HomeArticles by: Vanessa Lania

Congratulations Dr Barbara Deutschmann

Whitley congratulates Dr Barbara Deutschmann on her outstanding achievement as Winner of the 2023 ANZATS Award for the Best Monograph by an Emerging Scholar.

Dr Barbara Deutschmann is an Honorary Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Divinity. She is an alumnus of the University, graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy in 2019. Her PhD thesis has recently been published by Bloomsbury T&T Clark, entitled “Creating Gender in the Garden: The Inconstant Partnership of Eve and Adam”.

In Barbara’s words, the book is a rewrite of her PhD on gender aspects of the Eden narrative in Genesis. Barbara’s interest in the Bible and gender came out of her life experience. She lived for many years in North India where she could not help but notice the vast difference in life outcomes of women and men. When Barbara returned from India and resettled in Australia, she took up a position with TEAR (now Tearfund) Australia and worked in international development for many years. Barbara says, “This magnified my interest in why women have such a hard time. It is said that ‘poverty wears a woman’s face’ and I saw it up close in my travels for TEAR.” Barbara became intrigued about the metanarratives (big stories) that underlie attitudes to women and wondered what part in it the Bible played. That led to her taking up PhD studies to investigate the gender elements of the creation narratives.

Barbara’s research inspired her to write her book ‘Creating Gender in the Garden’, where she tracked the way the story of Eve has been interpreted over the centuries. Of her award Barbara says “I am delighted to have won the prize and hope that it leads to more people reading the Eden story afresh. I would love to see a gradual dismantling of the assumptions about gender hierarchy and gender essentialism that people continue to see in the story.”

You can purchase a copy of Barbara’s book here.

Read an interview with Dr Barbara Deutschmann by the University of Divinity about her book here.




‘Learning from Young People’s Experiences of Communion: Re-envisioning the Meal as a Space for Nurturing Faith.’

Linda is a Baptist Minister with a portfolio ministry, working in a freelance capacity as spiritual director, mentor and coach to individuals and church groups.

The respondent is Grace Lung, a graduate of the Australian College of Theology and Fuller Seminary, who pastors a second-generation Asian congregation.

Hosted by Whitley College, this lecture will be available in person at St Paschal (90 Albion Rd Box Hill) and online via Zoom. Zoom details will be available soon.

Friday September 8th
6.00pm – 8:00pm
We invite you to attend from 5pm to mingle with others over light refreshments.

Please register your attendance by Friday September 1st by clicking here.

About the lecture:

The status of children and young people at the table of the Lord is still uncertain in many of our churches today. In her Whitley Lecture, Linda Hopkins invites us to reflect on the way we create sacred spaces that welcome the insight and presence of these growing generations. She challenges us to be bolder and more willing to consider how we do this when we meet to share bread and wine.

This lecture invites us to reimagine communion as a sacred space in which all are welcomed. In particular, she invites us to recognise that even the simplest communion meal is a ritual and that attending to what is both seen and heard is essential, for so much of our learning is experiential.

Linda considers the liminal quality of adolescence, in which the questions young people ask can serve as a gift for the whole church. She draws on her research with young people in Baptist churches, which offered a safe space for young people to express views on their experiences of communion. Giving voice to young people and enabling them to be heard and valued was central to her approach. She used visual ethnography to allow feelings to be named and new insights to emerge, and through this approach shows how ‘bottom up’ learning began to happen. This has so much to teach us all.

In the lecture Linda draws on theories of learning, considers the ritual space of communion in our Baptist settings, and works with her research findings to show how we might re-envision the communion meal for young and old; growing, learning, and being nurtured in faith alongside one another. As Linda affirms, sacred spaces in which young people are genuinely welcomed, including communion, are spaces in which we discover, perhaps joyfully like the disciples on the Emmaus Road, that we all are pilgrims together.

More about the lecturer:

Linda studied and taught youth work and ministry, has an MA in Reflective Practice and Applied Theology and is completing her doctoral research in Contextual Theology at Luther King House, Manchester. She recently served Waterloo United Free Church, Merseyside (Baptist/URC), as their minister. She lives in West Lancashire with her husband Peter, and they have two adult children.

The text of this year’s Whitley Lecture has also been published as a book, and is available from Amazon here.


Whitley College is a leading provider of doctoral education within the University of Divinity and is seeking to fill the position of Interim Dean of Research.

The current Dean of Research Rev Associate Professor Darrell Jackson has been appointed to the role of Interim Principal, commencing in mid-August. This has created an opportunity for the right person to fill this role temporarily.

The College is looking for a qualified, organised, and enthusiastic Interim Dean of Research. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, the Interim Dean will manage the current HDR programs, contribute to shaping our ongoing research and HDR activities, and resource the Executive Team’s development of a new five-year Strategy for the College.

The role is based at our temporary college location at St Paschal Box Hill.

The Interim Dean of Research position is offered for an initial period of nine months, in the range of 0.6FTE to 1.0FTE, dependant on the candidate and the scope of potential duties.

A successful applicant will have achieved a Doctorate from a recognised institution, have evidence of strong research and managerial experience, understand the research system in Australia, share the values of our college and exhibit exceptional communications skills (among other requirements).

If you are interested in this role and would like to learn more, please download the Position Description for Interim Dean of Research here.

For more information, contact Rev Associate Professor Darrell Jackson: djackson@whitley.edu.au

To submit an application, please forward a cover letter that outlines your suitability for this role, along with your resume (must include two referees of former employers) to whitley@whitley.edu.au.

Applications close at 5.00pm, Friday 18th August.

Appointment will follow interview and satisfactory references.




Whitley College is seeking to fill the position of Executive Assistant (EA) to the Principal.

The College is looking for a qualified, organised, and enthusiastic Executive Assistant to work alongside the newly appointed Interim Principal, Rev Associate Professor Darrell Jackson (formerly the Dean of Research).

The Executive Assistant will be responsible for developing and maintaining effective systems to support the day-to-day activities of the Principal, the College Executive leadership, and the College Council.

This is a part-time role (0.6FTE – 0.8FTE), based at our temporary college location at St Paschal in Box Hill.

The ideal candidate will have experience in this type of role, be familiar with the theological and academic context and share the values of our college. They will also have strong inter-personal skills, display professionalism at all times as the main point of contact for Whitley and be self-driven, with the skills to work collaboratively with the wider team (among other requirements).

If you are interested in this role and want to read more, please download the full Executive Assistant Position Description here.

For further information, please contact Rev Associate Professor Darrell Jackson: djackson@whitley.edu.au

To submit an application, please forward a cover letter with your resume (must include two referees of former employers) to whitley@whitley.edu.au.

Applications close at 5:00pm on Friday 18th August.



Cultural Diversity and Belonging

The Baptist Union of Victoria, Centre for Asian Christianity, and Whitley College invites pastors and leaders to the Discipling Youth Symposium. 

We will explore issues and share stories on youth discipleship in the context of cultural diversity, paths to belonging, and the 2nd generation migrant experience.

 Speakers include:

When: Saturday 9 September from 9.30am – 4.00pm
(Registrations and Coffee from 9.30am. Opening Session starts at 10am sharp)

Where: Whitley College  @ St Paschal, 90 Albion Road, Box Hill 

Cost to attend: $15 per person with lunch included 

Registration: Register by 28th August at this link events.humanitix.com/discipling-youth 

We hope to see you there.