From the Newsroom to the Pulpit

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From the Newsroom to the Pulpit

Current student Benjamin Shuhyta had a 25-year career as a broadcast journalist before heading into church ministry. According to Benjamin, it was a very natural transition.

“While I was a journalist, I was also a Bible study leader, a worship leader, I served on the committee of management, I served as an elder,” Benjamin explains. “So these things are ministry, but what I realised I needed was more time to devote to ministry. And so probably for the last five or so years of my journalism career, I felt the need for more time to devote to ministry and to supporting my church.”

Benjamin didn’t grow up in a Christian home. He came to know Christ through primary school Scripture teaching.

“The Scripture teacher really convinced me that I was in need of a Saviour, that my life wasn’t right before God. And that was not something that I could sort out myself,” Benjamin shares. “So she encouraged me to put my faith in Jesus, which I did. And then at her prompting and with my parents’ encouragement, I read the Bible and prayed for several years before I met someone who went to church. It wasn’t until high school that I met someone who went to church. And I went along with them.”

After graduating high school, Benjamin had a stint in the Air Force before embarking on a career in broadcast journalism.

In 2021 Benjamin commenced a part-time pastoral assistant role with his church, Port Macquarie Presbyterian, while also undertaking part-time theological study with Christ College.

“I really enjoyed my time as a journalist, but I found that I was just generating conversation starters for people,” Benjamin says. “I wanted to get in and talk about things that really matter. A calling to the ministry was a way that I could have those conversations about things that really matter. Instead of just generating conversation starters, I’d be able to go deeper and talk to people about things that are eternally significant.”

Benjamin explains that because he wanted to become a minister at a Presbyterian church, he needed to study through Christ College and become a candidate.

“I knew College was necessary from a bureaucratic perspective, just ticking the boxes,” Benjamin admits. “But I’ve come to realise it was so necessary for my formation as a minister.”

Studying on campus part-time for Benjamin has involved huge commitment. Each week he catches a midnight train from Wauchope and arrives in Sydney just in time to start the day’s lectures. He stays overnight with friends locally, and then catches the train home after a second day of classes.

“We decided we wanted to do it that way because that was less of an impact for my family than moving everyone to Sydney and getting into full-time study there,” Benjamin explains. “My wife has a business here, and my kids are in high school, so to minimise the impact on them, we decided to do it that way. And it’s been life-changing.”

“I’ve really benefited from the care that the lecturers have shown, not just in delivering high quality lectures, but also in the way they care for me outside of classes. They actually genuinely care about your formation. They’re not just delivering for their pay packet.” 

Because he has studied in a part-time capacity, Benjamin was intentional from the start about getting involved in the college community.

“So that means attending the lunches that are put on on Tuesdays that have a keynote speaker, plus Wednesday chapel services followed by pastoral care groups,” Benjamin says. “I also served on the student representative council, doing some work for the college around communications and the library, which put me in contact with a lot of students and a lot of lecturers.”

Now in his final semester, preparing for full-time pastoral ministry next year, Benjamin cannot understate the value of studying at Christ College.

“Christ College has a very well-developed model for forming the whole student,” he says. “It’s far more than academic knowledge. It’s pastoral care and counselling, it’s service and mission. You’re not just getting an academic qualification at Christ College. You’re being formed for a calling to ministry.”


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