching the Word’.
‘We are confident that students enrolling in ALC’s new Diploma in Ministry will be greatly blessed by the personal experiences these skilled practitioners in ministry bring to their teaching’, says ALC Principal James Winderlich.
‘While God’s word has not changed, the context in which our graduates are serving has changed and will continue to change. Our new ways of teaching at ALC demonstrate how we are responding to our church’s changing training needs.’
Tania agrees that understanding context is critical to effective mission and ministry – and believes that the ‘Introduction to Christian Mission’ unit is ‘a great starting point for viewing Scripture and the Christian life using a missional lens’.
‘The exercises, readings and even the assignments help the participants to discern what God is up to and to join in with God’s mission in their local context’, she says. ‘With God’s mission as a foundational concept in their ministry journey, the students are well-placed to contextualise their learning where God has placed them.
‘As St Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthian Christians, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some”. That’s contextualisation 101! My prayer is that the students bring Jesus into all they do. That’s how we all contribute to the wider church.
‘I love interacting with the students, too. I learn so much from them and their unique experiences. As we journey together through the content and the practical formational experiences within the unit, the Spirit is at work in all participants, lecturer and student alike. So, it’s a learning journey for me as well as for the students.’
After 10 years of educating students in pastoral/spiritual care and chaplaincy in the healthcare system, Sue also looks forward to working with ALC students ‘as they explore the ways in which God and his word shape them in their vocational calling in providing care to others’.
‘It is a privilege to walk the path of learning with another and I look forward to what I will learn from those I teach as well’, she says.
For Tim having access to further study in biblical preaching in recent years has been a blessing and he is looking forward to sharing some of the knowledge he has gained with students.
‘As we in the LCANZ transition to a new way of delivery and reception of theological training, we have an opportunity to be adaptive and it is exciting to be able to be part of that while continuing to serve in the parish setting, practising the art of preaching’, he says. ‘I’m keen to see where God leads us as we learn and grow as his servants of the word.’
James says that the Diploma in Ministry offers the ideal foundational training for people exploring God’s call towards vocations in local mission, chaplaincy and those seeking to one day be ordained for the pastoral ministry. ‘And remember that you don’t need to relocate to Adelaide for this or any other ALC program. We are wherever you are.’
Read more about the changes at ALC, the Diploma in Ministry and the new casual academics at www.alc.edu.au
You can also contact ALC via email@example.com or on 1800 625 193. Scholarships are available and enrolments for all of ALC’s academic courses are now open for Semester 2, so inquire today.