Seminary of the 3rd Age is a program conducted by respected theological scholars and leaders, it offers persons young and old, of any faith or no faith, the opportunity to explore and reflect on questions of faith and spirituality relevant in the 21st century.

Each seminar topic in the “seminary of the 3rd age” runs for four weeks taking place on Thursday evenings during the months of March, May, August and October 2020.


Effective Living Centre (26 King William Road, Wayville, SA).



The August Seminary videos will be posted online in early September.


Thursday evenings
March, May, August, October
Normally run from 7pm– 9.00pm

THEME: Perspectives for meaningful faith in our times

For more information about the 2020 Seminary click the button below


“Perspectives of the Multi-Faith World”

Book into the October Seminary using the button below or search “Seminary of the 3rd age” at Humanatix.com

01 Oct


Sean Weetra




08 Oct


Mohamad Abdalla



Founding-Director of the Centre for Islamic Thought and Education (CITE) at the University of South Australia. Previously, he was the Founding-Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies and the Griffith Islamic Research Unit (GIRU) at Griffith University.  His authored and co-authored books include Islamic schooling in the West: Pathways to RenewalLeadership in Islam: Processes and Solutions in Australian OrganizationsIslamic Science: The myth of the decline theory; and Islam in the Australian News Media.

Professor Abdalla is one of Australia’s most prominent and respected Muslim leaders, who held multiple distinguished community and academic posts, and received multiple civic awards, including the Ambassador of Peace Award, the Community Leadership Award, the Islamic Council of Queensland Community Service Award, and the Crescents of Brisbane Special Achievement Award.


15 Oct


Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky



Shoshana Kaminsky has been rabbi of Beit Shalom Synagogue since 2006. Her interest in multifaith dialogue reaches back to her seminary days, when she enjoyed the opportunity to interact with Christian seminarians. Today she is a CPE supervisor regularly supervising both Christian and multifaith groups, and an active part of the Council of Christians and Jews and the Multifaith Association of South Australia. She hosts hundreds of school students at the synagogue each month as well as welcoming adult groups on a regular basis.


22 Oct


Philippa Rowland




March- “Perspectives on Being Progressive”
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    Vicky Balabanski

    ‘Unravelling the Mysteries of Colossians with First Peoples’

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    Norman Habel

    ‘Handling 3 Dangerous Doctrines?’

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    Anne Patel-Gray

    ‘Recovering the Aboriginal Christ’

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    Lynn Arnold

    ‘Theological imperatives behind Churchy Restorative Justice’

Learn more about our speakers by clicking their name below

5th March- Vicky Balabanski


Vicky Balabanski, a New Testament scholar at Flinders University of South Australia, has a focus on ecological hermeneutics. She is the daughter of post-war displaced people from Orthodox and Catholic roots, and is ordained in the Uniting Church. Her doctoral work was done in Berne, Switzerland, and this work was published as Eschatology in the Making: Mark, Matthew and the Didache by Cambridge University Press (1997). In 1996, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Her feminist rereading of the “Wise and Foolish Virgins (Mt. 25.1-13)” (2002) has been influential. Vicky is a writer and editor in the international Earth Bible Project. Her Earth Bible commentary – Colossians: An Eco-Stoic reading – is published by Bloomsbury T & T Clark (2020). Vicky has long-term connections with a remote Aboriginal community, and works together with Indigenous writers who are developing their own hermeneutical approaches to reading the Bible.

12th March- Norman Habel


Norman Habel is a Professorial Fellow at Flinders University.  He is a biblical scholar who has specialised in the Book of Job, ecology and the Bible, and Wisdom Literature.  His initiatives include The Earth Bible Series, The Season of Creation and Ecological Hermeneutics.  His recent works include Discerning Wisdom in God’s Creation and The Earth Care Charter. He has also been involved with building positive relationships with the Aboriginal Peoples of Australia. He worked with the Rainbow Spirit elders in Queensland to produce Rainbow Spirit Theology. He is the author of Reconciliation, Searching for Australia’s Soul.  His latest work entitled Acknowledgement of the Land and Faith of the Indigenous Custodians after following the Abraham Trail is a challenge for the churches of Australia and was the background for his presentation at the Common Dreams conference in July 2019.

19th March- Anne Patel-Gray



Professor Anne Pattel-Gray is an Aboriginal woman who is a descendant of the Bidjara/ Kari Kari people in Queensland and she is a recognised Aboriginal leader within Australia – nationally and internationally. She has dedicated her life to the struggle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and she is a strong campaigner and lobbyist and deeply committed to seeking justice, equity and equal representation for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. She is very proud of her Aboriginal culture and heritage and is a strong advocate for Aboriginal women, children, families and community regarding our Cultural and basic Human Rights. She has developed a leadership quality that promotes and builds a deeper sense of community and participation that brings a greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and cultural identity and cohesion with the broader community that leads to beneficial partnerships, engagement and reconciliation.

26th March- Lynn Arnold



May- “Perspectives on Interpreting the Scriptures”

You can watch  the speakers by clicking on them below.

Learn more about our speakers by clicking their name below

7th May- Tanya Wittwer


Tanya is currently teaching at ACD/UCLT in homiletics and pastoral care and is also researching in power, gender and sexuality; ecclesiology; education and formation. Her wide interests led her to previous careers in community service, the environmental sector, and population health.



Paul has been blamed for much of the misogyny that is still present in the church, but is this actually fair? This presentation will explore the notions of subordination and headship as a case study in Biblical interpretation.

14th May- Jione Havea


Jione Havea is a native pastor (Methodist Church in Tonga) and research fellow in religious studies with Trinity Methodist Theological College (Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand) and with the Public and Contextual Theology research centre of the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University (Australia). Jione is currently working on a book titled Losing Ground: Ruth in Changing Climates (scm) and has just published Jonah: Earth Bible Commentary.



Orality, fluidity, adaptability, relationality, among others, are characteristics of talanoa – a practice that native Pasifika islanders favor. Talanoa is a word that has three overlapping meanings: (1) story, (2) telling of stories, (3) storyweaving (conversation around 1 & 2). For this session, i will present talanoa as an example of reading with native islander eyes. I will illustrate how talanoa works by reflecting on questions that natives raise concerning the Ruth narrative: How wealthy might Elimelek have been? With whom did Elimelek leave his property when he fled with his family to Moab? How far might have Naomi and her daughters-in-law travelled away from home before she told them to go back to their mother’s house? With whom did Naomi and Ruth stay when they reached Judah? For what was Boaz fishing when he found Ruth in his plantation?

To prepare for this session, participants are requested to
(1) read the book of Ruth,
(2) watch the overview of the narrative (Watch the Overview of Ruth Here)
(3) reflect on the questions raised above and
(4) identify 2-3 additional questions for consideration.

21st May- Paul Goh


Paul is Korean-Australian Uniting Church minister and currently working with the Synod of South Australia in the areas of Justice and Multicultural and Cross-cultural ministry. Originally from South Korea, he did his theological training in Seoul and Boston. Since he was awarded a Ph.D. in Practical theology, Paul has enjoyed bringing the richness of his ministerial experience to teaching in areas related to Intercultural Theology, missiology and spiritual formation at Alphacrucis College, Sydney College of Divinity, Pilgrim Theological College and Adelaide College of Divinity in both undergraduate and graduate courses as a sessional lecturer, associate teacher and supervisor.



When Christian Bible was introduced to the Korean soil at the end of the 19th century, it was embraced by Korean people as good news of hope for liberation from Confucius feudal system and the Japanese colonialism as the Bible was translated into the language of Minjung, the ordinary people. The stories and events recorded in the Bible evoked spiritual and political imagination of Korean people, and gave inspirations and insights for social and political transformation. But, unfortunately, throughout the process of modernisation and westernisation, the Bible began to lose its liberating meaning and gradually became an ideology of fundamentalism and Prosperity theology.

28th May- Jason John


Jason is a Uniting Earth Advocate, and the Common Grace Climate spokesperson.  His studies are in zoology and theology, leading to a PhD and some books on the implications of evolution, ecology and environmentalism for the Christian story, especially in rescuing us from our human-centred theology.

Throughout his twenty years of ministry he has helped the church explore the implications of our faith in a Creator for our relationship with the rest of Creation, and in encouraging all people to live as better members of the Earth family.

Recently Jason found a cathartic outlet for the often-arduous path of environmental engagement in slam poetry, winning the 2019 Bellingen poetry slam and placing 3rd at the Australian Poetry Slam national final at the Opera House in 2019.

He lives in the forest with his family, and many other members of the Earth family, trying to be a good neighbour to most of them.



Blokes birthed the bible, and men mediated its meaning for many a generation. But it was also written by Homo sapiens.  Humans can do what some men have struggled to do since feminism, and hear the voice of another – see God’s relationship with another – in scriptures written and mostly interpreted by them.  But we need help, we need to listen to those “singing the songs” of creation.  We will briefly hear from each other, scientists and Aboriginal Christian leaders to help us refocus our lens when we return to the scriptures with “ecological eyes”

August- “Perspectives on Prayer in Transitional Times”

You can listen to our speakers after the session by clicking on them below.

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    Jonathan Barker

    ‘Prayer as Discerning the Will of God’

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    Christine Gilbert

    Prayer to Nurture Balance and Flow

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    Gary Stuckey

    Prayer in Odd Times

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    Susan Wickham

    Prayer has to do with Relationship

You can listen to our speakers after the session by clicking on them below.

6th August- Jonathan Barker


Jonathan is an actively retired Uniting Church minister who continues to draw on insights of the “New Secular Religious Mode” and its practices originating from his time as a member of the Chicago based Order Ecumenical whose aim was the renewal of the church for its mission with the disempowered. He doctoral dissertation on A Theology of Social Transformation was awarded by the Graduate Theologian Union, Berkeley.



His presentation, “Prayer as discerning the Will of God” is a reflection on the dynamics of prayer within a post-modernist world view. How does one pray when the very idea of a divine power intervening to save after the holocaust seems nonsense to so many? Jonathan proposes that because nothing can finally destroy the freedom we have as human beings, prayer becomes a way of discerning the “necessary deeds” which we are required to alleviate human suffering and be Christ-like in our daily lives.

13th August- Christine Gilbert


20th August- Gary Stuckey


Gary is a Uniting Church Minister currently serving in the Seacliff UC Congregation. Prior to this he was the Director of the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre and Minister of the Stillpoint Faith Community. He has taught courses in Christian Spiritualty at Uniting College. With a particular interest in Monastic Spirituality he has been a life professed Brother in monastic community since 2001





The poet W. H. Auden described St. John of the Cross as, “An Odd Ball, in and Odd Country at an Odd Time.” We might describe the times in which we live as ‘odd’. How might John’s reflections on the Dark Night inform, guide and encourage our life of prayer in these times? How might his wisdom nurture our prayer when God seems absent and/or our prayer seems ‘dry’?

27th August- Susan Wickham


When people ask her what she does for a living, Susan usually tells them she does “stand-up.” It’s easier than telling people she’s a Minister of Religion or a Professional God Botherer and it usually means the conversation continues rather than shutting down. It’s also a little closer to the truth!

October- “Perspectives of the Multi-Faith World

You can listen to our past speakers by clicking on them below.

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    Sean Weetra

    The Ngarrindjeri Perspective on Theology and Faith

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    Mohamad Abdulla

    What can Islam Offer in Today’s World?

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    Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky

    ‘Beyond the Religion of the Old Testament-Judaism Today’

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    Philippa Rowland

    What does Buddhism Offer in Today’s World?

Learn more about our speakers by clicking their name below

1st October- Sean Weetra



8th October- Mohamad Abdulla


15th October- Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky


22nd October- Philippa Rowland




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