One of our students, Callum Mansfield, is studying a Bachelor of Theology at MST. But rather than serving in ‘vocational’ ministry, Callum is a seasoned theatre director, choreographer and performer, immersed in the world of the performing arts. His resume is fascinating, having worked on many large scale productions over the years, including the 2018 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, the national tours of Mary Poppins, The King & I and Dirty Dancing. He began his career in the industry performing as the Young Peter Allen in the original tour of The Boy from Oz.
In 2020, while AFL fans from around the nation, and indeed the world, watched the Grand Final in Queensland for the first time, little did they know that the half time entertainment was choreographed by a bible college student!
“The entire entertainment industry had come to a grinding halt (in 2020), so when I was approached to choreograph the AFL Grand Final with a colleague of mine, there was no other option but to dive in head first!”
Callum reflects on his AFL grand final experience, and how it nearly didn’t happen.
“Although I was soaked to my knees as I swept a muddy river out of the flooded dressing room for 300 people just 10 minutes before the game began after being hit with the biggest storm Queensland had received all year, the skies cleared as the National Anthem was sung at the top of the game and we were given the all-clear that the half-time entertainment would go ahead.”
Callum and his wife, Jasmine, met while performing together and now have a young family. Callum says it was Jasmine who stirred him to reflect on how he might bring glory to God through his unique vocation. “She helped awaken my faith to be more than just head knowledge, but a heart and affection to bring Him glory in all areas of my life.” He describes how God “stirred up a thirst and hunger in my heart to know Him more and worship him more deeply.”
This reinvigoration of Callum’s faith has led Jasmine and their family to join an Acts 29 church plant, and for Callum, to commence studying a Bachelor of Theology at MST as a part-time, online student.
Juggling all of these commitments during this COVID season has been tricky to say the least. “To say it was crazy was an understatement. But the Lord is gracious and drew near in this busy time. My incredibly supportive wife held the fort at home.” Callum, like so many of our students, has had to work through balancing his desire to study with the day to day needs of work and home. He remembers that after he’d sent an email to his Greek lecturers at MST about his capacity to cope, they quickly responded, offering greater flexibility for his study hours and, more importantly, praying for him.
“I was encouraged and uplifted as God worked through his people as I continued to try to glorify Him in ALL areas of my life.”