Welcome to the 2022 academic year! First semester will shortly commence at the University of Divinity, and some classes have already begun over the summer.
It is a pleasure at long last to welcome new international students back to onsite study at the University’s Colleges for the first time in two years. The insights you bring to the University from many different contexts and cultures enriches us all. In return, we look forward to helping you prepare for service and leadership wherever you are called to be in the years ahead.
Staff and students across the University have shown extraordinary resilience throughout the pandemic. The year ahead promises, at last, to be one of relative stability as we move away from the use of lockdowns. With high levels of vaccination, greater understanding of transmission and treatment of COVID-19, and, indeed, increased expertise in how to make best use of educational technology, we can look forward to a return to onsite learning.
Each of our Colleges, programs and libraries has a COVID safe plan in place, to ensure you can teach and learn in as safe an environment as possible. Some of you will choose to continue to study online; others will be looking forward to a return to the physical classrooms. Many classes are available in blended mode, so you can switch from onsite to online if, for example, you need to isolate for a week.
For those of you studying onsite, whether in regular classes, attending a library, or participating in extra-curricular events, there are simple steps you can take to keep yourselves and others as safe as possible:
- ensure your vaccinations are up to date, including booster shots
- wear a face mask indoors
- maintain social distancing
I very much look forward to celebrating the academic achievements of our graduates at our forthcoming Melbourne Graduation ceremony on 25 March at St Paul’s Cathedral. As in 2021, this will be an onsite, live-streamed ceremony with COVID safe protocols in place.
May 2022 be an opportunity for us all to learn, teach, study and research as we seek to address the many needs of our world, as we grow in wisdom, and as we seek to serve others in justice and love.
Professor Peter Sherlock is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Divinity. He is a cultural and religious historian of Renaissance and Reformation Europe and an expert on governance and leadership in educational and church settings. A graduate of the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford, his academic career has included an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship in History at the University of Melbourne and four years as Dean of the United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne.