Graduations normally take place in early July but with a slight delay due to on-going restrictions, summer graduations are taking place in late August. However, we didn’t want to miss out of celebrating some of our upcoming graduates. In the second of two interviews (the first is here) we hear from Lal Dhillon about life at College and what the future holds.

Lal and fellow classmates at coffee time during his second year

After much reading, writing, and learning, you’ve arrived at your graduation, looking back over the 4 years at SBC what are your highlights?

Honestly, my whole experience at the College was excellent, but if I had to pick one highlight it would probably be preaching class in year two. I was quite anxious about preaching, but the class really helped to build my confidence and find a preaching voice which was natural and authentic to who I was and what my faith journey has been. It also helped to shape my understanding of narrative theology and ministry: there were lessons in that class that carried all the way through to my final year placement and my dissertation.  

You did some excellent work for your final dissertation projects – can you summarise what you looked at and why you think it was good for you to look at it?

My dissertation was an interesting one. I wanted to look at church in the 21st century, and how we can respond to things like the end of Christendom and the Post-modern turn. I ended up doing a comparative analysis of Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost against the work of Stanley Hauerwas, two perspectives which I was influenced by but which were in many ways quite strongly opposed. Getting to put those different perspectives together and really analyse where they worked and where they had problems was really good fun, and it helped to give me a much more nuanced perspective on mission and ecclesiology.  

A lot can happen in 4 years, when you started the degree did you envisage where you’d be at the end of it?

If I’m honest I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I applied to the College. I was just looking forward to going back to university, and I was hoping to grow and have a good time, which I definitely did. Looking back, I don’t think I expected that so many of my personal views would be challenged and developed – I feel like a much more well-rounded person than I did going in.  

What comes next? Do you know your next step or are you still waiting for the next opportunity?

If I’m really honest I’m still figuring all of that out. I’m praying about a few jobs with churches which have emerged, and I’m weighing up the idea of further study – although that might still be a year or two off! As it stands though I’m really enjoying having some time off and being able to write for fun as well as for deadlines.

Well done, Lal! We look forward to seeing you graduate and step out into your next chapter wherever that is!