Hannah Stewart

2006-2008 / Bachelor of Ministries (Henderson campus)

2011-2014 / Master of Theology (Henderson Campus)


THE STUDY

I arrived at College thinking I'd be focusing on biblical studies. However, after almost flunking Hebrew, and simultaneously developing a love for theology, I abandoned the biblical scholar route and proceeded to cram as many theology papers into my three years as possible! I was a little shy in class that first year, but by my third semester, I was one of the main contributors of questions and comments!


THE FOOD

Let's be honest, the College meals were filling but seldom fabulous. My very first night on campus, having just bid farewell to my parents, I went off the dining room... to a meal of macaroni cheese and potatoes! Something had gone wrong with the veggies, I don't remember if there was a meat dish. On the plus side, if you happened to enjoy that evening's fare, you could usually get it again as the chef's lunch special in the College café the next day. Soggy spinach balls, chocolate pudding, Sunday soup and scones, and the rice pudding served in firm squares. So many food memories, and many, many good conversations over meals, sometimes serious and often humorous!


THE PARTIES

We girls in the women's halls seemed to be able to find the smallest excuse to have a party. Birthday parties, supper parties, chocolate parties. And then there were the many conversations held in the bathroom or the hallway, accompanied by "I really must go study," and "can you please not chat outside my door?" Wonderful times of fellowship.


College was where I grew up. Literally. I began my BMin in 2006 at seventeen and a half, the youngest female student to ever enrol. In 2014 I finally graduated with my Master's degree. I learned and grew and developed my theological voice at the very time I was maturing into a young adult. Beginning my studies at Laidlaw put me on a path of life and ministry which I am still walking, eager to see where it leads. College is also where I blossomed, where I became myself. Having spent my whole life feeling like a square peg in a round hole, I finally found a square hole where I fitted. I even met some other square pegs.

At the tail end of my Master's, I began searching for a university (as well as the money) to do my PhD. For a time, no doors seemed to open. In late 2016, however, I was awarded an international scholarship to pursue a PhD in systematic theology... in Germany! I finally arrived there to begin my degree in late September 2017.


After two and a half years in Germany, I returned to NZ to camp out at my parents' place in the Far North whilst finishing my doctoral thesis. I'm now waiting for it to be graded, with my thesis defense taking placing in June 2022. I believe I will be going into some form of teaching.


I am grateful to God for the wonderful and supportive lecturers and admin staff at BCNZ/Laidlaw, for the many wonderful relationships I formed, and for the learning that has shaped my life.


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