HomeArticles by: Vanessa Lania

Study ‘Theology and the Arts’ this year!

When, in 1741, George Frideric Handel completed writing the Hallelujah Chorus for his oratorio Messiah, he reportedly told his servant: ‘I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself seated on His throne, with his Company of Angels’. More recently, the Australian musician Nick Cave described how the gods are closely associated with the flight of the imagination. Both musicians had a sense, each in their own way, of the connection between the arts and theological work.

Theology and art are often considered separate forms of human activity, but are they? How might they relate? What influence do they have on one another, and how might that inform our understanding of faith, of the human condition, of ourselves, and maybe even of God?

At Whitley, we’ve dedicated a unit of study to explore such questions. Theology and the Arts is a dynamic subject that expands our traditional view of theology into the world of the arts in a way that both delights and challenges. It will be delivered online by Jason GoroncyRod Pattenden, and guest artists, as an intensive unit over 7 sessions – on 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 September and 21 October.

Learn more about Jason Goroncy in his interview with the University of Divinity’s Vox here.

Enrolments close on Friday 15 July.

The Spirited Project is a Whitley research project that serves to demonstrate the value of spiritual care as an aspect of holistic palliative and dementia care. Led by Whitley’s Principal Rev. Professor René Erwich and Dean of Research Darrell Jackson, the project team has had their first article published in Religions as part of the Special Issue ‘Spirituality and Aging: Finding Meaning in the Context of Personal and Societal Change’.

The article is titled  ‘Equipping Families and Friends to Offer Spiritual Care to People Living with Dementia: Findings from a Meta-Synthesis’.

Of this milestone René says, “We are so proud to present the first result of our Spirited Project as we explore helpful tools for supporting families giving spiritual care to their relatives. We will keep you posted as we develop further and hope you will benefit from reading article!”

Download the full article here.

Read more about the Spirited Project here.

We invite you to take advantage of a special opportunity to enrol in the unit ‘Romans and Galatians’ at a special price of $200!  You will not be expected to sit exams or complete assessments. You will simply have the opportunity to immerse yourself in this wonderful subject and get a taste of Whitley life.

This unit will be delivered onsite at our Box Hill location by Whitley lecturer Sarah Do, on a Thursday evening from 6-9pm.

It’s an enjoyable class that provides an introduction to Paul’s letters to the Romans and Galatians through a focus on selected passages in the two letters in their original first-century context. Identifying and interacting with the major themes in Romans and Galatians, students will consider the implications of the two letters for the life and mission of the church today.

There are no prerequisites and we encourage you to share this opportunity with your family and friends who may be interested in Theological study. Be quick though as positions are limited!

Enrolments close on Friday July 15.

Learn more about the unit Romans and Galatians here.

Contact our helpful team if you have questions.

build. and Whitley College present to to you the first build. event titled Church, Culture, Bible: Identity & Belonging. This event brings together a diverse group of speakers to explore the above themes and how they influence each other in the context of faith. With presentations from keynote speakers Aunty Rev. Janet Turpie-Johnstone (University of Divinity) and Grace Lung (Brisbane School of Theology), as well as a selection of workshops and panels, this day aims to encourage attendees that culture is relevant to Christian faith and leave them excited to consider what contribution their cultural perspective can make to the wider church in Australia.

Tickets are $15 per person.

Events details as follows:

Sat., 11 June 2022
9:30 am – 4:30 pm AEST
St Paschal Box Hill – 90 Albion Road Box Hill, VIC 3128

Get your tickets here.

Learn more about build. here.


Frank researched Himbury’s life in Wales and his education and career as Professor of Church History in Cardiff, then his move to Australia and the extraordinary work of creating a new college. Drawing upon the college records, Himbury’s own recollections and the wider context of university and Baptist life in Australia, this is both a personal story and a significant record of the issues and opportunities that shaped Himbury’s career, his vision and leadership, and his influence upon several generations of students.

You can purchase this wonderful book from Whitley College for a special introductory price of $30 (RRP is $35). Please fill out the Mervyn Himbury Book – Order Form and send it to Karen at reception krulloda@whitley.edu.au to reserve your copy. Alternatively you can call reception on 9340 8100.

Congratulations Frank on this outstanding achievement.