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Empower your local church! Discover how you can set up a Vision Bible College in your own church with a Vision Resource Centre • • •

A Vision Resource Centre is a “Local Church Bible College” or “Ministry Training Centre”, run by your local church and its ministry team using the resources of Vision Christian College. Our purpose is to assist in the task of “Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the Body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). When you become a Resource Centre students in your program also become distance education students of Vision. They study under your local supervision, using the dynamic curriculum developed by Vision.

For details on how to set up a Vision Resource Centre in your church contact: Phone: 02 9603 2077 Fax: 02 9603 3277 Email: Web:

Vision International College Ph 02 9603 2077 Fx 96033277 E. W: Distance Education Bible College Be Prepared: for Ministry with Vision, Study from your place at your pace Enrol Today: in an accredited bible college and ministry training program Vision International College PO Box 84, Macquarie Fields, NSW, 2564. Christian Ministry and Theology

30771QLD Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology 30772QLD Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology 30773QLD Diploma of Christian Ministry and Theology 30774QLD Advanced Diploma of Christian Ministry and Theology 30775QLD Graduate Certificate in Christian Ministry and Theology 30776QLD Graduate Diploma of Christian Ministry and Theology

Vision International College NTIS ID: 90862

University should be more than just a place of study. CHC is about discovering a pathway that unites your future and faith, a real world career with a Godly perspective. It’s about discovering your purpose‌knowing you are called to do something extraordinary to transform this world for His glory. Find your balance between life and study, anywhere, any time. Allow CHC to take your dream from a possibility to a reality.

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Welcome... C

an you believe it is that time of year again? We’re coming to the end of one year, and we are also about to start thinking about the new one coming. Yes, before we know it, Christmas will be over and we will be into 2013. And no matter what 2012 was like for you, God is wanting to keep stretching and building you, equipping you for the calling He has for your life. Find a Christian College is all about helping you prepare for college life. We have all been put on this earth to do something for God, but considering further Christian study does not mean you need to leave the workforce to do something great for Him. One of the biggest misconceptions is that college is only for those wanting to enter full-time ministry. However this couldn’t be further from the truth. Getting grounded in the word of God is an essential platform for a successful life, and colleges around the world are filled with Christians who are wanting to get a deeper insight into the word of God – not only to potentially go into ministry, but also to set the foundations for a life based around the solid footings that the word of God gives us. So in considering college for 2013 – be it fulltime, part-time, or studying via distance – consider study options with an open mind. As you read the articles we have prepared for you, and as you

WHAT’S INSIDE 6 Why Christian tertiary education? 8 Steps to finding the right college 10 10 Essential time management skills 14 The ‘B’ word: How to budget for college 18 Psychology for Christians: Giving God the


22 Online courses versus campus live

view the ads of the many colleges featured, please keep in mind that the organisations you see within these pages are not only reputable, but also long-standing. Literally tens of thousands of students have studied at these organisations, so you can approach them with complete confidence, knowing that they have a proven track record. As you pray about what God has for you in 2013, it is our prayer that you not only find the right place to study, but that God has a great plan for your future. | 5


MIKE FROST shares some great words of wisdom about the importance and influence of Christian higher education.


s you consider the variety of college choices available to you, your responses to the questions posed in this article will shape one of the most important decisions of your life. When it comes to considering whether to study at a Christian college or secular university or college, the most important question to answer first is, why do I want to study in the first place? Leonardo Da Vinci was noted for saying, “Study without desire spoils the memory and it retains nothing that it takes in.” He’s right. Never study ‘without desire.’ It’s a waste of your time and energy. If you have a clearer idea of what you want to achieve with your life and where you think you’re headed, it will make it easier to choose the most appropriate college, whether Christian or secular. Both options have their pluses, but there are a number of very good reasons to consider enrolling at a Christian college: To develop a Christian worldview Secular universities and colleges will offer fully accredited degrees and diplomas in a wide variety of disciplines, but what they don’t offer is a way for you to think about your life and your career from a distinctly Christian perspective. If you want your faith to be discussed as part of class subject matter choose a Christian college where you can explore a Christian framework for your studies. This is about the development of a distinctly Christian worldview that allows you to examine science, art, business, education, medicine and other related issues through that lens. Only a Christian college can assist you to see course subjects via the lens of your religious beliefs. If you completed your studies with only a set of new skills but with no ability to think ‘Christianly’ about your world it would be a real shame. Find a college that helps you to do both.

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For the nurturing lifestyle and culture If you are a committed Christian, you might prefer a college that affirms your faith and creates a learning environment that supports your beliefs and lifestyle. Many Christian colleges have chapel services, chaplains, Bible studies and a number of other extra-curricula options to encourage your faith. Also, most secular institutions encourage a wide variety of lifestyle options, which can be a distraction to both your faith and your ability to focus on your studies. Or you might just feel more comfortable in a more conservative environment than is commonly available at many secular universities and colleges. So if you would prefer to attend a college where your faith is a part of the lifestyle and culture of campus life, definitely choose a Christian college. Furthermore, in a Christian college you’ll meet faculty and fellow students who are examples of godly living and academic excellence. It was once said, “To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.” In any decent college you’ll acquire knowledge, but in a Christian college you’ll also get to observe the lives of mature followers of Jesus. To prepare for ministry If you feel that your chosen career is more than just a job and that you’d like to see your future employment as an avenue for ministry then a Christian college will certainly help. Furthermore, if you sense a calling into ordained ministry as a pastor or church leader, you will need to attend a Christian theological or Bible college. A number of these colleges are linked to certain denominations, so you’re best advised to speak to your local church about which college will prepare you best for your chosen denomination. If your calling is to overseas mission, the agency you prefer will be able to recommend colleges for missionary preparation. But remember also, that some theological colleges have links with secular universities that allow you to do double degrees and get the best of both worlds. Here’s a word of warning about studying at a Bible college. Some churches have started their own ‘colleges’ and these are great for preparing people for service in that church, but often the education they offer isn’t well regarded in other churches or denominations. You are better off attaining a degree or diploma that can be transferred across a variety of church contexts. This will keep your options open should you want to minister beyond your church some time in the future. Whatever your motivation, you must make sure that the Christian college you’re exploring is fully accredited and academically respected. Choose diplomas or degrees that can lead into further study, even if you doubt that you’d ever complete more study. If the award you’re gaining ‘articulates’ into further study (that’s the technical term),

then the chances are that it’s a well regarded, accredited course. ‘Mickey mouse awards’ don’t lead into anything else. They’re academic dead-ends and you’re better off avoiding them. Tertiary study is expensive and time consuming, so you don’t want to graduate with a diploma that doesn’t get you into the kind of professional work you want to do. And also be aware that when it does come time to find a job, if your college is known for being ultra conservative, some employers may be a bit squeamish about offering you a job. Remember that study in a Christian college can offer you a variety of things – a religious worldview, lifelong Christian friends, an environment that nurtures your faith – but if it doesn’t open employment or ministry options for you it may not be worth the time and financial expense. Study is not a chore or a form of torture. If approached properly it can be the source of great personal growth and spiritual development. Any award you complete ought to better equip you in the service of God and others. Never lose sight of Albert Einstein’s wisdom about academic study, “Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which you belong.” Mike Frost | 7


Steps to finding the RIGHT college

Where to study for higher education is one of the most important decisions you will have to make. Here is some practical advice in choosing the right institution...


hen choosing a college, it can become quite overwhelming and at times, a little daunting. So, guidance is needed as you start your journey towards higher education. One of the first steps is to know who you are and where you would fit in. You need the right college to suit your personality and to ask some pertinent questions. You should decide whether you want to be in a small or large city, or close to home. Also consider whether you are happy with a large student body, and what extracurricular subjects are available. Firstly, it is important to ask the question – why a Christian college? You need to determine that you want to pursue faith filled higher education. Consider how your faith suits the particular Christian colleges you are interested in. Do you want to choose a college that is affiliated with a particular denomination? But most importantly you need to ask God where He wants you to be and what college would be the best suited to the destiny He has for you. Make sure you seek good and right information when researching this important decision. There are so many colleges to choose from, and many decisions to be made. Search online for a list of the different Christian colleges that are available. You may find a college that offers the subjects you want to study but the college is in another state or far away from where you live. In this case you need to ‘shop around’ and be careful to be fully informed when thinking about moving away. If possible, go and visit the colleges you are interested in and talk to the Principal and student representatives. Many colleges can look good on paper but may not be suitable for you. Ask a lot of questions and don’t be worried about doing this. Try to see as much of the campus as you can. It would be good if you could sit in on a class and visit the chapel. Maybe you could interact with current students on Facebook and Twitter and view YouTube videos. There are student loans you can apply for if necessary. Do your homework on what is available and remember to keep to the deadlines the institutions have set. Try and apply as early as you can so you have enough time if you need to answer a lot of questions. There may be some colleges that you don’t think you would be admitted to. Don’t give up, apply anyway.

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2013 PROGRAMMES Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) Graduate Diploma of Christian Education Diploma of Counselling Bachelor of Counselling Bachelor of Social Work Professional Development

Teaching, Counselling & Social Work | 9

Skill building

essential STUDY TIME management skills So you’ve decided to embark upon college life! Tom Mochal from outlines the top 10 skills to get the most from your study...


ave you ever started the day with great ambitions and then realised at the end that you didn’t get anything done? It happens to everyone, but it happens to some people more often than others. Time management allows you to have a higher degree of control over what you do in a day, week, or month. Time management skills can help you spend the hours you have on what is most important to you. Organisational skills are easier for some people than others. For instance, all time management advice includes some form of writing down what you want to accomplish. For many people, this is easy and natural. Other people have difficulty creating lists and following through on them. It’s a leftbrain/right-brain thing and has to do with whether your brain favors logic and structure or creative and unstructured thinking. Time management requires discipline. If you’re not prepared to be disciplined, you’re not going to be a very good manager of your own time. Here’s a top-10 list of time management techniques that I’ve employed myself. Notice that I didn’t call them ‘best practices’. However, they do work for me and can work for you as well. 10 | Find a Christian College 2013

1. Create a list of things to do each morning If you don’t keep track of what you want to accomplish, you’re not going to have a chance for effective time management. Create a to-do list at the beginning of each day or at the end of the prior day. The list can include business and personal items and can be put on paper, your workstation, PDA, etc. Refer to the list several times during the day. For example, if you have 10 minutes before a meeting, glance at your list. There might be an e-mail you wanted to send that would only take 10 minutes. When you complete each item, check it off. If you’re like me, you derive satisfaction from being able to check off an item as complete. 2. Write down all follow-up items on your list To keep track of new things that come up during the day, place them on your daily list. If your list is full and the activity can be completed tomorrow (or the next day), place it on your list for a day or two out. Have you ever wondered why people tell you they’ll do something and then don’t follow through? It’s because they don’t write it down. When I was a manager, I would often talk to people about work

we needed to complete. I never trusted their memory. If they didn’t bring a pencil and paper, I gave them some so they could write down what needed to be done and the due date. 3. Carry forward unfinished work and follow up Now you have a list of work for the day, and you’ve added new items for follow-up during the day. What do you do with the things you haven’t completed at the end of the day? You carry them forward and add them to your list for tomorrow. But don’t be a procrastinator. You don’t want to carry an expanding list of activities from day to day to day. If the activity is important, get it done. If it’s not important, follow up with the person who’s expecting something from you and explain that the work hasn’t been completed. 4. Keep track of due dates Use your list to keep track of due dates. This includes commitments to work colleagues and friends. My experience is that people miss due dates more often than they hit them. If you’re not clear, ask when an activity needs to be completed, write it down, and then use time management skills to make sure the work is done on time. If you can’t meet the commitment, communicate that in a timely manner. 5. Create a list of priorities for this month and next I know many people make lists for today. How many make high-level lists of the things they need to do this month and next? Unless you have a transactional job where your time frames are always short-term, you need to stop at the beginning of each month and determine what you want to accomplish. These lists are obviously at a high level, but, again, they keep you focused on what you want to accomplish. As the month progresses, start adding items to your list for the next month. 6. Keep track of longer-term reminders Your things-to-do list isn’t going to help you for follow-ups you’ll need to remember in the distant future. For instance, you may tell a colleague that you’ll follow up with him to check progress in two months. You need to have a way to keep track of this follow-up and to remind yourself two months in the future. I’ve always just used a calendar. Most online | 11

Skill building

...95% of what you have ONLINE IN YOUR WORK FILES probably has a shelf life of THREE MONTHS OR LESS calendars have features for reminders. In fact, I place multiple reminders over multiple days, so that if I miss one, I’ll catch the reminder the next day. 7. Keep a clean desk I never knew of a good time manager who worked in a pigsty. In fact, it usually follows that people who have cluttered offices or cubicles aren’t very good time organisers. I don’t think you can be a good time manager when you spend a lot of time looking for stuff in a cluttered work environment. 8. Keep all of your current work in one area Over time, you may work on many separate activities and initiatives. Keep

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your things organised. I always keep all of my current work papers in one area where I can get at them easily. When I’m finished with a project or initiative, I move the folder elsewhere (see tip 9). 9. Purge files and documents you no longer need Here’s one that might startle you. For the past 10 years, I’ve had one file drawer where I keep all my papers from completed work initiatives. I keep adding new work folders to the front of the drawer, and when the drawer gets full, I throw out files from the back end. In other words, I never keep more files than can fit in one drawer. Contrast that to your system of keeping endless years of paperwork

that no one cares about anymore and no one will ever care for again. Of course, I’m not talking about users’ manuals or reference material that you need. I’m talking about the work files you accumulate. And yes, once a year, I wish I could go back and find something I threw out. But I usually have the original documents online. 10. Back up online files and purge I have a similar philosophy about online documents. I would guess that 95 percent of what you have online in your work files probably has a shelf life of three months or less. I periodically back up my files to CD (or disk) and then go through and quickly delete all the older junk I don’t need anymore.


The ‘B’ word –

Gavin Martin offers some helpful advice on financing your college education...


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ollege is a wonderful season in life. It’s an exciting time of knowledge acquisition and personal growth. Not to mention the opportunity to interact with interesting people from a range of backgrounds who often end up being life long friends and even spouses. Oh the good old days! Increasingly, the ‘good old days’ of college life are turning into the bad old days of poor spending habits, living for the now and debt accumulation that burdens graduates well after their college years. My challenge to you is to ‘be weird’: don’t follow the norm, stay debt free during your college years. Learn money management skills now while you are young and it will change your destiny. For many of us our first major debt is student loans — either in the form of Commonwealth HELP debt or bank loans. The trouble is, the debt accrues without us really thinking about it, and then, with the HELP debt in particular, we don’t have to think about repayments until we’re earning about $38,000 and the taxation department takes care of them. The fact is, by going down this route students are missing out on significant opportunities to get ahead. Yes, that’s right, get ahead during your college years. This is even more important for those pursuing Christian ministry, as these vocations are not renowned for paying well. If you pay your HECS fees upfront you save a massive 20% of the fee. Now that is worth writing home to mum about. If you have already incurred a HECS or HELP debt you can pay off lump sums of $500 or more and get a 10% discount. It may be not worth writing home to mum about but certainly well worth while anyway. So what can be done to avoid debt to fund your tertiary education? There are four major strategies: • Start saving now • Scholarships • Other income sources • Funding options Start saving for college now I don’t know how many kids get part time jobs as soon as they are eligible but with the unemployment rate at the lowest it’s been in years there should be ample opportunity for diligent students to get a job at 14 years and 9 months. That’s what I did. I worked as a check out chap at a local supermarket before I turned 15 years old. It taught me so much about the ‘real’ world and enabled me to buy my first parcel of shares. There are many benefits to having a part time job. I was able to fund a 12 day voyage on the Young Endeavour tall sailing ship, spend a year in Sweden as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student and buy the toys that all teenage boys love. Years later while recruiting university graduates for a global consulting firm I quickly learned that graduates


who worked through college are more attractive to employers. They have learnt responsibility in the work place and can balance work, family, sporting and social activities. A part time job will enable you to achieve these things and help you save for college education. If parents have the ability to fund a child’s college education, I’m all for it on two conditions - as long the parents don’t go into debt, and as long as the young person is taught financial responsibility. Failing to teach financial responsibility by completely supporting children through college may result in character flaws in the child. If a student is entirely supported by parents he is sheltered from the ramifications of his actions, and may not care how many subjects he fails, how many times he changes

Learn money management skills now while you are young and it will change your destiny course or how much money is wasted on extended time at college. Why should he when Mum and Dad are paying? The best place to invest savings set aside for education depends on the time frame. I recommend a high interest paying, low frills, and no fees, at call, internet or phone banking account with a bank or quality financial institution. If you have four to seven years to invest I would invest at least some of the savings into a Listed Investment Company such as Australian Foundation Investment Company, an Exchange Traded Fund or an index fund with international diversification.

Scholarships Scholarships are a great way to fund tertiary education. The Commonwealth Learning Scholarships (CLS) program provides financial support to eligible undergraduates to assist with higher education costs. There are two scholarships – one for general education costs and one for accommodation costs. The scholarships are administered on behalf of the Australian Government by individual higher education providers. The providers are responsible for conducting their own application and selection procedures in line with Government guidelines. Contact your college to see if you are eligible for a scholarship. There are also a plethora of scholarships provided by various corporations, universities, church groups and foundations. Investigate the opportunities. Sometimes they are not available until the second or third year of the course. Your college student services

Moore College prepares men and women for a lifetime of ministry and mission through in-depth theological training. Moore is a community living and learning together. The teaching and learning program is founded on Christian service and academic excellence. U N D ER G RA D UATE CO U R SES

Bachelor of Divinity (4 years) Bachelor of Theology (3 years) Diploma of Bible and Missions Diploma of Bible and Ministry P OSTG RA D UATE CO U R SES


MA (Theology) MTh PhD (Syd) PhD (UWS)

Certificate in Theology Diploma of Biblical Studies

Moore Info: 16 | Find a Christian College 2013

office is a good place to start. Other income sources Centrelink is a potential source of funds for living expenses during college. Payments including the Youth Allowance (16-24 years olds) and AUSTUDY (25 years and over) have eligibility criteria including an income and asset test. Students can earn up to $6,000 p.a. without it affecting their allowance. There is no reason why you shouldn’t work during term or at least during the long summer break. Awards can be another source of funds for the diligent college student. I managed to receive two prizes at university. One was a book prize that was nice but didn’t help the hip pocket. The other was a cash prize, which certainly came in handy. Another opportunity I jumped at during university was an industry based learning year. This involved taking a year out from study to work within two corporations. Sometimes called sandwich years, they are a great opportunity to earn

income and gain experience. The income generated enabled me to pay off my HECS debt (and receive a 15% discount for doing so) and fund a five month trip around the world before commencing full time employment. Funding options Commonwealth loans There are three types of loans available to fund your tertiary education provided by the Commonwealth under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP): • HECS-HELP is a loan available to eligible Commonwealth supported students to cover all or part of their student contribution amount. • FEE-HELP loan is available to eligible fee-paying students to cover all or part of their tuition fees. Limit is $80,000 or $100,000 depending on the course. • OS-HELP is available to assist eligible undergraduate Commonwealth supported students to undertake some

of their course of study overseas. Limit of $5,196 that can be accessed twice over your lifetime. I would not even consider the FEEHELP or OS-HELP as there is a loan fee of 20% of the amount borrowed. Other options I would avoid are bank loans and credit cards. Work and study part time, seek out a cheaper institution. If you are suffering genuine hardship let it be known in your local church. We supported an international student who experienced financial difficulty six months before completing her degree when funding from her home country ceased after the death of a family member. So go ahead be weird, swim against the tide, stay out of debt and reap the rewards.

Gavin Martin | Managing Director and Financial Adviser Cornerstone Wealth Pty Ltd

Study Theology Explore Faith You can explore both Christian vocation and ministry whilst studying in an ecumenical and engaging environment, at Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) School of Theology. CSU accredited courses are recognised nationally and internationally. You can study full-time or part-time on campus or by distance education through Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra or North Parramatta. Undergraduate, postgraduate and research higher degree courses are available in the areas of: • Theology

• Pastoral Counselling

• Ageing and Pastoral Studies

• Religious and Values Education

• Ministry

• Formation for ordination (Anglican or Uniting Church).

Contact us on 1800 334 733 or visit:

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Psychology for Christians:

Giving God the Glory 18 | Find a Christian College 2013


Adrian Adair is a Counsellor and in this article he challenges students to think very carefully about the choice they should make regarding a tertiary education.


HE AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF Family Counselling (AIFC) is planted firmly on the Rock of Jesus Christ. Psychology which has traditionally been controversial in the church has been thoroughly tested by Dr Bruce and Nellie Litchfield and they have included in AIFC’s courses only that which honours God. Bruce and Nellie liken it to “...plundering the Egyptians...” (Exodus 12:35-36). Mission and vision AIFC’s mission puts counselling in the broadest Biblical context of equipping families to heal the nations and its vision as restoring, training, mobilising and multiplying family therapists to serve God for the healing and enrichment of the family in Australia and the nations of the world.


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AIFC now offers nationally accredited Certificate IV in Christian Counselling and the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Counselling and Family Therapy (Christian) in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney (in English and Korean) and Townsville. It also offers distance and overseas student programs. Student values and coping mechanisms Our advice to applicants, students and staff alike is to pray and seek God’s will for their lives, be obedient, depend on and give God the glory. Frequently we find that enquirers are struggling with the decision of whether to enrol with a secular or Christian institute and the associated concern of relative value

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...the number one reason Christians lose their faith is the teaching of evolution as an inarguable fact of the qualification. Again this is best answered by seeking God’s will. Your divine path may well lead you to a secular hall-of-learning as it did for a friend of mine. Whilst his faith was tested along the way he did graduate a more deeply committed Christian. Many others however have foundered and lost their faith.

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Many Christian students who enter universities are unprepared for the philosophies, ideas and paradigms they will encounter in their courses of study. Some will lose their faith as a result of being ‘converted’ intellectually to the many non-Biblical worldviews that abound in academia. In one study by Dr Gary Railsback, for example, between 30 and 51% of Christians renounce their faith before graduating from college. (An Exploratory Study of the Religiosity and Related Outcomes Among College Students, Doctoral dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles, 1994). Further to this, one USA campus pastor made this statement: “After 30 years of ministry on a secular campus I have concluded the number

one reason Christians lose their faith is the teaching of evolution as an inarguable fact.” The same professors invariably attack the reliability of the Bible. This coupled with the prevailing assumptions of the Secular Humanist religion and supporting Manifesto leave those Christian students who are not spiritually mature and well schooled in Christian and competing worldviews vulnerable. In seeking God’s will and testing, it is worth determining ‘who’ or ‘what’ is worshipped at the institutes being compared. If it is not God then you are surely in enemy territory… make sure you… Put on the whole armour of God... (Ephesians 6:11). This applies particularly to the studying in the faculties of psychology and psychotherapy.

All our students and graduates have a powerful and unique testimony of their ‘AIFC journey’, a testimony capable of encouraging other Christians and extending the Kingdom. Here is one from Vivian a year two student that illustrates the power and wide applicability of AIFC’s course. Personal Testimony of a College Chaplain My name is Vivian Biancardi and I have been a Chaplain since 2003 in a local Canberra College. I wasn’t ‘qualified’ at the time I entered into this ministry but I had a servant’s heart and a tremendous opportunity. I knew that I should get a ‘qualification’ but never wanted to compromise my Christian beliefs.

I entered the Australian Institute of Family Counselling course quite a sceptic wondering how ‘God’ and ‘psychology’ worked together but my fears were quickly dispelled as I heard a teaching that balanced the Word of God and compatible knowledge in psychology. I gained a deeper knowledge of God’s Word, grew further in grace and studied for a recognised qualification. The content helped me become much more capable in the College. My communication skills grew and now I am able to take conversations much further than I ever could in the past both personally and professionally I highly recommend this course to anyone who has a call into the chaplaincy ministry, who wants to be

a professional counsellor, or just wants personal growth. It has blessed me beyond my expectations. Vivian Biancardi College Chaplain Made public with Vivian’s permission Conclusion As is Vivian’s path unique, so is yours so be encouraged... seek God’s will for their lives, be obedient, depend on and give God the glory... If your divine destiny is to study with AIFC then we look forward to journeying with you... Adrian Adair CEO AIFC | 21

22 | Find a Christian College 2013


We weigh up the pro’s and con’s of distance education versus campus education. The decision then becomes yours...


ssociate Stuart Piggin, from Macquarie University says, “For a lot of students there is no option but to study online, because of their geographic location. Online courses are ideally suited for Australia – as it’s a big place and many people are away from tertiary institutions. I think that an enormous number of students, who are close to a university, would still prefer to study online rather than by attending the campus. I think this is because it’s obviously cheaper, it’s more flexible and online courses are now constructed with a variety of techniques that make them very interesting. When these courses are done well they can be very good. Then there are ways of creating community within online courses now, so that you can link the students up with each other and with the teacher – the interactivity is becoming increasingly

possible. “However, the advantage of attending a University campus is that you have immediate community faceto-face – there is always a more certain way of communicating with each other when you can see the body language, as well as seeing particular words. It can sometimes be difficult communicating through emails – you fail to understand each other properly – fail to see jokes. You can do things together when you’re on campus – which you cannot do online. For distance students online learning is absolutely essential. Some courses can be taught better online.” Cheryl Catford, from Tabor College Victoria, talks about the advantages of online study. “This can offer huge flexibility for someone who has a schedule, where attending classes every week is not a possibility. Therefore

they can set their own pace, they can work around their, often complex, life situation and involvements in other things. For example, if they are going overseas on a trip or they have something come up in their church, they are able to work around that. “One of the disadvantages of online study is the lack of interaction with the lecturer and with other classmates. This is shown to be just as important as the actual gathering of information. Sometimes distance education can get around that with online interaction. Most courses are better off if there is a mixture – online, face-to-face, maybe in a seminar style. You will find that most of the new courses now have the mix, because it is understood that busy people cannot be at class every week. It is also understood that educationally face-to-face is really important.”

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Find a Christian College Magazine 2013