Keep an open mind and allow God to surprise you.
Cynthia Skruzny started her journey at the University of Divinity at Catholic Theological College when it was located in Clayton (now in East Melbourne). She had decided to audit a few units while raising her five children with her husband for her own interest and spiritual growth. A highlight in these early years was taking Human Sexuality with Fr Norman Ford SDB, as these classes provided insight into her own family life and experiences, and gave her a deeper understanding of Catholic ethics. As her children grew, Cynthia started to audit more units. Her lecturers eventually persuaded her to formally start working towards an award and helped her develop the skills in research and essay writing she needed to get the most from her studies. Cynthia graduated with a Bachelor of Theology in 2014 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, East Melbourne.
Having completed her degree, Cynthia was looking for ways to put what she had learnt into action. Her first instinct was to find a way to share what she had learnt, particularly with young people, so teaching was a natural step. She completed a Master of Education at Australian Catholic University, with a focus on religious art and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). This led Cynthia to a new passion – teaching English, particularly to students who had newly arrived in Australia. She currently teaches English and mentors students at Victoria University in Footscray. Her time at CTC gave her the right tools to work closely with people, and to speak to their experiences, particularly to the new students who had come as refugees or from countries suffering with violence and war.
Cynthia’s time at the University of Divinity also helped her make connections within her church such as the Anima Women’s Network and the Catholic Women’s League, which she finds invaluable.
What was the highlight for you during your time at the UD?
The highlight for me was meeting people with the same aspirations to glorify God. There was a sense of communion, fraternity, unity that reminded me what heaven must be like. That joy to be amongst the brothers and sisters.
What advice would you give those studying at the UD about life after study?
If one door closes another will open. God will open doors for you. Keep an open mind and allow God to surprise you.
What advice would you give future students or those just starting out?
If they are there to study, it is not because they have chosen to be there. It is because God took the first initiative and aroused, ignited their soul to begin a personal relationship with Him. God will take them on an adventure, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where man is often too afraid to go. Saint Jerome said, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”.
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