HomeArticles by: Vanessa Lania

Congratulations to Whitley’s Research team on another successful research grant.

Congratulations to Whitley’s Dean of Research, Associate Professor Darrell Jackson on another successful submission for a University of Divinity Collaborative Large Grant.

Darrell and Dr Titus Olorunnisola were granted a sum of $38,714 to further develop their social science research on migrant integration in Victoria, title ‘Better Neighbours’. This builds on the pilot project ‘Experiences of Inclusion: African Migrants in Victoria 1998-2018’ and will also allow time to explore whether Associate Professor Jackson’s European migrant research since 2004 has any relevance to this part of the southern hemisphere.

The grant funding will support continued scholarly collaborations with esteemed researchers abroad, including the Italian sociologist of religion, Dr Alessia Passarelli, from the Waldensian Churches and is intended to extend their previous collaboration with the World Council of Churches.

Whitley’s successful grant submissions are testament to their research team’s capacity and commitment to deploy and mentor early-career researchers. The additional funding supports their continued involvement with Dr Titus Olorunnisola, an Honorary Researcher with Whitley College, contracted as the Research Project Officer. Titus has provided a remarkable contribution to recent research projects.

We look forward to further updates from our research team on the wonderful work they are doing.

You can read more about research at Whitley here.

Whitley College and the University of Divinity are looking to recruit a Lecturer in Pastoral and Spiritual Care, and Spiritual Care Program Director to commence immediately.

This is a full-time position available for a fixed-term appointment of 3 years (with potential for renewal) located in Melbourne, Victoria.

Applications for this role close at 5pm on Friday 2 December 2022.

Applications must include:

Please send applications electronically to: Anjali Antoniotti (Chief of Staff) at aantoniotti@divinity.edu.au

Read more about the role and how to apply here:
Lecturer and Program Director Spiritual Care PD 

About the Spiritual Care Program

The Spiritual Care Program is a new collaborative initiative of the University under its Strategic Plan. The Program aims to meet emerging needs for spiritual care and chaplaincy in a wide variety of areas such as the health, education, community service, defence force and mining sectors, and, through the University’s Colleges, reaching into faith-based agencies from a range of Christian denominations.

The Program will commence with establishment of a Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Care and to develop specialist streams in related awards at Graduate Diploma and Masters level.

The Spiritual Care Program Director is the University’s lead on the program, accountable to the University Executive. The Director will build partnerships with students, industry, graduate employers, professional associations, agencies and Colleges to support the Program’s development and growth. The Director will lead the creation of the Graduate Certificate and associated business plan in 2023 for a 2024 commencement, and coordinate its delivery by staff from across the University’s Colleges and partner agencies. The Director will also serve part-time as a Lecturer at Whitley College, delivering courses and units in Spiritual and Pastoral Care.

Join us at Whitley College for an exciting Open Event!

3:30pm – 7:30PM

We’re combining our ‘Celebration of Publication’ event, showcasing our faculty’s recent literary achievements with an ‘Explore Whitley’ evening that will give prospective students a taste of life and learning at the College.

This is what the afternoon will look like:

3.30—5pm: We’ll hear from Whitley Principal Rev. Professor René Erwich, former Whitley Principal Frank Rees and Sarah Do about their newly published books and chapters.

5—6pm: Enjoy a Sausage sizzle and a chance to chat and mingle.

6—7.30pm: Discover life at Whitley, with an introduction and news about our new building from René Erwich, 5 minute ‘taster’ lectures and stories from present and former students.

Register yourself and a friend to attend this event and receive a $20 grocery voucher (both must attend). Plus enjoy a lucky door prize drawn at the end of the night.

Don’t miss out. Click here to register today!

We look forward to seeing you!


Learn more… about the Explore Whitley program

Introduction to the college and our directions and commitments, news on exciting developments, including the new building: René Erwich.

Hear about further learning and research opportunities for current Whitley students and alumni: Darrell Jackson.

Discover new learning opportunities for potential students, including 5-minute ‘taster’ lectures and panel with Sarah Do, Carolyn Francis, Megan Turton and more TBC.

Hear current student and alumni stories and explore options for vocational opportunities.


Learn more… about the Celebration of Publication authors

Professor René Erwich is Principal and Professor of Practical Theology at Whitley College. His book (written with Rev Dr Almatine Leene), Vuur dat nooit dooft. Gender, seksualiteit en theologie in gesprek (Fire that never goes out: Gender, sexuality and theology in conversation) was nominated for the Best Theological Book of 2022. This prize is awarded annually for the book that makes a theological theme most accessible to a wide audience.

Former Whitley Principal Frank Rees recently published a book about Mervyn Himbury, founding principal of Whitley. 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.

We’ll also hear from Whitley lecturer Sarah Do, whose recent book chapter (awaiting publication), an exegetical study on Paul’s letter to the Philippians, proposing that Paul’s missiology has space for diverse expressions of mission, such that communities challenged by differences (such as language, culture, generations) can still be unified in bearing the image of Christ in the world. Do reflects on her own experiences as part of the Vietnamese diaspora, and considers the outworking of faithful gospel work across generations in her local context.

Metaphorically speaking, I waited at the bible college bus stop to be picked up, stepped on the Whitley bus, and realised I had a first-class ride to my destination!

My job had been as a clearance diver for the Australian armed forces. We took the lead in things such as anti-terrorism, and worked with ships and oil tankers – anything to do with maritime.

Looking back, I guess it was a little frightening at times.

My name is Brent Brittliff. My father was a minister and I come from a Maori-Anglican tradition – Te Hahi Mihinare.

I ended being part of the Special Forces but at the peak of my career I was diagnosed with a heart condition. Two weeks after that I was on an operating table having open heart surgery.

But I could no longer work in the profession I thought I was going to be in for the rest of my life.

So I explored my faith. I wanted to learn from the experts. Not that you need a university degree to do this. But I wanted to look at my faith journey critically and academically, developing and setting the foundations for my spirituality and remaining active in my ministry calling.

When I learned of Whitley I found a free-flowing dialogue with the college. Signed up for a Bachelor of Theology course. I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to be an academic scholar to do a degree in theology.

Each lecturer is an expert in their particular theological field, bringing scholarly subject knowledge and lived experience. They can ‘talk the talk’ because they have ‘walked the walk’. Some of their pearls stand out. One that sticks with me is: “Yes, the reading is hard! What are you going to do? Complain? And play your Play Station? Or dig in and do the work? The choice is yours”.

I love the multiculturalism and realness of the staff and students. There is no ego or competition—a space where you can share and ask questions without judgement. If I had to recommend a unit of study I would say the transformational units. Units which expand your mind while remaining open to different interpretations and thoughts. I have walked into a class thinking I know something about the subject and walked out with an entirely different view – which is brilliant.

After graduating, I’m not sure what the Lord has in store for me. Ordination is a possibility, for sure. Some of my friends who have left the armed forces have committed suicide. Most haven’t done that well transitioning to civilian life. I am passionate about sharing this message with others who have gone through a similar experience.

I guess, if I could press the metaphor a bit more, the driver of the bus would be Jesus – I just get off whenever he opens the door!

We are seeking to fulfil the role of librarian at our college.

If you enjoy working to support others, have qualifications in this field, and have informed knowledge in Theology then this might be for you!

The role requires the provision of information services to support the teaching, learning and research activities of the faculty and students at Whitley College.

This is a part-time role structured around the teaching timetable, ensuring the availability of a Librarian at peak student-use times which are on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Our library is currently located at our temporary location of St Paschal in Box Hill for the remainder of this year and next, while renovations are underway at our permanent location in Parkville.

If you are interested in this role, kindly submit your application by no later than October 25, 2022, to librarian@whitley.edu.au. You application must include a full Curriculum Vitae, cover letter and three referees.

The successful applicant will be expected to take up the position by 1 December 2022.

To read more, see the position description here: Position Description for Whitley Librarian Role

We look forward to hearing from you.