|Education||THEOLOGY STUDY HITS THE MAINSTREAM|
The largest theological faculty in Australia has opened at Charles Sturt University, as more students incorporate religious study into regular university degrees. The university has formed a partnership with United Theological College to provide theological education to 300 people, more than half through distance education.
College Principal Sarah Mitchell said: "When the United College started, people were primarily coming here to prepare for the ministry, but we now have lay people wanting to continue their education and looking for an intelligent, challenging faith."
Meanwhile, Public Affairs Director at the Australian Catholic University, Peter Castleton, told The Australian that theology courses were the "new niche market for universities". He said that rising interest in theology had seen more than 700 students out of a total enrolment of 10,000 choose theology electives within their business, nursing, or social science degrees.
The number of students in undergraduate and masters programs had risen from 94 to 189 during the past five years. Nationwide, more than 4000 people study theology full-time. Although many of the oldest universities offer theology subjects, most students majoring in the area are at 28 private colleges and ACU.
The Australian 12:14pm 3/6/99