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From the Farm to Chaplaincy - How One Student is Re-Training to Follow God’s Calling

Wednesday 27th May 2020

One of our current students, Wes Brown, had been asking God for opportunities to be available for His use. Hear his story about following God’s call to re-train as a chaplain at Morling College.

I love that God uses us wherever we are and I am always looking for opportunities to improve my skill set.  I previously trained as an agricultural ecologist as well as in farm management, and was involved in pastoral ministry as a lay person for 25 years.  

I previously completed a theology course with Morling College and had heard about some of the various courses on offer. After researching other colleges and exploring the options, I found that Morling was the one best suited to my theology and other needs.  I found that a door opened and so I pushed on it!  

From this, I decided to enrol in the Master of Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care full time.  I sold my farm in Orange and made the move to Sydney to study, relinquishing everything that seemed familiar to me.  Currently, I am relishing grasping theoretical concepts as well as the practical aspects of study.  It is so important to be learning both the theory and art of chaplaincy.  

As there has been quite a break since previous study, I have found the support of other mature aged students helpful.  The college staff, like the Academic Tutor, have been very helpful in providing academic assistance as well."  

This has helped me to feel less worried about the academic and technical sides of managing a Masters degree, and more able to focus on what I am learning.  

I have also been privileged and very humbled to have the opportunity to be placed as Interim Chaplain for the Morling Residential College (MRC).  Within this role, I am learning practical skills as I have the opportunity to provide ministry with the support of a supervisor.  

Since making the move and commencing full time study, I feel that, at 59 years of age, this could result in a change of vocation.  It is early days, but already I am considering pursuing a chaplaincy career in areas such as Military, Aged Care, Prison, Hospital or Emergency Services.  

"Nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom.  God uses all of our previous experiences in ways that are going to be useful in His ministry."  

My current study is already helping to reframe my previous education and experiences, including managing a farm, working in my local fire brigade, as well as pastoral ministry, into a context that will be invaluable in future ministry.  

If you are in a similar situation and currently considering studying Chaplaincy:

  • Don’t be afraid of getting back into study.  There are staff and other students available for assistance and support. 
  • Investigate the different modes of study options. There is flexibility available to help make accessing study easier.  
  • One option may be to begin study at the Graduate Certificate level.  Starting here will give you a great starting point in studying Chaplaincy and whether you want to continue on to a Graduate Diploma or Masters level.  

The Master of Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care course at Morling College doesn’t assume any prior knowledge of chaplaincy. You could enrol in the Graduate Certificate and see how your study goes, or you could commit to the masters from the get go in consultation with course advisers. 

Written by Wes Brown

Wes Brown is the Interim Chaplain of Morling Residential College who is currently pursuing the Master of Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care at Morling College.

Wes Brown's Blog