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Art and Theology – a match made in Heaven

2 March 2016 | General Interest

BBI caught up with Rose McAllister at her latest art exhibition to hear how she has drawn inspiration from her study, leading to a deeper understanding of religion, faith and spirituality.

Rose is no ordinary high school teacher, she is an exceptional artist, a mother and a UON-BBI Master of Theology student. Inspired to connect on a higher level with her students, she embarked on her Masters with BBI three years ago.

“Last summer I enrolled in Advanced Studies in Spirituality, which was a course based on Mary MacKillop. I knew a little bit about Mary but this allowed me to gain a really deep understanding of the great woman she was and what she did for our country.

“I have been really inspired artistically and conceptually from what I’m studying at BBI, and a lot of my recent work has been about faith and spirituality,” Rose said.

Online study at a higher education level has been a pleasant surprise for Rose, who has enjoyed the flexibility of studying during Summer Term and at other times that suit her lifestyle.

“When I first started the degree, I was a little apprehensive about my decision to begin this journey because I work fulltime and I have a growing family.

“I was surprised at the beginning of Semester 1, because BBI’s Student Services team called and left voice messages on my phone. I was a bit unsure who it was at first but they persisted and called me back to see how I was going with my study – they really wanted to make that human connection with me,” Rose said.

Rose is the Religious Studies Coordinator at San Clemente High School, Newcastle. Although she has a background in visual arts, Rose wanted to learn more about theology so she could critically engage her students on an academic level.

“I was inspired to study theology because I had been an RE teacher for a while, and I wanted to become more educated in the area. I wanted to connect on a higher level with my students.

“As teachers in the Catholic system, we are all religious educators and in many respects school is replacing the Church to educate our students about theology, so I would recommend this area of study to anybody.”

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