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Justine Ball

New MA Religious Studies student, Justine Ball, explains, "I completed my degree in Theology at Oxford in 1988 and always intended to go on and complete a Masters in Religious Studies, but a gap year travelling the world and a career in Adult Education as a lecturer and then primary teaching followed, so I put my continuing studies on hold. I have worked for the last 4 years as a Primary RE Inspector/Adviser for Hampshire County Council. In my role, it is crucial to always keep learning about religion so that I can advise teachers on all aspects of Religious Education. The more I learn, the more I realise it is such a vast subject that it is impossible to know it all, which is why I am so passionate about the academic study of religion. It combines all the elements I love in literature, linguistics, theology, history, and philosophy. It is deeply thought provoking and interesting for me as a student. Hampshire County Council have always been supportive of any CPD that I have undertaken and want all their Inspector/Advisers to keep learning so that they can offer the best service and advice to others as possible. Before deciding on the University of Chester, I spent some time looking at all the MA courses available to me that were flexible enough to allow me to keep working. I found the University of Chester’s MA Religious Studies course to be by far the best for me, in that it was the most diverse on offer, with subjects including Buddhism, Islam, biblical studies, religions in the ancient world as well as contemporary religion and culture.  It was also a good choice for me as it is nearly all available online. As well as the range of subjects and flexible delivery, Chester was one of a select group of Universities that are recommended by Culham St Gabriel’s Trust which helps teachers undertake Masters study through a substantial discount offered by their 3forRE scheme. I begin my studies in October 2019 and look forward to the debates, study and opportunities that lie ahead. I would encourage all teachers and advisers to keep on studying, it is invaluable for all of us and there is plenty of support out there for us!"

More information about the 3forRE funding for teachers – see Culham St Gabriel’s Trust

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