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Whitley College Research Update

9 May 2023

On Monday March 6th, we held our ‘Publication of Celebration’ event to celebrate the fifteen publications by members of our research community. Publications included books, book chapters, and journal articles. Our former Principal, Frank Rees, and our current Principal, Rev Professor René Erwich, and our TransFormation lecturer, Sarah Do, introduced some of their recent work and responded to questions from the 25 people who joined us for the afternoon.

The generosity of a donor in helping us to establish Research Futures Fund means that we can invite visiting scholars from the Asia-Pacific region to inform and stimulate our reflection and action. On Friday 10th March we co-hosted the ‘Conflict, violence, and a just future in Myanmar’ event with the Baptist Union of Victoria (BUV). We invited Dr Ellen Jamir (OTS, Nagaland) and Dr David Moe (Yale University) to be our guest speakers. Almost fifty people attended this highly successful event, and left with renewed hope for Myanmar and its people. The College and the BUV were able to listen deeply to the stories and dreams of our friends from Myanmar.

At our recent University Graduation, Dr Rod Benson received his PhD, awarded for a thesis that reconstructed the theology of the NSW Baptist College former Principal, George Morling. Rod’s supervisors were the much-loved former Whitley Principal Dr Ken Manley and our current Dean of Research, Assoc Professor Darrell Jackson. Dr Benson’s work was highly commended for establishing a ‘new canon on the work of Morling’ according to one his esteemed examiners.

This week alone, we estimate that our nineteen current PhD students have put in a combined 468 hours to advanced doctoral study. Their success is due to their hard work, and we honour them for their scholarly activity.

Two of our current research projects see us working alongside colleagues from around the world. Dr Alessia Passarelli, from Italy, is a partner in our Better Neighbours research project that explores the integration of migrants in Melbourne. In July, the Baptist World Alliance welcomes our Dean of Research, to present findings and case studies from our ongoing research focused on new patterns of mission theory and practice. Darrell is supported in the Many Places, Many Voices research project by Whitley’s Research Project Officer, Dr Titus Olorunnisola, in a collaboration with Baptist Mission Australia.

We are looking for able, passionate, and highly-motivated PhD candidates to join our research community. Contact Darrell Jackson, our Dean of Research, if you would like to know more about HDR study at Whitley.