Things I Never Expected To Happen At Theological College

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GUEST POST:// Kate Pellereau is a first year ordinand at Wycliffe Hall and is from the Diocese of Oxford. To celebrate Michaelmas (term one) being over, she offers a tongue-in-cheek run-down of unexpected things she’s learnt this term.

Over the summer the question I was asked most: ‘What will you be doing when you get to theological college?’ I didn’t have any answer, and just told them I would have to wait and see. Now we are in December I am reflecting on my first term. A few events have happened that I did expect, but a lot has happened that I didn’t, here are a few edited highlights:

  1. One of my friends, when approaching men on dating sites, would use questions from the Heidelberg Catechism as her opening lines.
  2. That I’d discover the corridor I live on used to be known as ‘Little Geneva,’ due to the highly reformed nature of the people who lived there. I suggested to the current inhabitants that we should re-name it ‘Little San Salvador,’ due to my love of liberation theology. This did not take flight.
  3. That after my friend referred to the ESV as the ‘extra special version,’ I would endlessly come up with new acronyms. Could the NRSV be renamed as the ‘new really special version?’
  4. That the most exciting part of the day would be lunchtime when everyone who forgot to order lunch would be endlessly refreshing the Facebook group to try and get someone else’s.
  5. That I would discover a whole new vocabulary that in 32 years I had never understood. Why can’t patristics just be ‘early church fathers? Or people studying ecclesiology just say they’re looking at church stuff? This is the reason why if I ever wrote a Christian book, it would probably be titled: ‘Theology for Basic Bitches.’
  6. That there is basically a WhatsApp group for everything and you endless get forced to join them. When is too soon to mute them? Is it pastorally okay to leave one, or is that a bit passive aggressive? (Editor’s note: Yes, Kate, I would be very offended if you left the following groups: Preaching Dream Team, Not The Moltmann Fan Club, and WHATSUPP WYCLIFFE.’
  7. The best moment of the week would be community notices. This is after fellowship groups and everyone gathers together to hear about what is going on. My trick is if the breakfast at your group was a bit sub-pa, try and find the group with the best option and beg off them. There are always cookies somewhere.
  8. That although I am loving learning Greek, I haven’t actually learnt anything useful. Can I say, ‘hello, my name is?’ No, but I can say ‘Peter and Paul are walking through the crowd, while the children are going to untie the boat. ‘
  9. Further to the above: that the only way I would remember Greek prepositions would be associating them with dates. Meta and the genitive: go on a date WITH Jen. Meta and accusative: you can only accuse someone of being a prat AFTER the date.
  10. Don’t worry, I will end on a high. After 11 years of living by myself I was nervous to live in a room again. Yes, it has been hard. But I’ve never made friends quicker and already I have people I know will sustain me and love me for the rest of my life. It’s soppy, but it’s true.

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