“I’ve learned that it’s ok to challenge an expert’s ideas, and that the Christian community flourishes from questions.” 

The freedom to explore his beliefs in a new light has revolutionised Joel Hingston’s faith. Studying the Bachelor of Theology through AC’s Baulkim Hills campus was the right fit for Joel who attends Hillsong Church and currently works as a trainer at Hillsong International Leadership College. Joel says, “Studying with AC has allowed my understanding of faith to be challenged. Largely due to the wide variety of sources and perspectives that AC’s courses employ, I was encouraged to question and analyse views and to think critically. There has been a nice level of freedom throughout my studies that allowed me to search my system of beliefs in a safe and well guided environment. Now at the end of my Bachelor’s Degree my faith is stronger and more vibrant because of this freedom.”

Joel Hingston

Studying beyond the basics of doctrine and biblical studies was where Joel’s revelation transpired, “The adventure takes place when handling other areas of focus that aren’t as set in stone. I found that AC prioritises critical thought married with historical research, which made for an invigorating experience and freedom of imagination. I was able to seek God and study biblical text in a way that I found relevant and fresh, as well as being holistically informed and well researched.” Moved by the ethics class, Joel was led to rethink his views on animal treatment, environmental issues and stewardship. Joel says, “I make active efforts to not support the killing of animals or the processing of animal products. I am convinced that living this way would be better for my own health and the health of the environment, as well as decreasing my participation in the global systems that maintain the lack of balance and justice for humans and animals alike.”  

A standout for Joel has been his study of the Koine Greek language which transformed his understanding of how the Bible was put together saying, “It really helped bring the New Testament (and other ancient texts) to life and has given me tools to help with my own hermeneutics and understanding of the message of the text.” Learning to be comfortable with paradox has led Joel to gain the insight that balance and context are key when considering perspectives and views. Joel says, “I’ve learned that it’s ok to challenge an expert’s ideas, and that the Christian community flourishes from questions.” 

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