Giving a night a week to learn more about God

Having tried my hardest to give up RE GCSE at school I never would have predicted I’d end up studying theology, ministry and mission at university level, but God had other plans.”

by Jenny Falcon Otero (née O’Hara)

My life has changed dramatically since I began my studies at Trinity. I signed up very last minute (a recurring theme in my life) to study the part-time certificate at Trinity College after coming home from New Wine in 2017 feeling fired up and frustrated. Let me explain. In January 2016 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which promptly put an end to my occupational therapy studies and left me feeling a bit deserted by God – this wasn’t the first time my health had put an end to a chosen career path in my 24 years! I knew God had called me into mission work but felt so frustrated that no mission agencies seemed to want to accept me, even on a short-term mission, with my diagnosis. I decided that if I had to wait, it couldn’t do any harm to learn a bit more about God and the Bible while I did so, if only there was somewhere I could study part-time… Then Trinity popped up on my Google search and I put out some feelers (filled in an application form a week before term began) and ended up being accepted.

From the first minute I arrived and made that long trek up to Howard’s [Trinity Tutor in Missiology Revd Dr Howard Worsley] office for my interview I just knew that I belonged there. Everything about the college and the people in it was just so me. Having tried my hardest to give up RE GCSE at school I never would have predicted I’d end up studying theology, ministry and mission at university level but God had other plans. I just couldn’t wait to start!

I won’t pretend it was all easy, trying to keep up with the pre-reading, assignments, getting to and from college from the other side of town in rush hour, and having to work as well was a challenge, but I came to long for my Tuesday evenings at college. The community we built there was wonderful, the lectures top quality (even if you do leave questioning everything) and the food – just wow!

Since commencing my studies, I have grown both as a Christian and as a person and have discovered my calling. As I entered my second year, I knew God had more for me, so, after another week at New Wine I applied (last minute once again!) to the Church Army to be a commissioned evangelist. Following a year-long discernment process, I was accepted and I began my studies there in September 2019 immediately after finishing at Trinity. I was so sad to leave the college behind, but I am so grateful for the journey I have been on there, the friends I have made, and the ways God has shaped me and revealed himself to me in that place. During those two years I also got engaged and we were married less than two weeks before my first training residential with Church Army – talk about a rollercoaster! It was an absolute privilege to study at such a wonderful place and I still keep in touch with my cohort now which is really lovely – some of them even came to my wedding.

I would like to thank all of the staff for making Trinity such a welcoming place that just felt like home. In particular I’d like to thank Jo Norman and Sue Gent who looked after us part-timers so well. Thank you Trinity for the two happy years I spent there and who knows, perhaps I’ll return to top up my degree once I’ve finished at Church Army?!

Want to learn more about part-time Tuesday evening study at Trinity? Join us for an Open Evening on 7 July 2020. Email to find out more about the evening, or about part-time study at Trinity. Posted June 2020.

Jenny Falcon Otero (née O'Hara)

Jenny (Trinity 2019) is an Evangelist-in-Training with the Church Army.

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