From Construction to Christ College
Francesco (Frankie) Cutri isn’t one of the majority at Christ College. Unlike most other students, he doesn’t have ties with a Presbyterian Church—rather, he’s from a church that’s part of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches.
Frankie grew up in a nominal Roman Catholic family in Western Sydney. All the way through his Catholic primary school and Catholic high school, Frankie never heard the truth of the gospel.
That changed at the age of 20.
“Through a series of events, I ended up at the church I’m a part of now—the Church of the Risen King Jesus,” Frankie explains. “My mum actually invited me. I heard the gospel laid out clearly for the first time, and I was really taken aback by it.”
After hearing the gospel explained for the first time that Sunday, God started working in his heart.
“I started coming back week after week,” Frankie says. “I felt the weight of my sin and the Lord opened my eyes to see His holiness, and to see that I needed Jesus. So over the course of a few weeks, I was saved.”
At the time, Frankie was working in the construction industry. He had been doing that for about four years before he decided to undertake a ministry apprenticeship at his church. When he concluded the apprenticeship, he moved into a pastoral assistant role at his church—which ultimately led to him seeking further theological study.
“I chose to undertake theological study because I wanted a solid foundation—to continue to grow and learn as I minister to God’s people,” Frankie says. “I think that learning the Bible, the orthodox doctrines of the faith, the original languages, and church history—it’s all super important for anyone going into full-time ministry.”
Initially, Frankie did the Cornhill preaching course. A few of the guys he met through Cornhill were from Presbyterian churches, and when Frankie mentioned his desire to begin studying theology full-time, they recommended Christ College.
“To be honest, after the first Open Day at Christ College, I was pretty much sold,” Frankie admits. “Deciding where to study wasn’t a big wrestle. I chose Christ College because it’s confessional, so I knew what I was going to get. And when I went to the Open Day, they held the local church in a very high regard, which is something I wanted.”
Frankie has loved this past year of studying at Christ College. “The things that you learn in class really get you thinking, and it’s allowed for a lot of wrestling with my own convictions,” Frankie explains. “I had a lot of assumed beliefs, and they get challenged within the college environment. That’s been really helpful.”
It hasn’t been without its challenges.
“Learning how to write essays has been hard,” Frankie shares. “I often want to go straight to the devotionals, but I was pushed to think academically—which was a challenge, but also a blessing at the same time.”
Frankie is grateful for the way God has worked in him and through him over this past year of study.
“He’s deepened my convictions around the importance of the gospel, which has allowed for a greater appreciation for who He is and what He’s done for us,” Frankie reflects. “Learning about His Word and getting to know God more with the help of His Spirit—allows for a greater appreciation of Him and a deeper love for Him as I learn more about our Lord through His Word.”
Elyse Balzer grew up in a ministry family, but it’s only since…