There’s no doubt the coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives – altered our habits, our lifestyles and our plans for 2020.
At Morling, we were reminded of how Morling was first established when Australia was at war in 1916 and J.A. Packer’s presidential address, when he called on the churches to respond – as the hour of the world’s deepest need was also the hour of the church’s greatest opportunity.
As one of the longest standing theological colleges in Australia, responsible for many of today’s Christian leaders, pastors and missionaries, Morling responded to the pandemic by staying committed to our mission “to shape and equip Christ-followers to impact the world” – and made history when on-campus training and services went fully online in March.
More recently, the College launched two new Australian College of Theology (ACT) awards – the Undergraduate Certificate of Theology and Undergraduate Certificate of Ministry, adding to its broad range of study areas.
Morling’s Chief Academic Officer David Starling explained: “The new, six-month Undergraduate Certificate is part of the Commonwealth Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, intended to make education more affordable and accessible for those who need to reskill or upskill during this time.”
“The new, six-month Undergraduate Certificate makes theology studies more affordable and accessible during this time.” – David Starling
At Morling, we also offer a fee subsidy on all ACT units. The combined effect of the government’s COVID-19 support (including the temporary exemption from FEE-HELP loan fees) and Morling’s fee subsidy, means students completing the new Undergraduate Certificate courses this year can look forward to gaining a qualification that could open opportunities to new ministries, with significant savings.
Both certificates provide a smooth pathway into the longer Theology and Ministry undergraduate awards that can lead to formal pastoral and ministry roles at church or a Christian organisation. Upon completion of the undergraduate degree, you could also pursue a postgraduate course in Chaplaincy or Counselling, if you’re keen to work in the health, education, age-care and public service sectors.
“In addition to the new courses, we are pleased to announce two new postgraduate units in our Chaplaincy and Education awards, which will cater to the increasing need for professional development during this time,” adds David.
“Morling has used COVID-19 restrictions to explore new opportunities for teaching and connecting with others.” – Gayle Kent
The new “Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care: Extending the Mission of the Church” unit will give pastors, pastoral care workers and chaplains the tools to identify opportunities and help them develop good practices that promote a thriving ministry through chaplaincy and pastoral care.
Our new postgraduate Education unit, “Neurodiversity and the Nature of Learning,” will help teachers formulate a fresh approach to learning, taking into account the unique cognitive profile of students with autism.
As one of the largest theological colleges in Australia, Morling College offers multiple delivery modes, including an online study mode which allows you to access more subjects and expertise.
“Morling has used COVID-19 restrictions to explore new opportunities for teaching and connecting with others. This has helped us enhance the delivery of online lectures and our student services,” comments Gayle Kent, Chief Community Life Officer at Morling College.
Our faculty has responded through the creative use of technology, aiming for quality teaching that’s lively, engaging and interactive. “We have created an environment that facilitates both the understanding of self and provides a space to build the skills needed to effectively help others,” explains Kim Kownacki, a lecturer in Morling’s Counselling program.
“We did this by moving from interactive learning in a large group, to using breakout rooms where students practice in small groups and are guided in the use of skills as they are taught.”
On-campus, postgraduate student Matthew sums up his experience: “I am also so thankful for the staff who have worked hard to make the transition to online study so smooth. It feels like a new normal has been established. I like to learn in community, and livestream lectures mean we can still have some group discussions and interjections, which I find academically valuable.”
As COVID-19 restrictions start to ease, our students can look forward to a return to some face-to-face teaching, whether in regular weekly lectures or on-campus intensives. Face-to-face learning remains a priority as we engage in embodied learning and equip students with the skills they need.
Our on-campus intensives remain popular for our online students who can’t come to campus regularly.
Would you like to take the opportunity to explore further studies at Morling?
Written by Josephine Comparet, Marketing Manager, Morling College