Oak Hill student Felix Stevenson reflects in conversation on what made the Oak Hill Open morning so helpful in deciding to respond to his calling to study theology.
I was looking for a theological education that would set me up for a lifetime of ministry ahead. I was convinced that coming to Oak Hill, having spoken to people who were studying here already, would give me the foundations for that. But it was actually coming to an Open morning was key to fitting all the blocks in place so that I was at a place where I could commit to coming.
At first I remember feeling a bit daunted, maybe a little uncertain. But I remember the Open morning staff being really good at answering questions and putting people at ease throughout the morning. You start the day being introduced to the core principles of the College, the ethos if you like. There is an opportunity to experience an Oak Hill lecture from staff teaching in their chosen speciality. Then there is a panel at the front answering peoples’ questions. I found this so useful because you get a real insight into what it’s like. It’s a really easy place for anyone to bring concerns or questions and have them heard by current students who have gone through similar situations themselves. This for me was a really significant insight into the flavour of College.
We often make decisions which have not been fully informed, that might be to do with circumstances or time limitations. The Open morning is especially geared for people who are just grappling with big questions. If you are unsure about theological education, unsure about coming to an Open morning, perhaps Oak Hill isn’t your number one choice, I would still recommend making the visit. It doesn’t matter how much you read or hear about a place. It’s not until you see the place, until you feel the place that you have an informed appreciation for what the place is like. There were a number of steps that helped me decide I wanted to study at Oak Hill, but the Open morning gave me a tangible experience. It linked what I had previously heard with what I experienced.
What do you have to lose?