Going into lockdown 7 months after moving to a new city, starting a new job, and beginning a degree isn't exactly how the images I had in my head seemed when I was imagining what this next big adventure would look like but as the saying goes, you never know what the future holds.
There was something so profound about getting to learn about topics, ideas, doctrines and most importantly God, with so many other like-minded Christians who were also exploring what it looks like to study faith in an academic setting but within the framework of prayer and worship
I have to admit that the novelty of online lectures did fade pretty quickly but there was something so profound about logging on every Monday morning and getting to learn about topics, ideas, doctrines, and most importantly God, with so many other like-minded Christians who were also exploring what it looks like to study faith in an academic setting but within the framework of prayer and worship. Doing a degree online took many different forms over the months and what turned out to be years. The early days of Big Blue Button with all its quirks, messaging coursemates and seeing if they’d react on screen (until they turned private messages off, RIP). Then the excitement of moving back into London and sharing a flat with another Youth Ministry student and the joys of finally getting to speak to someone in person who understood what we were learning - and don’t get me started on the rule of 6 coming out and suddenly we were hosting our own little college sessions each week. But nothing can compare with the feeling of finally being back together again in the St Mellitus building for our big family reunion, because that’s what St Mellitus really feels like, a family, as cliche as it sounds. I can’t think of any better context in which to embark on the journey completely a Theology degree in.
I grew not only intellectually but I grew so much as a leader and perhaps most importantly I grew as a follower of Jesus
Did I do all-nighters the night before most of my deadlines? Or on occasion get distracted by Sporcle quizzes during lectures (big up Owen for getting me on them)? Or find it very hard to stay silent during prayer after a long day of learning? Well, yes... But I also met some of the most incredible people I've ever had the privilege of knowing. Got to learn from some of not only the most intelligent people I’ll probably ever spend time with but also the kindest, most generous lecturers, tutors, and staff I think exist. And time and time again I was shown an abundance of love and grace no matter the circumstance. My 3 years at St Mellitus couldn’t exactly be described as a smooth ride but it was a journey that I’m so glad I ended up on. I made memories that will last a lifetime and my eyes were opened to ideas I never would have been able to grapple with alone. I grew not only intellectually (well hopefully I did) but I grew so much as a leader and have been blessed to be able to stay on full-time in my placement church and perhaps most importantly I grew as a follower of Jesus. Through all the ups and downs, I learned to rely on him, to continuously turn back to him in worship, and allow his plan for me and my life to prevail.
So in conclusion, St Mellitus, 10/10 would recommend it to a friend or foe.
Ellie is one of our alumni from the class of 2022 having graduated with a degree in Theology and Youth Ministry. Here she reflects on her time at the college and her journey as a student.