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Studying theology: challenge yourself and wrestle with big ideas

Studying theology will challenge you to think and wrestle with some big ideas. Charles Sturt University’s Reverend Professor Brian Douglas should know. Brian is a teacher and research professor at Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. He explains that by studying theology you’ll be on a quest to explore our origins, the human condition and how to should live with love, compassion and justice.

“As a person wrestles with the questions that theology poses, they often learn more about themselves and the God who has created them.

“People learn that it’s in being with God and others that we discover much about ourselves. This is radical stuff. It can change us and allow, or even force, us to see the world and people in a different way. 

“There are questions about the source of life and the way life should be lived. And when we seek answers it’s important to understand cultural forces because they’ll impact people and their beliefs.”

What do you study in a theology degree?

Theology also explores:

  • the ways life and faith sustain us
  • who God is and how God’s known in the world and in the lives of people
  • sacred scripture
  • the traditions of the church
  • the God-given gift of reason
  • history and ethics.

What are the practical implications of studying theology?  

Challenging injustice, overcoming racism, respecting the environment, examining the place of war and violence. Studying theology is very much future-focused.

“As an example, we’re taught to value creation, because it’s marked by God’s presence and life. That means it’s important to use the world’s resources sustainably and responsibly. People and material things, like water, bread and wine, and the Scriptures themselves, help us know the grace of God. 

“Therefore, by discussing these concepts, studying theology can unsettle us. It demands that we do not look at ourselves and life in simplistic ways!

“As a result, theology has the potential to encourage deep hope, peace, respect and love as you discover the mind of God and mirror that in your own life.”

What are the benefits of studying theology at Charles Sturt?

Charles Sturt teaches theology in a way that covers many different disciplines: history, philosophy, psychology, social sciences, textual analysis, linguistic study, and symbol. We’ll share with you the best of human thought around the presence and meaning of the divine in our world. 

“You’ll be encouraged to think big and explore ideas within an ecumenical context. 

“In some courses theology explores the teaching of other religions and the importance of interfaith dialogue. This has great potential in our troubled world. It can help us understand difference and diversity. And to recognise what unites people – rather than what divides them. While we are orthodox in our Christian teaching, we also encourage original thinking.  

“Through our critical approach, you’ll develop academic thinking that links well to the life of faith. There is challenge too. You’ll develop skills to help you justify your beliefs as well as consider alternate views. As a result, you’ll more greatly explore the expanse of God’s creation, beyond the limited nature of own human minds.”

What kind of jobs can you get after studying theology?

You will have many diverse options, beyond the ordained and non-ordained ministry, after studying theology. Theology can lead to a chaplaincy path in schools, hospitals and other welfare settings. There are options in church leadership, church-run non-government organisations or missions.

And, while theology can be a career, it can also be a way of life.

“It helps you make greater sense of experiences. Furthermore, it encourages you to engage with others with an open mind – not one closed by prejudice. And that means theology doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a job or profession. It can guide you through your Christian life. Help teach you how to live in the world and live with other people.”

Is studying theology the next step in your faith journey?

Are you ready to experience a vibrant theological education? Brian says you can with Charles Sturt University.

“Be ready to grow and experience new and enriched ideas. Studying theology will enable you to see the bigger picture. To reflect on yourself and the ideas you encounter. So, bring an open mind and be prepared to be challenged. Leave behind any pre-determined ideas or prejudice against other Christian or non-Christian traditions.” 

 Discover the next step in your faith journey.