Rev Dr Christine Sorensen began as the Uniting Church WA Presbytery Minister (Formation and Discipleship) back in February this year. This edition she shares some of her passions for theological education with us.
What is your role at the Uniting Church WA?
The role of Presbytery Minister is mainly working with candidates for ministry with other lay education and continuing education responsibilities. I have worked in theological education for lay and ordained ministries for nearly 40 years. Nearly 20 of those years were in Pakistan in women’s theological education, working with the minority church in a majority Muslim context.
What are the most significant changes in the sector and why?
I think in theological education there has been a shift to a more person-centred and transformational educational focus, where we are more intentional about formation. Secondly, as the church continues to struggle to respond to missional changes in the world, we need to form people for ministry in a wholistic way and, at the same time, form them for a missional response.
What’s your favourite quote?
There are many quotes that catch my imagination as I read, but one I read many years ago, and have lost where it came from, is a challenge to all of us in the church: “we already know far more about Jesus than we ever put into practice.”
For me this is a challenge for myself to live my faith, but also to help others to continue to think through what it means to follow Jesus, knowing that we are never going to exhaust either knowing or doing what we know.
What are you currently reading?
At the moment I’m reading Laughing at the Devil about Julian of Norwich by Amy Laura Hall. I’m fascinated at how, in an age of plague and destruction and in a highly stratified hierarchical society, this turn of the 14th to 15th century woman could speak with such theological clarity. Her deep trust in the love of God in the midst of all that is happening in her world infiltrates a theology that is gentle yet practical and political.