Students at last weekend’s Anglican Studies retreat delved deep into the story of the Pentateuch – the first five books of the Bible. With God as the lead character, the group found His grace pervading every aspect of the early Biblical narrative.
“It’s always amazing to talk with the students about what they’ve learned over the weekend,” says Rev Dr Joe McGarry, Anglican Studies Facilitator for the Diocese. “There is a tendency to see things in terms of the ‘Old Testament God of law,’ and then Jesus and the ‘New Testament God of grace.’ It was really great to see that, actually, it’s always been the God of grace who wants relationship with us.”
According to Joe, the aspect of the weekend that influenced students the most was the realisation that God has always initiated relationship with us, and has always been a God who makes promises and keeps them. “It’s great to be part of a discipleship community that fosters this type of space, that helps us see God in new – deeper – ways, and that challenges us to let these insights shape our ongoing discipleship,” says Joe.
In this sense, the Anglican Studies programme offers a unique environment in which Anglicans can grow – not only in their walk with Jesus, but together as a class. Joe tells us that the relationships formed in these courses go on for years. Students graduate with a deep bond that stretches across parishes and throughout the Diocese, enabling them to work together as a ministry family like never have before.
You can see the welcome received by the students onto the marae on our Facebook page.
The Diploma of Anglican Studies is a discipleship development programme run by the Diocese in conjunction with St John’s Theological College in Auckland. It offers all members of the Diocese the chance to grow in their spiritual formation and ministry, in a supportive family environment . Students can study just for personal interest, or they can work towards an NZQA-accredited qualification over three years.