Emma has taken on the new role of Chaplain to students at Trinity College Queensland, as she continues in the second year of her Master of Divinity studies and in her formation as Minister of the Word.

Hi, Emma. Tell us a little bit more about yourself.

I was born and raised in Brisbane with my older sister Claire, by my Mum and Dad. For most of my working life I’ve been a high school teacher, apart from a couple of years living overseas in Japan, as well as working in the city in international business.

What has it been like to leave your job to study theology full time?

It took some adjustment … It’s a different lifestyle for sure. Balancing studies with part-time work, and having time to socialise, see family, and have down time was really challenging in my first year. Especially because theology gives my brain a regular ‘pretzelling’. But there are also those moments of clarity that make it all worth it.

As a student, what could you not live without?

Strong coffee, Zotero referencing software and those little sticky coloured labels for marking pages in books. They are the best thing ever.

When things get stressful how do you manage?

I get everything that is in my head out on paper … whether that’s a big to-do list, a spreadsheet, a calendar with all the due dates, or scribbling all my thoughts out in my journal. Then I pick what needs to be done first and get onto it. I also have some really great mentors who are really good to chat with.

How do you celebrate after you hand in a big assignment?

Well—full disclosure—I’m almost always handing them in at 11.59pm, one minute before it’s due. Usually by the time I do that I’m starving, so my guilty post-assignment pleasure is a midnight Maccas run!

What is a book from your studies that has made an impact on you?

I just finished a course called ‘Church, Sacraments and Ministry’ with Dr Vicki Lorrimar, and during it I came across a great book called Sunday Dinner: The Lord’s Supper and the Christian Life by William H. Willimon. I just love how he explains theology in a very relatable way.

Who are Wally and Murphy?

My two beautiful Burmese cats! Wally is three years old and Murphy is one. I love cats because they make lovely little companions. And just in case you’re worried about me, my friends have told me that two is the limit!