NEXT Core Experience
A simple faith is fine when life is straightforward.
But a faith that doesn’t grow up and become more complex will get left behind when the going gets tough because it just feels so naive and cliche in the light of real life challenges and hardship.
The Core of NEXT follows the academic calendar and provides a dynamic experience of exploration, learning and discovery that draws upon the ancient and contemporary Christian traditions of:
- Spiritual formation
- Theological exploration
- Bible investigation and interpretation
- Leadership development
In each of these ways, the Core experience helps you figure out what it is you believe, why you believe it and help you to test to see if your beliefs are strong enough to see you into the future.
FIRST YEAR CORE EXPERIENCE
Because you can undertake NEXT over one, two or three years, the core experience is a little different in each year. All students starting NEXT will participate in the First Year Core Experience which takes place over 2 days each week and includes:
Each day will commence with individual and corporate spiritual practices – but don’t think ‘devotions’! Across the course of the year these times will help you to uncover the unique ways you engage with God and nurture an awakening to His activity in your life and in the world around you. Diving into this aspect of NEXT means you can complete the Diploma unit: DS0002W Experiencing God.
Each week we will explore an aspect of the Christian tradition as well as engaging and responding to the beliefs of other religious communities in Australia. Even though it can be a little confronting as you experience this diversity, the NEXT process helps you to carefully examine your own beliefs and develop a creed that is strong enough to thrive in this complexity. Getting this aspect of NEXT under your belt means you will have completed the Diploma Unit: CT0150W Developing Theological Insight
Bible Investigation & Interpretation
For some, the Bible is “Sacred Scripture” while for others, its just plain weird or irrelevant. Each week we will explore this ancient text together in order to discover the BIG story told by Scripture as well as to develop your own skills in interpreting the Bible so that you can learn to hear God’s voice from within His Word. We’ll also spend a fair bit of time exploring the life of Christ, piecing together the impact of his revolutionary life. Tackling this part of NEXT means you can complete the Diploma Unit BS0131W Engaging the Bible.
Bringing faith to life is about living purposefully. Each week through personal coaching and small group work you will be guided through a carefully crafted programme that clarifies who you are, what is important to you, and how to begin to live out your faith in ways that are true to yourself and faithful to God’s call on your life. Working through this aspect of NEXT means you can complete the Diploma Unit DP0150W Discipleship and Purposeful Living.
Community Time & Growth Experiences
Each week we also spend a good chunk of time together – often out and about exploring and experiencing stuff that brings your faith and the NEXT process to life. It’s really important to us that your faith is not just something you think about, but is something you actively do and discover and experience. Your life is asking the questions, but we suspect that you will find answers in the lives of others, in the classroom of culture, in the vitality of experience all sorted and tested through the wisdom of the Christian tradition and the insight of Scripture.
THE SECOND YEAR CORE EXPERIENCE
NEXT students continuing on to a second and/or third year will undertake the Core in a condensed form. You will continue to engage in spiritual formation, theological exploration, Bible investigation as well as personal and leadership development through a dynamic process of coaching and small group work. This personalised process will take place over one afternoon per week. The second year core experience is particularly designed to provide a context in which you can continue to integrate your ongoing learning in NEXT by taking advantage of the personalised coaching environment.