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Info for Parents & Pastors

Parents

I am concerned my child won’t go back to studying…

Plunge is designed to equip young people to live a life that impacts their world in a Christ-like manner wherever that may be. We encourage students to follow their dreams and study the course that they had intended to do, but to do it with a fresh worldview built on the foundations that they have learnt during the year. The majority of our students continue on to further education in their chosen field and are better equipped to finish a degree as a result of their introduction to higher education at Morling College. This is in line with research findings which indicate students who take a gap-year are often more motivated in their higher-education study programs.

I am concerned for my son/daughter’s safety on an overseas cross-cultural trip…

The safety of your son or daughter is always a priority, not just overseas, but also in our community engagement days. Wherever we go we prepare the students, we monitor their responses to what they see and learn, and we debrief them. This is our regular practice. In addition to this, we travel on our cross-cultural trip as a part of a Global Interaction ‘Global Exposure’ trip which is designed for young adults to see and understand what missionaries are doing overseas and how they can respond to this. This means that we are connected with people and often staying with people who know the country and the language well, and are able to help us in case of an emergency. Our experience in taking groups overseas has shown this to work well and students have always come home safe and happy.

What do they get for the year at Plunge?

The students receive a Diploma of Christian Studies or a Certificate in Ministry, as well as a First Aid Certificate and many other life- and ministry-related skills.

How will this course benefit them in the future?

Alongside the biblical knowledge that students gain, they also learn life skills such as conflict management, understanding personality, personal budgeting, learning about leadership style, first aid, public speaking, interpersonal skills, understanding different cultures and situations, ability to reflect upon challenges, problem-solving techniques, and so much more. All of these things help our students to get a great head start as a whole person, to solidify the foundation of Christ in their lives, and be better equipped to live lives that positively impact others.

I am concerned my child will be wasting a year when they could be at university and on their way to a career…

With an average drop-out rate of 17% (The Australian, October 20, 2010), many students going to university do not know what they really want to do, or why. We aim to give students a firm foundation of understanding themselves, their world, and their God, to help them either confirm or redirect their path before they need to withdraw from a course. Finishing high school and starting university are very difficult times for young adults, and so we have designed a course that, alongside biblical study, builds character, life skills and experience in a supportive environment to better prepare students for their future.

Why do they need to study the Bible full-time if they are not going to be in full-time ministry?

As Christians, our world view is significantly impacted by our understanding of the Bible. If we are able to better understand the Bible, theology and other topics such as ethics, leadership and mission, we are able to further develop our world view and have a deeper understanding of it. This means that when we are questioned about our faith or challenged in our faith, we are able to stand firm in what we know to be true, because we also know why we believe it. This foundation helps us live as Christians in the world today.

Pastors’ questions…

Will the young person be drawn away from their current ministry commitments?

Plunge does as much as we can in our 3-day format on Tuesday–Thursday, so although students may have the occasional community engagement experience outside these hours, we do our best to make sure anything we do as Plunge doesn’t impact other ministry commitments that students have.

How will Plunge benefit our church?

We have a strong leadership component in our course. We often refer to Plunge as a year of intensive discipleship because that is our aim — to develop the whole person to be able to minister more effectively wherever God has placed them in life. Much of the learning of the Plunge student can be readily applied in their own ministry context.

Is it solid teaching?

We aim to have the best possible lecturers teach the courses that we offer. This includes many guest speakers who have a positive reputation in their field of expertise, as well as course coaches who have relevant qualifications and experience.

Why not encourage them to do full-time study such as a Bachelor of Ministry or Mobile College instead?

Plunge has been designed specifically for young people as a discipleship program which partners practical learning with real experience to a greater extent than many Bible college degrees allow. This means that young adults are able to have a more intensive growth experience in the 12-month period. There is a wide range of experiences in which students can take part in Plunge that are currently not available as a part of any other ministry course. These experiences and intensive discipleship mean that young people have a chance to grow up and develop their understanding of theology, ministry and their calling before committing  to a lengthy period of degree-level study. The Diploma and Certificate are able to be articulated up to higher levels of study should the student decide to continue with further biblical or theological study.

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