Theology Personal Statement
My recent visits to Russia and Uganda have opened my eyes to the difference culture makes in the way we express our religious beliefs, these visits have increased my interest in religion and I now have a particular interest in how culture affects the way we express our religious beliefs. I believe the study of this affiliation between culture and religion will be indispensable to my goal of becoming a Christian Youth Worker.
Religion has always been an important part of my life; I often borrowed books on world religions from my parents when I was younger and enjoyed reading about different rituals, especially those of religions such as Jainism, Judaism and Islam. My interest in religion has now expanded through the study of Religious Studies at GCSE and Philosophy at AS level and I have come to enjoy studying and challenging beliefs of all religions as I grow to understand them better. To help gain experience of Youth Work I help out at my local youth groups, Pilots and Grapevine; which have helped me develop communication, team work and management skills. At Grapevine and the local Youth For Christ services I also run the computer system, this responsibility aids me with my computer skills and has led to me learning basic computer programming to assist the groups.
I have found that my other AS and A2 subjects have encouraged and helped me to understand religion and culture more than I otherwise would. Studying Sociology at both AS and A2 has given me a good insight in understanding culture and the A2 module ‘Sociology of Religion’ has helped me relate this understanding of culture to religion, something which I believe will be invaluable for Youth Work. My study of Biology at AS and of Psychology at AS and A2 have also aided me in my preparation for studying Religion and Culture as they have improved my understanding of human behaviour. This is an essential for understanding why our culture is the way it is and for understanding what motivates people to hold religious beliefs. The study of Biology, Physics and Maths has given me a more rounded view of the world and has allowed me to develop the logical way of thinking that I consider vital to having discussions about religion. These subjects have also equipped me with an understanding of atheist works such as Richard Dawkins ‘The Blind Watchmaker’ and ‘The God Delusion’, which are gaining importance in today’s society.
My involvement in the orchestras for school plays and with the local Youth Symphony Orchestra have provided me with opportunities to develop my teamwork skills and have also helped with my time management when I am balancing rehearsals and concerts with school work. In addition to my musical commitments I have on a number of occasions preached at my local church, this has improved my public relations skill, taught me how to express myself clearly, and developed my understanding of Christian Theology. My time in both Uganda and Russia has helped me to be more independent and to take initiative when faced with challenges and has helped me appreciate other cultures, even when they are vastly different to my own. My time in Uganda opened my eyes to how people live in poverty and has led to an improvement in my budgeting skills; furthermore, it has given me inspiration for talks to both young people and adults about how their counterparts live in less well off countries and about the importance of tolerance for other cultures and the way in which they express their religious beliefs.
The variety of experiences that I have had have introduced me to adult life in a way I could not have hoped for and have led to me to an interest in Religion and Culture; I believe that completing this course will be the best way for me to develop into a well rounded and competent Youth Worker. It will give me a great opportunity to meet similar minded people and I look forward to both the course and the new friendships that I will make during my time studying this subject.
Universities Applied to:
- Nottingham - ABC (Firm and accepted)
- Cliff College - Unconditional (Insurance)
- Exeter - AAB later changed to ABB
- Manchester - ABB
- Oxford Brookes - BBC