Have you wondered what God’s calling for your life might be? Want to go deeper in your faith? Ever wanted to be a pastor, teacher, or volunteer in the church? If so, Australian Lutheran College’s newest program Discover is just for you. I caught up with ALC’s principal Pastor James Winderlich to give me a snapshot of what its all about.
What is the Discover program?
The Discover program is there for people who are wondering where, how, and what God is calling them to do, and how to serve in the life of the church. It’s a year equivalent of full time study, it’s a diploma course, and it’s a course designed to dig deep into the Bible, and also into the story and tradition of the church, to understand where the church has come from and who we are.
Who is able to do Discover?
Anyone! There’s no limitation to who can enrol, and we start with the assumption that you don’t know what you want to do. Even if you do know, we still want you to test that – we want you to be open to having that challenged. Someone might say ‘I definitely want to be a teacher in a school’, but who knows, at the end of Discover you might have found out that actually that’s not where God is calling you; He’s actually calling you to serve somewhere else. And for those testing the call to be pastors, the really good thing is that the first year of study counts toward the whole pastoral ministry program.
So if students don’t have to move to Adelaide to complete Discover, how does the course work?
It’s what we call distributed learning, and that means there is a combination of online learning, but also depending on where our students are clustered together we want to be able to organise intensive workshops for them.
So what do you hope Discover will achieve in the church?
To prepare people for service in the church in any way imaginable at all different levels. Firstly, because the church desperately needs people not just to work in it, but to volunteer in it … But also it’s part of a pathway for people to move into the next part of their learning; for example, it moves them towards the full course for being a pastor, or it gives them that starting point for becoming a Lutheran school teacher.