Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Bea, I’m 27 and I am someone who never thought she would end up studying Theology! I had always loved learning, but left school at 16 because I struggled so much with it growing up. I never felt that going onto further study was an option for me. A couple of years ago I felt a growing sense from God to explore studying Theology. I stepped out in faith to see what my studying options were as I didn’t have the necessary A-Levels to give me access to degree-level courses. When I approached St Mellitus, the staff were so encouraging and welcoming and guided me through my studying options. They immediately filled me with confidence that studying was a possibility for me and I haven’t looked back since!
What drew you to study at St Mellitus College?
As soon as I walked in the doors of St Mellitus I felt at home and completely at peace, which is amazing considering my education background! I knew straight away that it was where I wanted to study. Coming into college once a week for lectures also drew me to St Mellitus as it enabled me to work part-time whilst studying and made it possible to quickly form strong friendships with fellow students and feel a part of the rich worshipping community that is central to the life of the college. The staff are also brilliant. They have such a passion for theology and teaching and are extremely supportive of students.
How would you describe the culture at St Mellitus College?
Grace-filled, generous, encouraging, worshipful, community focussed and fun!
What difference have your studies at St Mellitus College had on your life and faith?
It’s been transformational and I suspect it will continue to impact my life even after I have left. The biggest difference it has made to my life is building up my confidence. Heading back into education after 10 years and having left at 16, I was feeling quite daunted by how I would cope, but from day one the college has been so supportive and encouraging. I feel much more confident about my ability and it has enabled me to overcome a lot of my fears regarding formal education.
Studying has also made a huge impact on my faith. At times studying theology has left me feeling like my world has been turned upside down and it has really challenged some of the ways I have boxed God in through my perspectives of what He is like. Yet it has also often brought me to a place of complete awe and worship of God. I came into studying with the desire to expand my theological understanding and go deeper in my faith and love of God and this has definitely been my experience. Studying at St Mellitus has given me a new and more expansive language about God and my faith. It has expanded how I view the world and how theology seeps into all aspects of life. In my first lecture at St Mellitus I was told that studying theology makes God bigger and enables us to realise how little we know of God and the world and I can definitely vouch for that! Yet what excites me is that studying has given me a strong foundation to continue learning way beyond my student years!
What tips or advice would you give a prospective student thinking of studying here?
Studying can feel daunting and it is a big commitment and requires sacrifice, but the impact it will have on your faith, the lifelong friendships you will make and the things you will learn will be worth more than gold! At St Mellitus you will find a community of people who want to invest in your theological education alongside your formation and I think there is no better way to study than in a community such as this!
What have you enjoyed the most about studying at St Mellitus College?
I love that a day of lecture at St Mellitus starts and ends with worship. It not only reminds us to keep our eyes fixed on God, but also that studying is an act of worship in itself. It has been a privilege having the opportunity to dedicate time to learning and having the excuse to sit and read theology books in the week!
I’ve really enjoyed getting to learn from lecturers who are passionate about theology and passionate about God! I have really enjoyed having my thinking and perceptions challenged, as well as getting the opportunity to dig deeper into different topics such as Doctrine, the Old and New Testament, and Ethics.
In three words describe your time at St Mellitus College?
Rewarding, faith-building, stretching
Bea is an Independent Undergraduate at our London centre