Faculty & Staff

Faculty members at Stirling won’t just help you graduate, they will help you learn and grow.

At Stirling Theological College, our faculty are passionate about empowering and resourcing students for meaningful service and ministry. They are committed to expressions of the local church in ministry and mission, to excellence in scholarship, and to holistic formation. Sharing a journey of faith and learning with the faculty at Stirling Theological College becomes a life-changing experience for many students. This flows on into contexts of faith, mission, ministry and vocation. Our faculty are committed to Christ as expressed in seeing students learn, thrive and grow in their faith and understanding.


Graham Joseph Hill

DipMin(Hons), Cert IV A&WT, BTheol, PG Cert TESOL, MTheol, PhD

Interim Principal and Director of Research

Faculty & Staff

Reverend Dr Graham Joseph Hill has served as Director of Research at Stirling Theological College (University of Divinity) since July 2019 and from February 2020 is the Interim Principal at the College. Prior to his coming to Stirling Theological College, Dr. Hill served in Baptist theological colleges in Australia from 2004–2019 in roles including senior lecturer, Vice Principal, and Provost.

Dr Hill received his MTheol from the University of Notre Dame Australia, and a PhD from Flinders University in Australia. Dr Hill is the author of numerous books and articles. His books include Global Church (IVP Academic), Healing Our Broken Humanity (IVP), Salt, Light and a City (Cascade, two volumes), Holding Up Half the Sky (Cascade), and Hide This in Your Heart (NavPress).

Dr Hill has served as Visiting Scholar at the Korea Baptist Theological University and Seminary in Daejeon, South Korea, and taught at numerous seminaries and universities throughout the Asia-Pacific. He teaches within the Doctor of Ministry program of Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. Dr Hill also serves on theological committees within the Asia-Pacific Baptist Federation and the Baptist World Alliance.

Dr Hill’s main areas of research include trends and themes in Global/World Christianity, and various theological themes within biblical egalitarianism, systematic theology, missional theology, social justice, and integral mission. Dr Hill teaches courses on Christian leadership, church revitalisation, missional theology, spiritual formation, Global/World Christianity, church health, leading organisations through change and transition, and more. He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate course, and supervisors many Research Masters and Doctoral students.

Ordained and accredited in the Baptist Churches of Australia in 2000, Dr. Hill has pastored and planted churches in Perth and Sydney, and been on the ministry teams of some of the largest Baptist churches in Australia. Dr Hill and his family worship at Thornleigh Community Baptist Church, which is a healthy, missional, and Christ-centred church in the northern suburbs of Sydney. Dr Hill is the Founding Director of The GlobalChurch Project (www.TheGlobalChurchProject.com), and a frequent conference speaker around the country and throughout the world, including numerous countries in the Asia-Pacific.

See Graham’s books at his Amazon author page: HERE

John Capper

Cert IV TAA, DipMin, DipSocSc, BE (Hons), BTh (Hons), PhD, GAICD

Academic Dean

John CapperJohn has worked in theological education for over 30 years: teaching, researching, and leading in various forms.  Until 2019 John was the University of Divinity’s Director of Learning and Teaching, responsible for courses, units and academic staff professional development. These are now the areas covered, two days a week, by the Academic Dean role at Stirling Theological College.  John founded the theological education stream at ANZATS conferences, is an accredited Expert with TEQSA (the Commonwealth higher education regulator) and does some consulting with DHERST (the PNG regulator). John is an ordained Anglican and a Senior Lecturer in the University, with primary interests in theology (drawing on a PhD from the University of Cambridge on divine joy), and secondary engagement in biblical studies and practical ministry. John enjoys involvement as a company director. Wendy and John have four adult daughters.

John’s publications – University of Divinity repository

Damien Arnold


General Manager

Faculty & StaffA passionate executive leader with over seventeen years  spent in the Not-For-Profit sector, Damien Arnold has extensive experience in organisational transformation, financial reporting and management, corporate governance, and operational leadership. Damien is a qualified CPA, and graduated from Melbourne University with a degree in Arts and a postgraduate degree in Accounting.

Since April 2018, Damien has served the University of Divinity as Chief Financial Officer. In that role, Damien led the financial processes of the University, including its financial strategy and funding. Prior to his appointment at the University of Divinity, Damien served as the CEO of Melbourne Vicentre, one of the largest swimming clubs in Australia and one of nine high performance swimming centres. He has also served as Chief Financial Officer of cohealth, one of the largest community health organizations in Australia, servicing a broad area of high-growth communities across Melbourne’s northern, western, and inner suburbs. Prior to that, Damien was the General Manager of Uniting Care, Lentara.


Bible, Theology & Ministry

Brian Macallan

CertTh, BA (Psych), BTh, BTh (Hons), MTh, DTh

Associate Head of Bible, Theology & Ministry; Senior Lecturer in Theology

Brian Macallan

Originally from South Africa, Brian came to Melbourne to lead Connection Church of Christ in 2008. Following this ministry he was appointed a senior lecturer in theology at Tabor College Victoria. He is currently senior lecturer in theology and director of online and learning. He is interested in the practical connection between faith and life and its impact for the church in its cultural context.


Brian’s publications – University of Divinity repository

Angela Sawyer

BA, GradDip Ed, MDiv, PhD

Dean of Students and Lecturer in Old Testament

Angela Sawyer

Ange has 20 years experience in teaching biblical studies in secondary and tertiary educational and pastoral contexts. She is most passionate about seeing individuals and communities empowered to understand the Bible and be equipped in applying it to their lives. She has completed a PhD in the area of Isaiah, exile and post-church Australia. Angela is married to Jay, with two extraordinary children.

Stephen Curkpatrick

LTh, MTh, GradDipEd (Religious Studies), MA, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Theology

Stephen J Curkpatrick

Stephen is a senior lecturer, researcher and research supervisor who is in his 27th year of teaching theology at Stirling. He is accredited to teach in the areas of Christian thought and history, New Testament studies and foundational postgraduate philosophy.

As part of his role at Stirling, Stephen has taught annually at the Churches of Christ Theological College (STTJKI), Indonesia. He has had previous Churches of Christ ministries in Salisbury East (SA), Papua New Guinea, Epping (NSW) and Brighton (SA).

Stephen’s publications – University of Divinity repository

Christopher Turner

CertSD, AdvDipMin, BTh, MQual, DTh

Lecturer in Pastoral Theology & Spiritual Care

Christopher Turner

Chris has a Doctor of Theology from the University of Divinity in the area of Theology and Australian Culture and brings a wonderful combination of experiences in Spiritual Direction, Chaplaincy, Teaching, Organisational Leadership, Community Development, Communication and also as a Senior Minister.

Penny Martin

DipMin, B.Theol (Hons), BA(Psych), GradDipEd, MTS, DMin

Dean of Leadership Formation

Penny Martin

With over 20 years of experience in ministry, Penny currently directs the Field Education program and teaches ministry studies. She is passionate about the value of ministry and leadership formation in contemporary culture, is presently undertaking a Doctoral program at Fuller Theological Seminary in the United States, is married to Geoff and has one awesome little boy.

Tim McCowan

BArch, BTh, MDiv, DMin, PhD.

Senior Lecturer in Spirituality

Tim McCowan OAM

Tim has had a wide experience in Christian ministry:  He worked with Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor in the slums of Manila, Philippines for 8 years before pastoring 2 churches in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.  Through his role as reconciliation co-ordinator at the WellSpring Centre, he foundered and directed a successful inter-religious schools program called “Building Bridges in Schools” for 14 years, and runs workshops for refugees and trauma survivors called “Healing Steps”.  His two doctorates investigated his lived experience in Manila and the Building bridges program, spanning fields of Spirituality, Theology, Culture and Education. Tim is married to Mary and enjoys walking in nature, photography, reading and accompanying people in spiritual direction.  He has been on the faculty of Stirling since 2002.

Merryl Blair

BTheol (Hons), DipMin, DTheol

Adjunct Lecturer

Merryl L Blair

Merryl was a registered nurse for 20 years and a youth minister for three years, much of which was concurrent with studying theology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Merryl enjoys introducing people to the wonderful complexities of the Hebrew Bible, in which the struggles and joys of everyday existence are brought into conversation with faith in a God who is totally involved in our existence. Merryl is a past President of the Conference of Churches of Christ in Victoria and Tasmania. She also is a minister at Hartwell Church of Christ.

Alan Niven

BA (Hons), BD, DipEd, DipMin, GCS, MSocSci (Family Studies), PhD

Adjunct Lecturer and Research Supervisor

Alan A Niven

Alan came to Australia from England where he had trained as a languages teacher, met and married Chris, and stayed. He studied four years COB/CCTC in Melbourne, and was ordained. He and Chris then ministered at Werribee, a new church plant. Alan was invited to commence a new church on the relocated College site at Mulgrave, where he also taught part-time in practical ministry areas. He then became the full-time lecturer in Pastoral and Family Studies. His teaching covers: pastoral formation; pastoral care and counselling; marriage and family studies; grief and loss; violence and abuse; sustainable and safe ministry practice and supervision.

Deborah Storie

BVSc (Hons), GradCertTh, GradDipTh, , MSc, PhD (Bib. Studies),

Adjunct Lecturer, Honorary Postdoctoral Associate (March 2017–present)

Deborah Storie

Deborah is passionate about the Bible and how we read it. Her PhD and ongoing research explore discipleship-reading approaches that inspire us to participate with God in transforming the world God loves. As well as teaching Biblical Studies, she works as a Baptist pastor and is Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Divinity. Deborah previously lived and worked in conflict affected regions in community development, disaster mitigation and response, peace-building and NGO leadership roles. She began to read the Bible differently while living and working alongside people who prayed for and dreamt of—but rarely experienced—daily bread, freedom from debt, and political safety. The Bible began to engage her in new and confronting ways—and that changed everything else. Deborah has served on the Boards of TEAR Australia and Mannagum, evaluated development projects in Africa and Asia, and worked as a veterinary surgeon.

Kerrie Handasyde

BA/BTh, AMusA, MA, PhD

Lecturer in Church History (Early Church)

Faculty & StaffKerrie is a historian with a deep and abiding interest in the people, practices and ideas of Australian Nonconformist churches.  She researches and publishes on Australian Nonconformist history and Churches of Christ with a focus on literature, art and lived faith experience.
Kerrie’s doctoral thesis is in the area of religious history, with a social, literary and environmental focus. The thesis looks at Australian landscape through the eyes of Christians in the Nonconformist or Dissenting tradition – and this includes Churches of Christ.

Formerly a music teacher, educational administrator, editor, and Honorary Historian for the Conference of Churches of Christ, Kerrie is currently Treasurer of the Religious History Association.

Beth Barnett

BMusEd, MDiv(Hons), PhD (cand.)

Lecturer in Ministry with Children specialising in Biblical Studies

Faculty & StaffBeth is undertaking doctoral studies in the area of New Testament, examining the constructs of maturity in Paul’s letters. She has held pastoral roles in Baptist and Anglican churches and been a long term volunteer at Scripture Union, where she is a freelance resource writer and trainer. She is also a writer and facilitator in the Child Theology Movement. Her teaching, public speaking and consulting are auspiced by the Victorian Council of Christian Education, in a role championing theological engagement.

Rosalind Cairns

Cert Primary Teaching, Th&Spirituality (Assumption Institute), GradDip Gestalt Therapy, GradDip Couns & Human Services, MCouns.

Adjunct Lecturer

Faculty & StaffRos has worked in mental health for 27 years, initially as a pastoral care worker and co-ordinator in hospital and community settings, then as Manager of Mental Health for Spiritual Health Victoria, where she provided education, training and supervision, with a focus on the relationship between spirituality and wellbeing.

Ros has presented papers and workshops on spirituality and wellbeing within Australia, Canada and the UK. She has taught at the Australian Catholic University (Attending to Religious and Spiritual Issues in Counselling) at graduate and post-graduate levels; she has also taught in Spiritual Direction at the University of Divinity through the Heart of Life Centre for Spiritual and Pastoral Formation. Her background is varied, having worked in the areas of education, liturgy, counselling, and community development work in PNG.

At Stirling, Ros lectures in Pastoral Responses to Mental Health Issues.

Mary Dewberry

BA(Hons), MA(Couns Psych), MAPS

Lecturer in Pastoral Care and Helping Skills

Mary is a qualified psychologist specialising in family and relationship counselling. She is the Director of Southway Counselling Centre (a ministry of the Southern Community Church of Christ). She teaches at Stirling and the Cairnmillar Institute, as well as working in private practice. Mary is also trained as a family dispute resolution practitioner.

Michael Duncan

BA (Soc), MTh, PhD

Lecturer in Missiology

Faculty & StaffMick comes out of ‘three worlds’. The first is that of a local church, where he serves as a pastor in one of NZ’s more complex neighbourhoods. Second, he comes out of the world of of discipleship and mercy that takes in all manner of people. Third, he comes out of an external world, where he is engaged in speaking, lecturing and writing. His books include: Move Out, Costly Mission, Who Stands Fast, Wild Ones and Alongsiders. Mick’s PhD is titled, “The Moral Pathway Toward the Stranger in the Life and Thought of John Wesley.” His experience as a practitioner means Mick brings wisdom and tools for ministry and mission to the classroom.

Brian Birkett

Cert IV TAE, DipEd, DipTh, BSc, MA (Church Leadership), DMin

Lecturer in Mission & Ministry

Faculty & StaffBrian has experience in ministry, education and global missions (specialising in Asia), with over 16 years pastoral experience, 14 years as a secondary teacher and over 15 years global missions experience. Brian has been Dean of Faculty at Harvest Bible College, where he was involved in teaching, leadership, oversight and innovation. 

Brian’s pastoral experience was majorly formed through involvement with City Life Church, one of Melbourne’s largest churches. He served in leadership there for 23 years, the latter 12 full time. 

Brian began global mission in 2000 with a visit to India. His passion is loving God and loving people through global mission and ministry training, empowerment and strategic coaching. Brian is currently a Director on 3 global missions Boards covering work in over a dozen Asian nations. Brian’s DMin was completed through Fuller Theological Seminary. 

Sue Kmetko

BSc, DipEd, MDiv, PhD.

Lecturer in New Testament and Koine Greek

Sue Kmetko

Sue is highly motivated to explore and promote the original Greek language of the New Testament in order to probe the depths of meaning encased therein. Accordingly, her doctoral thesis examined The Function and Significance of Middle Voice Verbs in the Greek New Testament. She has presented research papers at SBL international conferences in St. Andrews, Buenos Aires and San Antonio and her wider theological interests include hermeneutics and the distinctiveness of Christian testimony.

Toni Nguyen

BPharmacy, MA, MDiv(Hons)

Lecturer in New Testament

Toni Nguyen says that her research into the concept of grace in John’s Gospel was both exciting and challenging. She finds that the New Testament is forever a witness to the love of God, which invokes a response in those who have ears to hear. Toni attends the Uniting Church at Mitcham, and has been in ministry with young people at the Vietnamese Evangelical Church in Springvale.

Hery Susanto

BEng, MTh, DTh

Guest lecturer in Theology

Faculty & StaffHery Susanto is a senior lecturer and Academic Dean of Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Jemaat Kristus (Churches of Christ Theological College) Salatiga, Indonesia.
Hery is a regular guest in Australian Churches of Christ ministry forums and is integral to Stirling’s partnership with STTJKI and Churches of Christ in Indonesia.
Hery is an accredited lecturer with the University of Divinity and a guest lecturer and research supervisor at Stirling.

Heather Tan

BSc, GradDipEd, GradDip School & Comm, MCouns(Grief & Palliative Care), PhD

Lecturer in Pastoral Studies

Heather has a background in education, research, spiritual care and counselling with a particular focus on palliative care. She has taught in tertiary institutions at the post-graduate level in these areas. She also has more than eight years experience in research in the above areas at two major universities. At Spiritual Health Victoria, where she has worked since April 2014, she is the Manager of Education and Research, which includes teaching tertiary programs in pastoral care and supervising ongoing professional development programs. At Stirling, Heather lectures in end-of-life care, and pastoral and spiritual care in multifaith settings.

Allison Whitby

BA, BEd, BTh, DipEd, MA (Pastoral Supervision)

FASPEA CPE Liaison Officer

Allison is the University of Divinity CPE Liaison Officer working with students, Colleges and ASPEA Centre Directors to facilitate the teaching and accreditation of clinical pastoral education (CPE). Allison is also the Director of the Department of Pastoral Care & Education at Austin Health. She is accredited by ASPEA Inc., as a Clinical Pastoral Educator. Allison is a member of the Registration and Certification Committee of ASPEA Inc., and Chair of Spiritual Health Victoria’s Education and Research Committee.

Sarah Bacaller

Cert III Min, BA, BTh, GCRM, PhD (cand.)

Stirling Online Teaching Support Officer

Faculty & StaffSarah is a graduate of Monash University (Arts) and the University of Divinity (Theology) and is a classroom and online tutor in the discipline of Christian Theology at Stirling. Sarah has undertaken significant research on GR Stirling’s Page 13 publications. As the Stirling Online Teaching Support Officer, Sarah works with the Academic Dean and the academic and administrative staff to develop Stirling Online initiatives and education.

Sam Curkpatrick

BMus Hons, PhD, MPhil (cand.)

Tutor in Christian Theology; Curator, Hindmarsh Research Centre

Faculty & StaffSam Curkpatrick is a music performance Honours graduate (Monash), with further training at the Australian National Academy of Music, and has a doctorate in ethnomusicology (ANU, Canberra). Sam is the inaugural curator of the Hindmarsh Research Centre, which gives focus to Churches of Christ memory, identity, mission and ministry; he is the Vic-Tas Partnership Coordinator with GMP. Sam is an online tutor in the discipline of Christian Theology at Stirling and an accredited University of Divinity lecturer for the theology unit Culture and CountryEngaging faith in contemporary Australian society.


Sam’s publications – University of Divinity repository

Karen Yunia

BA, MDiv, PhD (cand.)

Tutor and Translator in Theology

Karen is a graduate in linguistics from Universitas Negeri Surakarta and a MDiv. graduate through Stirling from the University of Divinity. Karen is a tutor and translator in theology within Stirling’s partnership program with Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Jemaat Kristus (Churches of Christ Theological College) Salatiga, Indonesia.


Arthur Wouters

BA (Hons), MA (Clin. Psych.), PhD

Dean, School of Counselling

Arthur Wouters

Originally from Holland, Art lived most of his life in South Africa with his wife and their three children. He qualified as a clinical psychologist and took up a university position before joining the Centre for Community Development in the mid 1980’s to help prepare South Africans for democracy and to address the psychological impact of Apartheid oppression on people’s lives. He came to Australia to work with Tabor, Victoria (Eastern College Australia) where he broadened and deepened his experience in the training and preparing of professional counselors through higher education.

Art enjoys collaborating with students in their personal growth on their journey towards becoming professional counselors. He is interested in the connections between psychology, counseling, faith/theology, and society and in respectful cross-cultural collaboration.

Shivon Barresi

AdvDip Couns&FamTh, GradCert YthMentalHlth, GradDip Couns&IntPsych, MCouns (Child&Adol), MSocSc (FamTh)

Associate Lecturer, State Coordinator (VIC/TAS), School of Counselling

Faculty & StaffShivon lives in Melbourne and is both a Level 4 and College of Supervisors member with the Australian Counselling Association. She is clinically registered as a family therapist with the Australian Association of Family Therapists. She is also a clinical member (Mental Health Professional and Supervisor) with the Psychotherapy and Counsellors Federation of Australia (PACFA).

Shivon is responsible for many of the family therapy units in the Bachelor of Counselling program. Throughout her career she has practiced in a variety of settings including: education (currently as a school & family counsellor) and the community health sector (family counselling, including cultural and linguistically diverse families with complex needs, specifically in perinatal, infant and youth mental health).

In addition to these roles, Shivon has a private practice in Melbourne. Shivon takes a special interest in working with young people around issues of complex mental illness and the role of family relationships in recovery.

Rowena Brookes

DipCouns, AdvDip Couns, GradDip Couns&Int Psych, MCouns

Tutor, School of Counselling

Faculty & StaffRowena lives in Brisbane and is a counselling member and a member of the College of Supervisors with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Rowena works in a private rehabilitation centre where she provides intensive marriage therapy to couples, as well as providing supervision and support to non-clinical staff. She also runs a private counselling and supervision practice.

Rowena studied through AIFC from Diploma level and completed her Masters in Counselling through Stirling Theological College. She is a Gottman trained therapist as well as an EMDR therapist and enjoys working with family units who are impacted by trauma. She is a tutor for the Academic Research and Writing unit in the Bachelor of Counselling program.

Marissa Francis

Cert III PrMin, Cert IV Acc, Cert IV TAE, DipCouns, DipTh, AdvDip Couns, BEd, MCouns

Tutor, School of Counselling

Faculty & StaffMarissa lives in Hervey Bay, QLD and is a Level 3 member and registered supervisor with the Australian Counselling Association. She is also a Provisional Member of the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia. Marissa is a tutor in the Advanced Diploma of Counselling.

Marissa is also the counsellor and wellbeing coordinator at a K-12 Christian College. She runs a private practice providing counselling and clinical supervision online.

Marissa pastored a Full Gospel Church alongside her husband for 20 years. She was also the breakfast announcer and production coordinator for the local Christian radio station for many years.

Desiree Geldenhuys

CertMin, Cert IV FB, Dip Couns, AdvDip CFT, BComm(Hons), GradDip Couns&Int Psych, MComm(Eco), MCouns(Process)

Tutor, School of Counselling

Desiree lives on the Gold Coast with her family.  She is Clinical Member (Level 3) and Supervisor with the Australian Counselling Association. She is also a member of the College of Grief and Loss Counsellors of Australia. Desiree is a tutor for the Addictions and Relationships units in Counselling.

She is a College Counsellor for a Prep – 12 Independent school. She runs a private Supervision practice, is a director of a charity and continues formal studies in Counselling. Desiree trained as an economist, worked in financial markets for almost two decades but always had a passion for helping people, counselling and psychotherapy.

Mel Hayde

BEd, MCouns, MEd, MTh, PhD

Associate Lecturer, State Coordinator (NSW/ACT), School of Counselling

Faculty & Staff

Mel Hayde lives in Sydney and is a member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and a Counselling Supervisor with the ACA College of Supervisors.   Mel is responsible for the Academic Writing and Research and Grief and Loss units in the Advanced Diploma. She also teaches the two Parenting and Children units for the Bachelor program. She is a Recitation Instructor for the Christian Counselling Education Foundation (CCEF) and a mathematics tutor at a local high school. Once a week she counsels students, staff and families at a Christian College. Mel is the author of Toddler to Teen and has had the privilege of speaking to parents around Australia for the last 25 years.

Mel has attended St Clair Baptist church for over 20 years and the highlights of her week are reading, quilting and her competitive tennis nights.

Shannon Hood

Cert III CtySvcs, Cert IV TAE, DipMan, DipSec&RiskMan, DipCouns, BEng(Hons), BTh, GradDip Min, GradDip Couns&IntPsych, MComm, MEd, PhD (cand.)

Lecturer, Undergraduate Course Coordinator – School of Counselling

Faculty & StaffShannon is a Level 4 member of the Australian Counselling Association, a member of the College of Supervisors and the founding member of the College of Christian Counsellors.  Shannon is responsible for the two integrated counselling units in the Advanced Diploma of Counselling, a unit on Spiritual and Religious Interventions (the topic of his PhD) and a Masters unit on Critical Incident response. He runs an active private counselling and supervision practice and provides contract EAP and rapid response counselling, as well as supervision for mental health professionals in several organisations. Shannon trained as a Lutheran Pastor including 12 months study at the University of Cambridge after a career in Management Consulting.

Shannon’s publications – University of Divinity repository

Tracey Milson

DipCouns, DipMan, Adv Dip CFT, BSocSc, GradCert HumBeh, GradDip Couns&IntPsych, M Couns

Associate Lecturer, State Coordinator (Qld & NT), School of Counselling

Faculty & StaffTracey is a Clinical Member and Supervisor with the Christian Counselling Association of Australian (CCAA) and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). She is also a Level 4 member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA), and belongs to their College of Supervisors and College of Counsellors. Tracey is responsible for the Addictions unit in the Advanced Diploma, and the Relationships unit in the Bachelor of Counselling.

She runs a private clinical counselling, family therapy and supervision practice, including contract EAP counselling. Tracey has conducted over 16,000 hours of counselling and supervision, has been a long-term AIFC trainer and assessor, and delivers ACA approved supervision training in Queensland.

Steve Poisat

DipMin, AdvDip Couns&FT, BMin, GradDip Couns&Psych, MTh

Associate Lecturer, State Coordinator (WA & SA), School of Counselling

Faculty & StaffSteve is a clinical counsellor and member of the Christian Counselling Association of Australia. He teaches two theology units as part of Stirling’s Bachelor of Counselling.

Steve is an ordained minister with Church of the Nations, leads the team at Redeemer Gospel Community in Perth and serves as pastoral supervisor for Churches of Christ WA. He also lectures in practical theology and counselling at Perth Bible College and the Australian Institute of Family Counselling.

Steve started off his work-life as a youth pastor in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, serving on staff in multiple roles for ten years before moving to Perth in 2003 to be involved with church planting initiatives.

Anne-Marie (Mieke) Roelandt

BBiotech, MCouns, MAfricanLang


Faculty & StaffMieke lives in Perth and is a Level 4  member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). She tutors in the two integrated counselling units in the Advanced Diploma. 

Mieke is part of a private practice, where she counsels individuals and couples from different cultures and faiths. She has also co-facilitated supervisor training courses, and offers individual adult counselling. 

Mieke worked for the Belgian and European Union diplomatic missions in Asia and Africa. She retrained as a Christian counsellor when she migrated to Australia. 


Maia Cruz

Assistant Registrar

Faculty & StaffMaia has been working in the education sector for more than 20 years.  She has gained her education and experience both from overseas and locally.  She worked as a College Registrar for the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde in the Philippines before she migrated to Australia.  She had also worked as ResearcherProgram Officer, and Test Specialist for the Centre for Educational Measurement for 12 years and had consultancy work on the side as Assessor and Evaluator for various organisations and government departments. She is a holder of a Master’s Degree in Measurement and Evaluation and earned some units in Counseling Psychology.  In Australia, she studied Administration at Swinburne University and has been working in Student Administration in a registered training organisation and a private primary school before she joined Stirling Theological College in December 2019.

Maia and husband Nick have 3 children.

Jacqueline Mina

BCom, BHSc (Nat)

Student services

Faculty & StaffJackie graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University in 1997 and worked in the corporate world for many years. She gained diverse administrative, marketing and communications, and product management experience in this sector before moving into the education sector in 2009 as Registrar of St Athanasius Theological College (SAC). She left SAC to pursue a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree (Naturopathy) at the end of 2015, completing this in mid-2019. Jackie has continued her association with the University of Divinity through a short term contract at Eva Burrows College in early 2018 and by joining Stirling Theological College in March 2019 where she has been enjoying working part-time in Student Services.

Theresa Taylor


Receptionist and Caretaker

Faculty & StaffOriginally from South Australia, Theresa moved to Victoria in 1995. She began working at Stirling in 1999,  graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Theology and was editor of Stirling’s journal, reo: a journal of theology and ministry from 2003 to 2012, and during 2017. Retiring at the end of 2017, Theresa then resumed work at Stirling in March 2020 as part-time receptionist and caretaker. On top of her paid work, Theresa has gifted the college with innumerable voluntary hours of contribution.   

Antonella Newnham

BA, GradDipInfServ


Antonella Newnham

Antonella joined the faculty as part time librarian in 2009. She worked for many years in both corporate libraries (World Vision Australia) and public libraries (Monash Public Library). Antonella brings a diverse range of experience to the world of higher education libraries. Her focus is to help all students explore and fully utilise the wealth of resources available to them.

Cait Wouters

BA (Soc)

Counselling Student Liaison

Cait graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) in 2019. Since then, she has been working part-time at Stirling Theological College, liaising with inquirers, staff and students in the Counselling awards.

John Williamson

DipMin, BTh, BA(Hons)

Coursework and Special Projects Coordinator

John Williamson

John was a business proprietor and retailer before studying theology. He is a graduate of the Adelaide College of Divinity, Flinders University and Monash University. John was ordained in the Grote Street Church of Christ (Adelaide) and he has had ministries at Maylands (SA) and Box Hill (Vic). He was Stirling’s Registrar for 15 years, and then transitioned to a part-time role that supports the Principal, Academic Dean and Registrar. For John studying theology is a way of grappling with the biggest and most important questions one can ask. He invites people to follow their desire to go deeper and discover more.

Honorary Researchers

Bernadette Miles

BTh, GradCertSSD, MAppSci (Organisational Dynamics), PhD

Honorary Postdoctoral Associate 

Faculty & StaffBernie completed her PhD with the University of Divinity in 2018.  With a background in business management and organisational dynamics, Bernadette’s special interest is the integration of spirituality into the field of leadership and organisational development. She is co-founder of Kardia Formation Pty Ltd (with Marlene Marburg) where they offer companionship and empowerment for women and men through spiritual direction, spiritual exercises, supervision, and various programs for personal and leadership development. Bernie’s current research project is to examine “Spiritual direction as a resource for teacher formation, wellbeing and resilience.”

Deborah Storie (See above)

Adjunct Lecturer, Honorary Postdoctoral Associate 

Jason Freddi

Honorary Postdoctoral Associate (August 2013–Dec 2015)