The Revd Keiron Jones says studying theology prompted her to read widely, ask questions, think outside the box, and draw closer to God. She’s now an ordained priest and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a supportive and loving community.
Keiron has always loved studying, with two Masters of Education among her degrees. For some years, she increasingly felt that God was calling her to ministry and in 2017 enrolled in a Master of Theological Studies at Trinity College. ‘The possibility of exploring my faith at an Anglican college which had a very good reputation, was inclusive, and is known for its spiritual and academic formation appealed,’ she says of her decision to enrol at Trinity. A scholarship – for which Keiron is extremely grateful – allowed her to study full-time.
Keiron grew up as a Catholic but explored the Anglican church while living in the United Kingdom. The church had always been an important part of her life, but it was the study that helped build her knowledge and understanding of her faith.
‘[Formal study] gave bone and structure to my faith, and it also increasingly – given it’s a lifetime thing – helps me articulate more thoughtfully or in more nuanced ways what the Christian faith is about and how the church has been shaped and continues to be shaped,’ she says, citing Greek, the Gospel of John and the Hebrew Bible as some of her favourite study areas. ‘I've read far more broadly than I ever thought I would, and know I've barely begun.’
While reading widely has helped strengthen Keiron’s understanding, studying in a classroom setting allowed her to take her learning to another level. ‘I could have gone away and followed a reading list [instead of participating in classes], but the staff at Trinity are enormously encouraging and dynamic,’ she says. ‘I love the way they think outside the box and want you to think outside the box and not just follow what someone else thinks or espouses. I valued that and appreciated the encouragement to explore complex ideas through multiple lenses and to keep an open mind. [The staff] are extremely skilled and capable, and never make you feel anything other than capable yourself.’
The fact that her classes also attracted a diverse range of students meant a lot of ‘intellectual toing and froing’ and social interaction took place. ‘There was plenty of open space to ask questions and learn from great minds. It's a safe space for people to do that, whether they're in their early twenties and just out of high school, or older like me. It was exciting.’ In her final year of study, Keiron was named a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar.
After graduating from Trinity College, Keiron was ordained a deacon at St Paul’s Cathedral in February 2020 and was then ordained a priest nine months later by the Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Revd Dr Philip Freier, at St John’s Anglican Church Toorak.
Reflecting on her first ordination ceremony, she says it was a remarkably special day. ‘I don't think you can go into an ordination unchanged and I don't think you can come out of an ordination unchanged … I certainly became more prayerful and I think I'm drawing closer to God, and my relationship with Christ has deepened. It's hard to put in words, but there is something. You do feel differently – not better or transformed – but more humble and more open to admitting vulnerability. I’m also more aware of walking with people in their faith and with people of no faith.’
On her first day of ordained ministry at St John’s Toorak, Keiron had the privilege of baptising a family – mum, dad and two children – which she describes as ‘wonderful’.
Keiron has continued to serve at St John’s as Assistant Curate. Along with the Vicar, she takes services, baptisms, weddings and funerals, and ‘much else in between’. Pastoral care is also central to the St John’s community. Having completed her year as an ordinand at St John’s before being ordained deacon and then priest, Keiron says she has valued this continuity and is grateful for the opportunity to journey along such a rewarding path in ministry.