Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Dan, married to Sarah for ten years, and we have two boys. We live in Lancashire and have been here for three years since I got ordained. I love sport – although most of it is played with a 4-year old these days!
I'm not sure I would've gone for ordination training if St Mellitus College – or something like it – wasn't on offer
Why did you choose to train for ordination at St Mellitus College?
I’m not sure I would’ve gone for ordination training if St Mellitus College – or something like it – wasn’t on offer. I didn’t want to give up the missional stuff to go off to college. I was keen to study theology, grow in leadership and see where God wanted to take me, and St Mellitus College was perfect for that. I needed that combination of the practical informing the learning and vice versa.
How was your leadership shaped by your studies?
I’m someone who doubts what God’s put in me and whether I am cut out for something. I found St Mellitus College to be a really encouraging place and that’s just what I needed at that time – for people to say “you’re doing great and you can do this” and to pray for you – that was a big thing for me. We had our first child around the same time! That was great preparation for ministry because life doesn’t take a pause. Knowing how to combine family life with study and ministry is good – even if it is quite stretching at times.
How has your training impacted your ministry now?
In my placement church I had the opportunity to work in loads of exciting contexts – deprived communities, forgotten places, people with issues of addiction – and I did a prison placement as a chaplain. I’ve always felt called to go where there’s an acute need and to see the Spirit at work even when it’s hard work, and so I’m super grateful that I got that experience because you can’t just blunder in and expect to do the right things. St Mellitus College enabled me to flourish and gave me the theological grounding to be able to understand and communicate what the gospel means.
How would you describe your time at St Mellitus College?
Great! Fun! It was stretching as well; I loved learning; full of friendships; getting to know people; meeting people whose faith is very different from your own – that was good as well, and the networks afterwards in church planting are really valuable.
St Mellitus College works for people whatever their church background, whatever their experience of theological study
What would you advise people looking for somewhere to train?
Go to St Mellitus College! It’s great and on the cutting edge of a lot of mission stuff that’s really important. It works for people whatever their church background, whatever their experience of theological study and obviously can work with quite a variety of family circumstances which is a bonus. So I advise people to go for it!
Dan is a priest in the Church of England, having trained at St Mellitus College, London