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TH IS YEA R B O O K B E L O N G S TO :
CREDITS S ENIO R EDITO R S
Rachel Helms, Anastasia Anstey CO O R DINATO R
Natalie Zuidersma-Ros DES IG NER S
Anastasia Anstey, Hendrik Zuidersma-Ros PHOTO G R A PHER S
Hayley Rafton, Sebastian Ekman, Josiah Johns CO NTR IB UTING WR ITER S
Uteng Masuku, Rachelle Castro, Larney Peerenboom, Barbara Peerenboom, Chris Parkes, Tracy Barrell, Wesley Senna Cortes, Emma Frelsoy, Gabriel Billich, Tiffany Andrukat, Josh Glass, Janelle and Jonathan Payne, Blake Robinson, Allison Williams, Myles Thorpe, Logan McDaniel, James McCabe, Judith Suter
2018 Graduates: Stay Connected
Thank you from Brian & Bobbie Houston
Messages from our Executive Team
Sign My Yearbook
Who Are You Bringing?
14 / Like Mother, Like Daughter 16 / Battle of the Brits 18 / The Coogee Crew 20 / 2018 Highlights 22 / Josh Glass 24 / HLP: Janelle & Jonathan Payne 26 / Blake Robinson: From Hippie to Hillsong 30 / Get to know Logan & James 32 / Judith Suter
THANK YOU A letter to our Hillsong College Students, from Brian & Bobbie Houston.
To our Incredible Students, Congratulations on an outstanding year! You have been an amazing blessing to Hillsong Church and we are so grateful for your time, prayers, sacrifice, and for all you have invested over the past year. We know that each one of you has a unique and amazing future, and we are thankful to be a part of your journey as you have made Hillsong Church home for this significant season. This world is in need of leaders who have a divinely implanted sense of purpose. Leaders who carry a resolve to stand up and advance the Kingdom of God in all walks of life; who will salt the earth with dynamic ministries, businesses and families. Leaders who have the boldness to believe there is more on the horizon ahead; more of God’s grace, goodness, mercy, kindness, love, forgiveness and favour waiting in the future. There is nothing better than living amidst this wild adventure called the will of God, and we are certain that God’s will for your life—heaven’s perfect purpose—is indeed beyond your wildest dreams. We pray that during your time with us, you have discovered this divine sense of purpose, so that when challenges arise, you won’t allow circumstances or fear to halt you from believing God for more. That you have been strengthened, equipped, and empowered to shine light into the dark, crush the
offenses of the enemy, and build the house of God all the days of your life. We encourage you to trust God with greater dependency, look to Him with an expectant heart, and follow the Holy Spirit as He guides you into the glorious future that awaits every one of you. Remember, the ‘more’ God has for you is not limited to space and time and cannot be measured with earthly devices or human minds. Pray daring prayers, make bold declarations, and believe against all odds for unusual miracles. “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!” (Eph 3:20-21 MSG) The future is bright. With love and affection,
ME SSAGE S FROM OUR E XECUTIVE TEAM
LEE BUR N S Executive Vice President
2018 has been another incredible year for us at Hillsong College, full of blessing and favour. I never tire of seeing students come to be equipped through our practical, hands on ministry training, then seeing God fill them with excitement and expectation for the future. And this year we have seen that happen in lives of many in our student body. In February this year we announced Hillsong College USA, which will commence in Phoenix, August 2019. I am super-excited for the opportunity to expand our reach as we continue to raise, equip, empower, and release people into their God-given future. Phoenix provides us with the opportunity to do more than we have ever done in growing leaders, to make a bigger impact on the earth in Jesus’ name! Our online Degree program has proven to be very successful throughout 2018. This has provided the opportunity to continue discipling and growing our graduates and/or new students to Hillsong College through Higher Education. As our staff continue pursuing post-graduate studies I believe we will continue to see our online stream grow to have a significant impact in the future. For all of those graduating students, I’d like to personally thank you for giving us the honour of doing life with you during your season with us in College. I’m believing that you take all that you have learned and use it to expand the Kingdom of God here on earth. For all students continuing on in your studies with us in 2019, GET READY, for what will be one the greatest years we have ever had in Hillsong College and Hillsong Church! Take Courage.
“I see a church with a world-class college that raises, equips, and empowers generations of young, anointed leaders from across the globe. Graduates who serve God in all walks of life, released to salt the earth with dynamic ministries and churches throughout the continents of the world.”
A NGEL A B AC H T LE Principal
2018 has been incredible! One of the joys of my life is watching YOU take courage, and see you step into new opportunities of leadership, serving and development. What a privilege to observe you, our student body try new things, take on new challenges, and grow in your relationship with Jesus. Thank you for contributing to the building of God’s House and all you’ve sown into our lives personally, it’s been an honour to serve alongside each of you. “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.” (1 Chronicles 28:20 NIV) Let these words resonate in your hearts as this season comes to an end, and as you step into a brand new one. Remember you do not go alone, our God goes with you, and He will continue to lead and guide you into new adventures. You are called to do great and mighty things, and been equipped with wisdom and skill to make a difference in our world. Don’t underestimate what our God can do in and through you as you step out with courage!
DUNC A N C OR B Y Academic Dean
At the end of 2018, looking out over the future, I get very excited. I get excited about the College’s future. In 2019 we’re starting in Phoenix – our first international College campus, attracting a whole host of new students who otherwise may not have been able to study with us. And this while we continue to take our worldleading leadership training and theological education programs forward with innovation and depth. I’m excited about all the amazing new students who will be enrolling here in Australia next year. I’m excited about getting to meet them, discovering the immense potential stored up inside them, and the incredible God-futures on their lives. I’m excited about our new graduates and what the future holds for them. They have given themselves to being raised, equipped, and empowered – a journey that has stretched and brought the best out in each of them – and now they’re being released into worldchanging destinies. I’m excited about our long-standing graduates – whose stories I keep hearing – who are planted in life-giving churches around the world, pursuing the call of God on their lives, making a difference and building a legacy of transformed lives. And I’m excited about our current students. We’ve had a great year. And the next is going to be even better. The future is very bright. 9
O U R S TA F F
Michelle Castaneda Business Manager
Aran Puddle Creative Director
Peter Cain Finance and Administration Manager
Cameron McDonald Hills Vice Principal
Mary Capper City Vice Principal
Christopher Parkes Advanced Diploma, Degree and Masters Head Trainer
Benjamin Cochrane Pastoral Stream Head Trainer
Jordan Haley Pastoral Stream Head Trainer
Amanda Fergusson Pastoral Trainer
Amy Saggin Pastoral Trainer
Anita Perera Pastoral Trainer
Anna Deevy Pastoral Trainer
Bjorn Luling Pastoral Trainer
Blake Robinson Pastoral Trainer
Bryan Campos Pastoral Trainer
Christian Anstey Pastoral Trainer
Cody Nesper Pastoral Trainer
Dalton Miles Pastoral Trainer
Dylan Kruger Pastoral Trainer
Elise Nesper Pastoral Trainer
Heather Simpson Pastoral Trainer
Henrietta Hawkins Pastoral Trainer
Jeff Johnson Pastoral Trainer
Jonathon Hooper Pastoral Trainer
Judy Fisher Pastoral Trainer
Keiron Wratt Pastoral Trainer
Keren Fuller Pastoral Trainer
Larney Peerenboom Pastoral Trainer
Laura Daniels Pastoral Trainer
Matthew Lowe Pastoral Trainer
O U R S TA F F
Michelle Cruz Pastoral Trainer
Michelle Leaney Pastoral Trainer
Paul Mcghie Pastoral Trainer
Remo Castagno Pastoral Trainer
Riley Chong Pastoral Trainer
Robert Fergusson Pastoral Trainer
Alistair McNally Lecturer
Haydn Nelson Lecturer
Joel Hingston Lecturer and Pastoral Trainer
Matthias Gilmour Lecturer and Pastoral Trainer
Matthew Fitzgerald Lecturer
Tanya Riches Lecturer
Tracy Barrell Lecturer and Pastoral Trainer
Belinda Nelson Higher Education Compliance and Pastoral Trainer
Jared Naidoo Higher Education Streams Manager
Anna Kirkpatrick Higher Education Administrator
Katie Dodson Worship Stream Head Trainer
Jarryd Scully Worship Stream Head Trainer
Adam Dodson Worship Trainer
Bree Ironside Worship Trainer
Brenton Maunder Worship Trainer
Chelsea LaRosa Worship Trainer
Gemima Gray Worship Trainer
James McCabe Worship Trainer
Katrina Peoples Worship Trainer
Kayleigh Alexandre Creative Producer and Worship Trainer
Kmy Denton Worship Trainer
Lara Tenhoorn Worship Trainer
Nick Mueller Worship Trainer
Norm Lugtu Worship Trainer
O U R S TA F F
Paul Ooi Worship Trainer
Ray Badham Worship Trainer
Samuel Knock Worship Trainer
Sarah Funke Worship Music Administrator and Trainer
Sophia Christopher Worship Trainer
Tamryn Kyselov Worship Trainer
Robert MacDowall Film & TV Trainer Head Trainer
Caleb Krause Film & TV Producer and Trainer
Gabriella Zerger Film & TV Trainer
Craig Herbert Production Stream Head Trainer
Andrew Howell Production Staff
Kevin Kwan Production Staff
Tabitha Alfredsson Dance Head Trainer
Julia Cuthbertson Training Quality and systems
David Reed Course Developer and Worship Trainer
Lina Rodrigues Course Developer and Pastoral Trainer
Damaris Pfendt Practicum and Student Support Oversight
Daniel Hingston Practicum and Student Support Coordinator
Jonathan Sealey Practicum and Pastoral Trainer
Stephen Taylor Practicum and Student Support Coordinator
Rachel Helms Brand and Marketing Manager
Anastasia Anstey Content Marketing Specialist
John Davis Digital Marketing Specialist
Hugh Lloyd Video Editor
Wesley Senna Cortes Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator
Isaac Soon Recruitment and Engagement Representative
Sarah Christie Admissions Coordinator
Sarah Sgroi Admissions Assistant
Kimberly Baxter Admissions Assistant
Linn Neumann Admissions Assistant
O U R S TA F F
Amy Fallon Hills Campus Manager
Bryon Tatum City Campus Manager
Jacob Laidler Student Development Manager
Jemma Floyd Student Counsellor
Kathy Squillace Student Counsellor
Jyoti Singh Registrar
Olivia Tan Registrarâ€™s Assistant
Samantha Portwin Registrarâ€™s Assistant
Samantha Kuswara Executive Assistant to EVP and Academic Dean
Daniela Cipriano Executive Assistant to EVP and Academic Dean
Miriam Reichardt Administration
Wendy Corby Administration
Sallicia Sammy Finance Administrator
Chloe Campos Administration Coordinator
Kristen Blackford Administration Assistant
Izaac Baxter Logistics Manager
Murray Averill Brisbane Leadership Program
Joseph Kohring Brisbane Leadership Program
Meyling Kohring Brisbane Leadership Program
John Taylor Brisbane Leadership Program
Tim Michael Melbourne Leadership Program
Elise Heerde Melbourne Leadership Program
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER Generations are born, known and grown. In time they evolve and take shape, reframing themselves to seed belief greater than their current existence. Connected, they echo themselves in legacies of rich lineage - your story, my story and our story, a part of His story. Barbara and Larney both knew God had more for their family and despite previous disappointments they came to College to find themselves on a journey of restoration and redirection.
THE DRE AM Barbara: I knew God had more for my husband and I. I had a passion for missions, and so we talked about YWAM and College. I started to pray about things after my children left. God told me there would be a ‘suddenness’ coming, but I had no idea what that meant. Larney: My grandmother paid for my whole family to go to the Hillsong Conference when I was 12. From there we just kept coming back every year. One year towards graduating high school, I saw a promo for College. It caught my attention, but I went to university instead. Whilst doing my degree I worked with A21 once a week. That environment surrounded me with so many Bible College students and I would go to Chapels sometimes. There I was met with so many like-minded people and hadn’t experienced this before. From there it was set. I was coming to College.
LEGACY Four out of five members of the Pereenboom family went on to do College. First Larney and her younger brother, following her graduation, her dad came for year and following this her mum. For Barbara the most important thing was that her family truly knew God no matter what they did, mindful of who they were becoming. What does Legacy mean to you? Barbara: Legacy is huge to me. My upbringing was tumultuous so being an example to my family means so much to me. I want them to see it’s never too late to do the next thing. That God is the only One worth following. If I want them to believe in themselves and follow the path God has for them, then I need to keep doing the same myself.
“ I T ’ S N E V E R T O O L AT E F O R MORE OF GOD. I T ’S NE V ER T O O L AT E T O G I V E A N D T O G R O W, T O L E A R N A N D T O D R E A M , T O L E A N F O R WA R D A N D S E E G O D D O M O R E .”
Larney: It speaks to the faithfulness of God and His restoration. No one will completely understand my family’s story - like with anyone’s - but there was definitely generations of dysfunction and disconnectedness. It started with my grandma, a pensioner, whose sacrifice impacted us greatly - to my parents who kept their faith in spite of what they had been through. To see all of us come through College feels like God changed the structure of my family’s DNA by the restoration that’s come. And I think this is just the beginning of it. What is one thing passed down from your parents that you would hope to impart in the people in your current sphere of influence? Barbara: One is forgiveness. My mum is my ultimate hero in regards to this. The other is to stay in Him. When times get tough, stay, when times are great, stay. Stay close to Jesus, stay in love with Jesus, stay the path Jesus has for you. Larney: My mum just never gives up despite what she’s been through. God’s grace has kept us. I can say look what God did. Just stay. Staying planted - you don’t need to leave to figure things out. What does it mean for you in doing what you are doing to think generationally? Barbara: I believe my purpose largely, has been to see my children’s generation know wholeness and freedom from things my husband and I have walked through. I long for them not just to know freedom but also to lead others from a healthy place. Larney: So, every time I have a group of students in the class, I know it’s not just them I’m talking to, but their family, their kids, their sphere of influence and their future. It’s not one person, there could be thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions, I don’t know who I am talking to. What legacy do you hope to leave with or want to carry with you from College? Barbara: I want to know that I’ve left a deposit of God in other young people’s lives; that they see an older person still loving Jesus, still pursuing Him, still with a sense of future and hope. I want to take a greater deposit of God and leave one behind for others.
What would you recommend to those who would like to follow your example and bring their family to College? Barbara: I recommend for others to follow their God path. It’s never too late for more of God. It’s never too late to give and to grow, to learn and to dream, to lean forward and see God do more. In regard to bringing their family to College, I think it’s a very individual thing. I would encourage people that if it’s God, it’s the best idea so just go for it. Larney: We need every demographic! We need people in every stage of life. The young parents, the older parents! You still have purpose in you if you still have breath. The biggest thing is that we need each other. Yes, we’re the next generation of leaders maybe, but we are not the only leaders. Bridging the gap between the young and the old, look for the strength of each generation rather than simply labelling, and I speak to that!
B AT T L E O F
C H R I S PA R K E S V S . T R A C Y B A R R E L L | C H R I S PA R K E S V S . T R A C Y B A R R E L L | C H R I S PA R K E S V S . T R
Kate or Meghan? Tracy: Ooo – tricky – both have contributed to the Evolution of the Monarchy (note, not Revolution!) but Meghan probably more so than Kate. (Plus I’m a Suits fan), So Meghan it is! Chris: Catherine, for sure. I don’t watch Suits, so I don’t have that particular bias at play. Although, I’m sure Meghan is incredible! What was the last picture you took on your phone? Tracy: A mint club biscuit – a British chocolate biscuit I found in my local supermarket. Chris: The view from the top floor of my new house. But if you want something truly British, a picture of my eldest son playing FOOTball! If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Tracy: Roast leg of lamb, cooked by my Mum Chris: Anything Mexican (or Tex-Mex)... my parents raised me to enjoy culinary diversity. ;) My mother always told me… Tracy: “You’ve got a tongue in your head – [so] ask!” Chris: “You have ears on your head, so stop talking and just listen.” (Not really, but it seems appropriate considering Tracy’s answer above!) If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? Tracy: My Grandad who died when I was 10… There are so many questions I’d love to ask him now I am an adult. Chris: The Queen BECAUSE… (before you write this off as cliché) She had weekly meetings with every British Prime Minister since 1953. If she was willing to divulge, how much would we learn about the world!?! A book everyone should read is… Tracy: Changes That Heal by Dr Henry Cloud Chris: Very British Problems by Rob Temple, seriously. It will give anyone the tools to exegete the British accurately. If you had a boat what would the name be? Tracy: QT1 (Queen Tracy 1 – too much?) Chris: I’d have a plane. G-PARKES Fictional place you would love to live in? Tracy: Hobbiton Chris: Ha… Rivendell! (LOTR) OR Naboo (Star Wars) Jane Austen or J K Rowling? Tracy: Tough – Jane gave us Pride & Prejudice but JK gave us Ron. I’ll go with Jane Austen. Chris: JK, what a weapon! 16
THE BRITS A C Y B A R R E L L | C H R I S PA R K E S V S . T R A C Y B A R R E L L | C H R I S PA R K E S V S . T R A C Y B A R R E L L | C H R
What made you come to Hillsong College? Tracy: I happened to meet the then Dean of Students, Catrina Henderson, on my first Sunday visiting Hillsong Church (City Campus) in February 2001. I thought the idea of going to Bible College was dreadful! The sort of thing other people do. But the thought haunted me, especially as I walked past a College Info Stand at the Colour Conference Expo the following month. Then Robert Fergusson and Duncan Corby confirmed it for me in a conversation at a New People’s Gathering. By then I really wanted to come to College. Chris: There were a combination of factors. In early 2005 I visited Australia and met the Principal of the College at the time, Duncan Corby in the Welcome Lounge at Hillsong Church, that’s where I first heard about the college. What I love about this story, is that Duncan wasn’t there promoting College but simply welcoming visitors to church that day, which goes to show how God can work though all kinds of everyday interactions. Whilst I was on track to start university in the UK, I distinctly heard God speak to me about attending Hillsong College for 1 year before starting university. Go figure, I’m still here! Best memory of College? Tracy: Being constantly surprised at how much I enjoyed classes: I honestly thought my least favourite subject in 1st year would be Old Testament Intro. It ended up being my favourite class of the year! Chris: Probably forging significant lifelong friendships with people who are in ministry today around the world building the church. Moreover, it’s so inspiring to see our graduates all across the globe serving God in different cities and nations. Experiencing a 14 year snapshot of this really opens your eyes to what God can do with obedience. What was your Master’s thesis written on? Tracy: It was called “Mission & Transmission in Cassian” and explored how John Cassian’s 5th century findings from the Desert Mothers & Fathers’ teachings and practices can inform contemporary, Pentecostal Discipleship (Transmission) models and practices. Chris: It took me a while to find it! The title was “Pentecostals in the Public Space: What might a Pentecostal approach to politics look like in the Australian context and how might Pentecostal communities authentically and effectively engage in the public realm.” This is the nerdy side of me for sure, but I find political theology fascinating, purely because it’s where the rubber hits the road between the religious and secular spheres and this interface is wrought with both mystery and potential!
THE COOGEE CRE W The idea of family can be found and curated in the ones around you wherever you cultivate home. In realising this you find your people, your place, your community - and it made the experience that much richer and familiar for this group of friends who met on the College journey back in 2013. They all decided to pursue the degree program and all live in close proximity to each other, by the beach in Coogee.
E MMA F R E L SOY
Bachelor of Theology student
“Emma brings spontaneous fun and allows a space for vulnerable conversations.”
How has doing life in community shaped your College experience? To be honest, it took me a while to allow myself to be a part of the community. But when I finally embraced it, it really helped me do the journey better. The friends I have made throughout my three years of College and now in the Degree program are friends I know I needed to make. They are my soulmates. They make the journey so rich, and I can honestly say that without them I wouldn’t be who I am today. What might someone be surprised to know about you? That I love dogs more than I love humans. Jokes. No, but for real. That’s probably a theologically incorrect answer, but there you go. If you were stuck on an island and could only pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat? I would bring acai berries and make acai bowls until I’d die.
G A B R I EL BIL L IC H Bachelor of Theology student
“Gabriel brings fun and leadership to the group. He has always been the person that the group would naturally follow.”
What are you passionate about? Good chocolate, like not just any chocolate you know? TimTam’s for life! Working with refugees and homeless people has enlarged my passion that as Christians we carry the responsibility to be the major contributors of solutions to the issues in our society, building strong and sustainable businesses, fighting for freedom and justice for the millions who don’t have it, and to love Everybody Always by Bob Goff (you need to read that book!). If you weren’t doing College, what would you be doing? If I hadn’t done College I probably would have become a professional skier.
W E SL E Y SE N N A C O RT E S Master of Arts student
“Wesley is the glue in our group. I’m incredibly grateful for his heart for family, community, and friendship.”
TI F FA NY ANDRUKAT Bachelor of Theology student
“Tiffany is the person who spreads joy wherever she goes. She is incredibly wise and such a strength to be around”.
What do you wish other people knew about College? Self Discovery. That it’s a place where you can find out who you are and who God is to you if you’re willing to be open to new things, new perspectives, and new people. It definitely made me rethink and then rethink again the way I see God and others. And who knows, you just might find your lifelong friends too. What does an adventure-filled weekend with friends look like for you? An adventure-filled weekend involves close friends, new views, tasty food, and good music. I love getting out of the city to somewhere on the beaches, or deeper into the city to your local speakeasy. What is your favourite movie from the past five years? About Time has stolen my heart. It’s a good one. Go see it.
What do you find most challenging about the course you’re currently doing? To think and write academically in a second language. I have caught myself thinking, ‘I still don’t know how I’m doing this.’ But perhaps more challenging is accepting that I might never have the answers to some questions about God and life, instead of certainty – which I was addicted to! Tension becomes your new normal, which makes the study of theology in itself a funny task… ok, maybe not that funny. What inspires you? People doing what nobody thought they could, against all odds. It’s like they are opening undiscovered paths saying, ‘see, you can do it too.’ If you made a documentary, what would it be about? I would make it about Bob Goff, 100%, he totally deserves one! I would make it about everyday heroes like him, who somehow find a way through their challenges. Ordinary but larger than life people whose attitudes convict you in the best of ways. Actually it would be a series, and I would spend weeks with the plantation workers in the remote areas, the single moms taking their children to school before going to work and the families redefining community in refugee camps. I guess I would call it ‘Never Give Up’ and I bet Bob would be keen for it too! 19
“For me, for us, that item was a true representation of who we are. The multicultural body declaring a powerful truth: ‘This world is Yours’.” - John Davis
“Heaven and earth collided that day. It was one of the most beautiful, raw and heartfelt moments I have ever experienced in worship.” - Laura Sward I N T E R N AT I O N A L C H A P E L
“International Chapel never ceases to remind me that our God isn’t finished yet. It’s monumental when over 70 nations unite under one roof to lift up the Name of Jesus.” - Pebbles Nchabeleng
JOSH GL A SS
“BUILDING THE C H U R C H I S N ’ T A LWAY S GL AMOROUS, BUT THE W O R K I S N E C E S S A R Y, FOR THE SAKE OF O T H E R S .”
Embarking on a Master of Arts can be a daunting experience, but not when your pursuits are for the sake of building others. 29 year old, Josh Glass, moved from Calgary, Canada with his wife to study the dynamics of community and culture within church. With a dream to connect people and share their lens in an array of different experiences, Glass pursued the Master of Arts to get a professional education, while also be engaged in a thriving global church community.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I am married to the beautiful Lisa Glass! We love to adventure together, travel the world, and learn new languages. I love people, love to laugh,and joke around. One of my long-time hobbies has been playing musical instruments – I love the guitar and am a stellar air-drummer. Being Canadian, I have a knack for flannel, maple syrup and terrible coffee. What was your biggest expectation coming to College? I came to College with the expectation that my life would radically grow spiritually, and that I would get to be a small part of something extraordinary. I didn’t have any idea what that would look like. However that expectation has been abundantly exceeded. How has God surprised you in your journey here? It has surprised me to know just how providential God truly is. Lisa and I have seen this in the connections and relationships we have built. Not only do we now have a greater network of family across the world, but also in Canada! We’ve been able to build such beautiful relationships with other Canadians that we will inevitably be doing life with back at home. This also goes with the opportunities that we have been given to serve and lead. What has been your biggest blooper since being here? Nearly forgetting my main scripture verse while doing a 3-minute chapel preach in front of the entire college! Whoops! What has been your biggest challenge in doing the course so far? The biggest challenge was trying to get back into the habits of academic reading and writing. When I first started the MA, I didn’t know at what quality my writing was. After my first semester, I found a nice groove and was able to grow from there. What has your study journey here looked like? First semester I was completely underwater (haha!). Second semester I learned how to swim, and even learned new ways to tread water. This final semester, I feel like I have learned how to swim laps; but only by the grace of God! I’ve learned so much about Jesus’ church, our mission and calling as Christ-followers, our responsibility for stewardship toward creation, discipleship, and leadership! What has been an even greater blessing is the ability to take what I am learning, and directly apply it within a thriving and healthy church community!
“ WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO BUILD SUCH BE AUTIFUL R E L AT I O N S H I P S WITH OTHER CANADIANS T H AT W E W I L L I N E V I TA B LY B E DOING LIFE WITH B A C K AT H O M E .” Lecturer or class that most impacted and influenced you? I need to say that all have impacted me in a very significant way. However, I would say Tanya Riches in her Theology of Social Justice class! Haydn Nelson and his Trinity & Creation class is a close second. Theology and Social Justice challenged me that the ministry of reconciliation that Jesus speaks of means getting uncomfortable and advocating for those who are suffering from injustice. It caused me to take serious reflection of what my paradigms are on social issues, and ask myself ‘am I prepared to do what is necessary to bring about lasting change for someone else?’ Building the church isn’t always glamorous, but the work is necessary. For the sake of others, it is necessary. The idea of writing a thesis would scare some people, what’s your approach? From the outset an 8,000 - 10,000 word essay appears daunting. However, I’ve learned that you develop the skill of writing larger essays throughout your year so the idea of one major project at the end becomes more manageable. The blessing of the thesis is that it is on a topic that you choose and is a passion to you, which gives you the energy to pursue it with rigour. Practically, if you know what you want to write your thesis on, you have the ability to use your previous class assessments, in earlier semesters, to start doing your research. This doesn’t always work out for everyone (myself included), but effective time management and diligence in developing your research and writing abilities goes a long way. What are you writing your thesis on and what drew you to that subject? We are looking at how the Sudanese youth within Wildlife (Hillsong’s high-school youth ministry) develop community and relationships. We are then comparing those observations with the theological theme of koinonia (fellowship, communion) in the New Testament.
JANELLE + J O N AT H A N PAY N E Like many of life’s greatest decisions, Janelle and Jonathan Payne enrolled into College without a second thought. They had travelled to Cambodia a year ago, and were at a loss for words trying to minister to young girls trapped in prostitution. The couple found themselves experts in their careers, yet inexperienced about what really mattered. This led them to begin an Apologetics class at Evening College. One conversation led to another, and the couple enrolled into the Hillsong Leadership Program. For Australian locals, the Hillsong Leadership Program is designed to equip you to lead and impact in your sphere of life. This program will increase your skills, through participating in the ministries that flow out of Hillsong Brisbane and Hillsong Melbourne which will help you engage and grow through invaluable hands-on experience.
“We asked our lecturer for his thoughts as to whether we should do College. He answered, ‘Absolutely! Don’t think about it further, just sign up!’ It was actually the best advice. Sometimes it can be tempting to overthink things but with HLP right on our doorstep, it was too good an opportunity to pass up!” What are you passionate about? We love refreshing those immediately around us, whether that’s couples in crisis, men who think they are not good enough, or women who feel unloved or unwanted. We’re both strategic thinkers with a big heart for social justice too. How has the Leadership Program impacted your life so far? Much of the first year was God working in us, refining the parts of us that He could use and growing the gifts He already gave us. We now have a solid foundation of His love and purpose for us. If only we had that when we left school - we would have avoided a lot of pain.
How has the Leadership Program impacted your marriage? As we’ve grown towards God in College, we’ve grown closer together. You wouldn’t know from looking at us today, but three and a half years ago, we were separated and on the brink of divorce. Our first date of our renewed marriage was actually at Hillsong. We were both baptised soon after. Because of College, we now have a common purpose and the Word of God as our foundation. Next month, we’ll complete the first stage of our training as marriage counsellors so our journey can bring hope to others. God truly works everything for His glory! What has been your greatest challenge during this course? There have been moments where we felt like giving up and focussing on our careers but we vowed to finish what we started. Giving a day to God meant one less day in the working week. With two children, we were worried this would result in a 20% drop in income for our family.
“MUCH OF THE FIRST YE AR WA S G O D W O R K I N G I N U S , R E F I N I N G T H E PA R T S O F U S T H AT H E C O U L D U S E AND GROWING THE GIF TS H E A L R E A D Y G AV E U S .”
How did you keep moving forward? Trust and obedience. God has been so faithful and has rewarded us. Other students have shared that everything else fell into place once they decided to put God first by coming to College. Janelle is now considering second year! What has been your biggest takeaway from the program this year? There’s only two states we can be in: turning towards God, or turning away from God. It’s a daily choice but it’s pretty obvious which is the better one! If you could give a piece of advice to married couples thinking about starting HLP, what would that be? Brace yourself for an incredible adventure together! However, be prepared: the first six weeks will be rough as there are attempts to thwart your future. In the first few weeks of College, our businesses came under attack and we thought about giving up. Advice to someone thinking about applying? If you want to build your life around God’s love and purpose for you, then do it! If you are not sure, do it anyway! As J.R.R. Tolkien said, “All we have to do is to decide what to do with the time that is given to us.” Spending one day a week with God at College (on the half-time program) is truly the highlight of our week.
BL AKE ROBINSON: FROM HIPPIE TO HILL SONG We fly across oceans to follow a whisper. We risk lifeâ€™s reservations for a glimpse. Dreams that we bury have a funny way of resurfacing when we least expect it. Following Jesus is a wonderfully terrifying adventure. After spending seven years in Sydney, Australia, Hillsong College trainer, Blake Robinson will be moving to Phoenix Arizona to become the Principal of Hillsong College USA. His story echoes an endeavour of faithfulness: how we spend our lives searching for purpose, traveling new roads, moving to new places, creating friendships, opening ourselves up to possibility â€“ only to find that these routes of discovery simply trace us back to where we started.
“BUT DIVINE I N T E R R U P T I O N S H AV E A B E A U T I F U L WAY O F RE WRITING AN EPIC S T O R Y.”
I was 17 years old when I received the prophecy, “You’ll shake the youth of this nation.” Blake graduated high school to begin his career in professional baseball. After a year into his scholarship, he was redirected onto another path. 2 years after that prophecy, I found myself on an empty baseball field. Every single light was shut, with nothing in sight except for the scoreboard. Across it, lit the numbers ‘7 7 11’. God asked me to remember it. Fast forward, I came to point in my life where I was praying about my next step. And then Hillsong College calls. It was December at the time, and the next intake was under a month away. I figured I’d just wait another year. But I checked the website, and I found that the next date of enrolment was 7.7.11. And that was the exact time that I came. I flew in July 4, 2011. So often we can pencil God into our lives, like an important meeting. We arrange days, months, years of appointments, so as to organise, and avoid interrupting life’s plan. And so we create time-structures. But divine interruptions have a beautiful way of rewriting an epic story.
I thought I’d do one year of College, and after I was done – go backpacking and do a walkabout with the Indigenous Australians. But one year turned into two, and two years turned into three and three years led to a degree, and I haven’t left since. When Blake arrived in Sydney to pursue Pastoral Leadership, he didn’t foresee the heart surgery he would soon face. I had my dreads, thinking ‘yeah let’s go shake the youth of the nations!’ I was gung-ho. I was a hippie. I was no shoes, no shirt, no problem – and I wanted to be one with the land. I brought all my backpacking gear, my tent, my little camper Bunsen burner – the whole thing! But I was on a journey of discovering how to focus less on myself and focus more on Jesus and building His Church. And it started with me cutting my dreads off. God took me on this journey of selflessness at College. It was here that I realised it is not about me. Life is not about me. And that was a hard lesson. But that’s what this environment does. Your life changes here. This environment gets you out of your preconceived mindsets, and has you start falling in love with building the Church, raising other people, building up yourself to live a life more Christlike.
“ I WA S O N A J O U R N E Y OF DISCOVERING HOW TO FOCUS LE SS ON MYSELF AND FOCUS MORE ON JE SUS AND BUILDING H I S C H U R C H .”
How does it feel to be returning to the USA? It wasn’t until the beginning of this year, when Pastor Brian said “We’re launching College in America”, that I thought, “So God, You actually intended for me to shake the youth of the nation back in America.” As a trainer, you have the opportunity to impact nations. So seeing what God did through me here, to then pastoring and teaching students from all over the world, to now getting to do that in America… It’s an opportunity of a lifetime. It brings me back to that prophecy all those years ago. Back to where the journey started. What are you personally believing for as you head into this next season as the principal of Hillsong College USA? To keep doing what we’ve been doing - to raise, equip, empower, and release. To disciple more young people. To pull the gold. To put people on the leadership journey – whether it’s vocational ministry or business spheres. To have a heart and passion to build the local church. For my family, I want to keep doing what we’ve been doing – loving each other. Loving God. Loving His Church. That won’t change. Hopefully we’ll grow in number too. How do you think Hillsong College will reach and impact the church in America? It’s an opportunity to impact people who might not necessarily be able to make it to Australia. It’ll be such a huge blessing to Hillsong Churches across America. And it’s more opportunity to see the church expand – Hillsong Churches across America, and across the globe! Graduates will make an impact across the nation. Advice to someone thinking about applying? Do it. Just do it. Don’t wait. It will transform your life. It did mine. If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve? Impacting as many students as possible that have come through our doors and home and church.
QUICK FIRE USA ROUND Favourite takeout? Chick-Fil-A or In-N-Out (no difference) Favourite football team? Dallas Cowboys Favourite state to visit? Arizona of course… But I like visiting Colorado. Definitely one of the favourites – great memories associated with it. Thanksgiving or Halloween? Thanksgiving! United or American airlines? United Oprah or Ellen? Oprah Favourite American cereal? Toaster Strudels Walmart or Bass Pro shops? Walmart. Firstly the people you get to see there are unreal. On top of that, you can get your car serviced, groceries bought, choice beverage, electric scooter it’s the best!
W H AT D O E S H AV I N G C O L L E G E IN THE USA ME AN TO YOU?
A LLI S ON W ILLI A M S Diploma Student Tenessee, USA
The United States doesn’t have a shortage of religious institutions whose sole purpose is to indoctrinate people on Christianity. We have plenty of those. But our nation is in a desperate need for an effective, hands-on training ground that cultivates leaders in building & growing fruitful churches that will impact today’s generations and generations to come. Hillsong College making its way to the USA will be a ground-breaking spectacle in our country and I wholeheartedly believe that we will see a movement of believers from all walks of life uniting for the cause of Christ & His Church.”
M Y LE S T HOR PE Advanced Diploma Student California, USA
“I believe that Hillsong College USA is going to empower the local church in America to reach new heights and raise up the next generation of leaders! I’m so pumped to see the influence of our ‘world-class’ college expand to America!”
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Hopefully knees deep in a chipotle burrito paid for by my highachieving wife.
LOGA N MC DA NIEL Diploma Student
What is one thing you’re still believing for God to do in your life? Restore a full-childlike response to the gift of the gospel in my heart and mind. To see my calling, my relationships, and my identity as the gifts Jesus has labored to give me and to receive it with thankfulness. What is one thing you always use from your roommate but never tell them? It’s toothpaste for sure. Johan you know I love you.
What is the biggest change you have seen in yourself since first coming to Hillsong College? I’ve grown a greater respect for viewpoints that differ from mine. Meeting people from a wide range of backgrounds and seeing church done in a way that is completely different from what I’ve known has shown me the value of diversity in which God moves and operates in His church. What has been the biggest challenge for you since coming to Hillsong College? Pursuing calling - without the motive of insecurity or pride. In a place designed to equip and empower you for your calling, I found myself becoming very ego-centred to the point where God was merely a character in my own story. I came pursuing ministry for the purpose of my own self-validation, when in reality I’m the character in His story of restoration, and thus created to worship Him and be His.
What is your “go-to” meal while on the student budget? Peanut butter and honey sandwiches are my current snack of choice, although I’m always looking for new ways to eat an egg. Who was your childhood role model? My older brother Jordan. He’s taught me everything I know. If you could have dinner with any celebrity, who would it be and why? Hands down the Queen of England. I’ve never been to the UK, but I can imagine we’d drink tea and laugh and try on her hats. If you had to choose one trainer to be stranded on a desert island with, who would it be, and why? Probably Chris Parkes because he could reach the high hanging fruits that I couldn’t.
JAME S MC CABE
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? With some sort of dumpling sponsorship so I can eat dumplings for free.
JA ME S MC C A BE Worship Music Trainer
What is your favourite class to teach and why? I really love teaching music theory classes. For the longest time, I hated learning music theory and refused to accept that it was going to help me as a musician, but one day it just clicked and now I nerd out on it. I get a kick out of helping it click for people who are in the same place I was in. What has been the biggest change you have seen in yourself since you first ever came to Hillsong College? I eat wayyyyyy more Thai food now. What is one thing you’re still believing for God to do in your life? I want to be the best dad ever. I’m still learning how to be a great husband, but if God can get me to where I am now, then I am sure He can make even someone as immature as me into someone who is exactly what his children need.
What is one piece of advice you could give to current and prospect Hillsong College students? The idea I have tried (and failed, and tried again) to live by is simply this: just keep showing up. In your studies, your relationships, your dreams, your goals; in whatever you’re pursuing, just keep showing up. God can do bombastically crazy things with someone who is consistent. What is your most embarrassing platform moment? As both a worship leader and an MD I have many times looked around the stage trying to figure out who is playing/singing the wrong thing, only to realise that it is, of course, myself. What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate, for sure. I buy it way faster than I eat it, too. So my fridge at home has something like fourteen blocks of chocolate in it (and two boxes of Maltesers, because why not?). If I were to be more specific, my real weakness is the big Oreo eggs that come out around Easter. Who was your childhood role model? Spider-Man. Still is, likely always will be. Before you came to Hillsong College, what were you known for? As my previous answer probably foretells - I take the whole SpiderMan fandom thing pretty seriously. People tend to learn this about me early in our friendship!
JUDITH SUTER Following her schooling in her home country of Switzerland, Judith wasn’t sure of what career path to follow. She worked as a teacher’s assistant before coming to College, and afterwards found herself asking God for a sign regarding her next step. Soon after, so many hints about Australia and Hillsong College randomly crossed her path until finally she decided to do it.
“Don’t worry what other people think!” I always worried about this. It affected how I spoke, how I dressed, what I did. Now I just think we should pick and choose whose opinion matters. Whose words we actually want to speak into our lives. College does such a great job in not limiting creativity to, ‘oh you sing, you’re creative; you play the drums, you’re creative,’ but in whatever way you express yourself - that’s creativity. The sound people, they’re creative; preachers forming their words, they’re creative too. This environment places value on all creatives, not boxing people in, but letting them out. To me, creativity is expressing who you are without words.
“ TO ME, C R E AT I V I T Y I S E XPRE SSING WHO YOU ARE WITHOUT W O R D S .”
What is a motto you live by? I recently started an Instagram account called @borntoloveothers. Jesus always said we should love people with whatever we do, so my motto is: Born to love people. How long have you been doing lettering? A little more than two and half years. It’s been quite journey. It looked so bad when I first started, now it actually looks kind of nice. That’s why I think whatever skill you want, you can work to achieve it. I’m honestly not the best at freehand drawing. Writing on the other hand, you can make and follow patterns. Drawing is just too complex for me. I can do leaves but that’s pretty much where it ends. Sometimes we disqualify ourselves prematurely when exploring the full capacity of our creativity. There are windows of opportunity into previously unrecognised adventures right within our hands. This inspires us to learn to express ourselves in both familiar and unfamiliar ways.
What inspired and inspires you? I started doing calligraphy because I saw all of these people on Instagram with really nice handwriting. I said to myself, ‘I really want that too. If other people could do it, I could just try it too.’ I also had a big journal of stuff that inspires me. I’ve just been practising and copying what other people were and are doing. If you see someone doing something and you really want to do it, it is the practise you put into it that’s going to get you there. What is your creative process? I’m a visual person. I imagine what it would look like first and then try to bring that to paper or picture as best as I can. Sometimes it’s frustrating because in my mind it always looks better than what I can produce in the end. But if you take the time, do one piece of art every day, you will see big progress over a short amount of time. Have you ever felt uninspired and how did you stop your creativity from going stale? I’ve done it for almost two years now and at some point, it overwhelmed me until I decided, “I’m not doing this anymore.” The whole joy of it got lost in the technicalities, and so I took a break from it. I never over-spiritualised my gift, but instead tried to simply create something for people. This got me to understand that my gift is not my gift, it’s a gift from God for me to use, so I started doing it for myself and others. What’s next? Now I want to start a new project. I’m right handed, but I want to train my left hand to do the same writing my right hand is capable of, and I’m going to do it, I just don’t know when yet.
2 0 18 G R A D U AT E S , S TAY C O N N E C T E D !
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WHO ARE YOU BRINGING? This grand adventure redefines us, grows us and enlivens dreams previously undisclosed to us. Determined, we are awakened to purpose. Living everyday with vibrant intention, we are reminded and inspired, in spite of what it may look like, you are purposed. Experiencing the expanse of Him who is more, Him who made us to be more. Together, we are purposed. It begins with you. Pass on the experience of the Hillsong College journey to others.
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