Considering changing careers?

Now could be the opportune time. An article from Australian Financial Review reveals that almost one in 10 workers changed jobs last year (Mizen, 2022). What’s been dubbed ‘the great reshuffle’ saw 9.5 per cent of workers – approximately 1.3 million people – change careers. Bjorn Jarvis, Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Head of Labour Statistics, notes this is the highest job mobility rate in a decade since the year ending February 2012.


What does the data say?

The unemployment rate decreased to 3.9 per cent, making it the lowest it has been in 48 years (Mizen, 2022). In April this year, National Skills Commission internet job ads data showed about 311,000 positions needing to be filled and 84 per cent of businesses reporting labour shortages (Mizen, 2022). The increasingly tight labour market has led to employees demanding higher salaries or job switching to match their salary expectations. In turn, businesses have increased employees’ pay or faced a shrink in their pool of potential workers.


How many people want to change jobs?

Over 30,000 people across 31 countries participated in Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index. The results found that over two fifths of participants are considering leaving their employer within the next year (Edmond, 2022).


Contributing factors leading to ‘the great reshuffle’

Lockdown has proved to be the catalyst for many reassessing their work or being inspired to change their role. A better work-life balance and a workplace that aligns with one’s own values are being cited as two driving factors, as people’s mentality towards their work has altered to having work that fits into their lives, instead of having lives that squeeze into their work (Edmond, 2022). Having the autonomy to work remotely and working for a company that prioritises continuous learning appeals to workers as many feel their roles stagnated as a result of COVID-19 (Edmond, 2022).


Interested in making the switch and want to study?

Excelsia College offers courses in education, business, creative and performing arts, social work and counselling, and there’s no better time to start studying and exploring new career options. You never know what doors could open!



Edmond. C. (2022). Explainer: What is the Great Reshuffle and how is it affecting the jobs market? World Economic Forum.

Mizen, R. (2022, May 25). One in five professionals changed jobs last year amid talent dip. Financial Review.

For Anthony Barden, Excelsia College was the clear choice when deciding where to complete his Master of Teaching (Primary). The 2016 graduate noticed that the College placed emphasis on a Christian framework in the course and he saw firsthand the faithfulness of his lecturers when he first met with them. ‘It was clear that they took their teaching roles as a God-given responsibilities and that they worked hard to integrate biblical truth into their subjects,’ explains Anthony.


The support of a learning environment, staff and peers can be instrumental in helping to motivate and inspire an individual in pursuing their chosen profession, something Anthony personally experienced. ‘Excelsia is a faithful, professional, and encouraging environment. I felt really connected to other like-minded individuals (both staff and my peers). It was good to make these connections as it helped to spur me on in my calling to be an educator. I found the feedback from Excelsia staff during my practicum placements very constructive and helpful for shaping my reflective thinking on my teaching practice. This set a great tone for further development even once I’d finished my studies at Excelsia.’


Studying at Excelsia helped Anthony become effective as a teacher in a variety of Christian contexts, opening up opportunities to work as a children’s minister, primary school chaplain, Christian primary school teacher and Quiz Worx ministry worker, sharing the Gospel with children across Australia. Anthony’s favourite Bible verse is Romans 8:28 which says, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.’ Anthony dwells on this verse as he undertakes a transition period. ‘God is always present and active, no matter the circumstances,’ he explains as he awaits the right opportunity to work in full time children’s ministry in whatever capacity God provides. ‘God has provided the opportunity for further studies in education at a higher level in a Master of Education, time for reflection on how to grow as a disciple and to seek to glorify Him in the use of my time.’


Excelsia’s graduation ceremony was a highlight for Anthony, helping him to feel a close connection to God and students. ‘There was a really special moment in our graduation where we were serenaded by some of the creative and performing arts students; I remember them coming in really close, surrounding us with music and the love of the Holy Spirit. I felt really blessed and cared for from these students whom I’d never met before – it was a clear work of God.’


If you want to be taught by inspiring staff and develop academically and spiritually, stretch your thinking, and grow as an individual, why not explore Excelsia College’s School of Education? With courses available including a Master of Teaching (Primary), Master of Teaching (Secondary) and Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth to 5), you never know where your teaching qualifications could take you. You could use it for ministry opportunities just like Anthony has!

Alumni Story - Anthony Alumni

When Professor Ian Eddie joined Excelsia College as Head of School of Business in early 2020, it turns out he already had an association with the College! ‘I had been doing advisory work with the College as an external reviewer on the professional accounting course development committee. Opportunities come and go very quickly and when I found out that the College needed a new Head of School of Business, I thought it was a great opportunity and the right time in my life.’ At this stage, Ian was working as Professor of Private Equity at RMIT University in Vietnam, where he had been for the past two and a half years. ‘I had been thinking of returning to Australia and I had also come to know the College. After finishing off the semester at RMIT, I packed up my bags and returned to Sydney,’ explains Ian.


Unlike secular workplaces Ian has previously been in, being able to share openly about his Christian beliefs is something Ian believes makes Excelsia a special place to work. ‘Spirituality and faith are something that the administrative, professional, and academic staff all share. In a secular university context, faith is not something talked about in the open way it is here. We have the opportunity for prayer and to reflect and talk with our students. You can bring in a story about your faith or spirituality where it’s relevant and this faith is intersected into students’ learning. Some of our Master of Business Research students have studied the role of spirituality in workplace performance!’


Ian’s favourite Bible verse is James 1:5 which says, ‘If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you’ and this is something that Ian considers as he seeks to conduct leadership in a way that Jesus would. ‘I feel I’ve been blessed, and I believe God has given me a gift to be here and that is something I cherish. A question I reflect on daily is, “how would Jesus act?” and I use that when faced with a problem or issue. I try to look for the best for the College as a whole; I consider how my decision in the School of Business will affect the whole College including the academic staff, students and management. It’s trying to do the best beyond a narrow self-interest,’ explains Ian. It is this attitude of service and commitment to the Excelsia community that makes Ian an Excellent Personality.


Ian describes Excelsia as ‘a caring culture with aspiration and a sense of confidence. There is aspiration with wanting to become a university college, but care about people within the College. The confidence comes from the beliefs because we’re working for God’s kingdom. I get a sense of this confidence which is carried through the leaders and my colleagues. These people are confident in what they do and their mission. If we have that confidence from our Christian beliefs, we’ll find ways to overcome the many different challenges that arise.’


Overcoming hurdles is part of life but God has been equipping Ian with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, including patience. ‘Patience is a virtue. I know the world moves fast but for bigger things in life we need to be more patient. Accept what you have and enjoy life and try not to get too stressed. Too many people get stressed in the world because they’re chasing things that take time to accomplish,’ he says.


Outside of work, Ian enjoys a variety of hobbies and activities including spending time with his family, gardening and landscape design, surfing and stand-up paddleboard and kayaking, ocean swimming, bushwalking and outdoor activities and barbecuing with family and friends.


If you want to learn from passionate staff such as Ian, why not explore our School of Business?

What are the biggest factors for school leavers when deciding what to study?

Genuine interests and passion have been cited as the most important factors for school leavers when deciding what course to study at university. Tuition fees and the amount of Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) debt students accumulate over their studies didn’t play a key role. Despite the 110 per cent increase in most humanities degrees, demand for the Bachelor of Arts continues to rise as the most popular humanities degree in New South Wales (White, 2022).

According to Financial Review, four in five higher school certificate (HSC) students cited passion for subject matter as the biggest deciding factor when choosing a university course (Hare, 2022). Only 44 per cent of students had employability as their first priority, followed by internship and work experience, ability to get accepted, and quality of teaching. Only 12 per cent of students considered university status and placing on world rankings as key criteria in their decision-making (White, 2022).


What changes has the pandemic brought?

Following the pandemic, more students were now more concerned about planning for their future and financial security, and 91 per cent talked about saving money, rather than opting for an overseas gap year experience (Hare, 2022).


What does the data say?

Universities Admissions Centre 2021 data showed the proportion of year 12 students applying for humanities-based subjects in New South Wales such as Society and Culture increased by 9 per cent between 2020 and 2022 (University Admissions Centre, 2022).


What value do humanities subjects play?

The value of humanities studies can be seen in students’ abilities to develop critical thinking skills and different ways of approaching real-world problems. Professor Catharine Coleborne, president of the Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities explains that there is evidence that workforces need the set of skills provided by a humanities degree (White, 2022). These skills can be applied to highly relational fields such as counselling and social work, for example.


Interested in a career in the humanities?

If you are passionate about extending yourself, why not explore Excelsia College’s suite of courses offered that can utilise a humanities skill set such as creative and performing arts, social work and counselling.



Hare, J. (2022, May 25). School leavers chasing passions over employment. Financial Review.

University Admissions Centre. (2022). Domestic undergraduate applications and offers at semester 1 closing 2021.

White, D. (2022, June 6). Students flock to humanities degrees despite huge fee increases. Sydney Morning Herald.

Excelsia College’s Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Master of Counselling will equip graduates with the knowledge necessary to make a positive change in the lives of others in a variety of contexts, from allied health, education, ministry, and/or community support and welfare. Counselling is even more pertinent as we navigate post pandemic times, and students will develop not only counselling skills but also mental health knowledge to professionally support those in need. Both programs are formally accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and the master program is also accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).


Both the diploma and master courses utilise a Christian framework, understanding the spiritual, personal, cultural, relational, psychological, and social domains of human experience and functioning. Students also have the option to progress from the Graduate Diploma of Counselling to the Master of Counselling. Within the master course, students have the opportunity to practise their skills inside and outside the classroom with other students. In addition, students in these courses undertake personal counselling as part of their study to increase their self-awareness and readiness to become counsellors themselves.


The Graduate Diploma of Counselling involves just one year of full-time study (or two years part-time). While the normal entry requirement includes completion of a related bachelor degree (e.g. in social work or psychology), experience in relevant paid or volunteer work such as youth work or church ministry can count towards admission. Students who gain entry into the Graduate Diploma can apply to upgrade to the Master of Counselling after successful completion of that course. Master’s graduates will be able to gain membership with relevant counselling associations, such as the Christian Counsellors Association Australia (CCAA), ACA or PACFA. Graduates can apply to work as counsellors in faith-based or secular organisations or may start their own business in private practice.


If you are interested in finding out more about our counselling courses, please refer to the counselling page on our website:


Admissions for our July 2022 intake are now open!

Yumi Schaefer (nee Lee) completed a Graduate Diploma of Dance Therapy at Wesley Institute (now Excelsia College) in 2000. At the time, Excelsia College was the only Christian college in the world which offered a dance therapy course. For Yumi, God revealed Excelsia College to her when she was living in Japan, where she was born and raised as a third-generation Korean. Yumi explains the experience of finding Excelsia as God’s rich pathway and His divine leading. ‘When I was in Japan, I was seeking my future mission and heard God’s audible voice for dance therapy, so I started looking for courses in an Australian school guide. God showed me Excelsia College, the only Christian college in the world to offer dance therapy at the time. It was God-sent and it still gives me goosebumps,’ explains Yumi.

Yumi had previously studied in America and visited Australia a few times so she didn’t experience a culture shock upon arriving to Australia in 1998, however God was her constant anchor in adapting to a new home. ‘I dwelled on Bible verses throughout these times, including 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear” and Nehemiah 8:10 which says, “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. Yumi has been a born-again Christian for the past 25 years and finds she is closest to God when worshipping and praising Him through creative expressions like dancing, drawing and painting. ‘As a student, I had significant spiritual growth at college. I have a life calling in dance therapy and creative art ministry. This is truly a heavenly gift for my life,’ explains Yumi. ‘The Christian life is the most exciting and joyful way of living above all, and I want the world to know it.’

It wasn’t just an education and zest for God through the creative pursuits that Yumi picked up, she also met her future husband! The pair have now been married for 20 years and currently reside in Brisbane. Yumi leads an active lifestyle working as a dance therapist, fitness, and Pilates instructor as well as a personal trainer. She works with a wide variety of client groups, from children to the elderly with various physical and mental conditions. She is passionate about the healing and empowerment for personal growth and change that can be brought about by moving our body in creative and expressive ways. It was in fact a serious health and life crisis and becoming a born again Christian that led Yumi to pursue this area. ‘With his tangible leading and healing, I was led to dance therapy and a passion for healing and health ministry’, Yumi says.

Yumi attributes her joy for dance to the College. ‘Excelsia helped me to gain joy of worship dance and creative art which I never thought existed. When I look back, it is truly Excelsia which shaped my life to the fullest and led all my dreams to come true.’

One of Yumi’s dreams was to publish a Faith Art Journal which incorporates Bible verses and beautiful art. She has realised her dream after publishing a book in 2020 called Sparking Joy. The book is a 30-day creative and reflective devotion designed to ‘spark joy’ in your life. This includes discovering your inner creative energy and playfulness given from our Creator and completing a daily gratitude and thanksgiving.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the creative and performing arts industry, why not explore Excelsia College’s Bachelor of Dramatic Art? If you would like to educate the next generation of dancers, you can choose to major in dance in our Master of Teaching (Secondary). Perhaps you want to work with dancers or performers in a relational context. Why not consider a Master of Counselling? You never know how you could combine two industries.

Alumni News Yumi Schaefer | Excelsia

First established in 2021, Excelsia Productions seeks to contribute to creating cultural arts that benefit the world through exploration and representation of the beauty and brokenness of life in God’s creation. Excelsia Productions chose one of the oldest and most read books in history, the book of Job, from the Bible, as its first feature length film, which will be approximately 90 minutes in length. Tim Lim, 2021 Bachelor of Dramatic Art graduate, will star as Elihu, a comforter of Job and his three friends and defender of God. We talked to Tim about this exciting experience as filming prepares to get underway in early July!

Tell us a bit about your character Elihu.

Elihu is one very unique character in the sense that the only one he sides with is God himself. The name Elihu means ‘My God is He.’ He takes a stance against Job’s three friends and calls out against Job’s rebukes calling Job’s remarks against God unjust. However, he does not threaten Job with aggression like Job’s other three friends. In many ways God uses Elihu to speak with Job and he is the only one of Job’s friends who God doesn’t rebuke at the end of the story.

How did your studies at Excelsia help you prepare to act in 18. The Book of Job?

This script is word for word from the Bible and Elihu has a behemoth of a monologue. Even in my first year of my course here, I performed in one play with 30 to 40 pages of dialogue split between two characters. I had to learn the harsh way of the importance of learning lines early, accurately, and quickly. However, this is both a script and Scripture, thus leading me to learn the meaning underneath the lines as well. This has brought me to reading different versions of the same verses such as New International Version and King James Version to find implications that our WEB Version may not explicitly reveal.

What are you most looking forward to about this experience?

Before I even knew about this production, I was reading the book of Job in my daily devotions, and I acted out all the characters as I was reading them. I loved the idea of bringing this piece of biblical literature to a format more easily consumed such as screen or theatre, where characters can be seen living and breathing not just talking in biblical verses. God has already used this role to develop my growth as an actor and person and I’m very keen to see what else He has in store.

Why do you think the book of Job is such an important book in the Bible that should be adapted to the screen?

The book of Job deals with some of the hardest topics and questions that life and Christianity has to offer. When I struggled with faith, this book was always recommended to me. I think it’s important to ask God why He allows suffering because that’s a question even many Christians still face. Plus, it’s a lot easier to get people to watch something on screen than to read pages and pages of dialogue.

The book of Job is very meaningful to me. I wrote a play (Rapture, 2021) in third year based on Job’s story, about a pastor who lost his family and cried out against God. I’m also a big superhero fan so naturally this pastor finds sci-fi technology and becomes a super villain which is obviously where he and Job diverge. We had to cut out the three friends. I played the pastor in this play and had another student as the equivalent of Elihu where he’d rebuke me. This play came out of a fragmentation of my faith that held resentment toward God but now, as I study the words of Elihu, it’s not just God speaking through me but God speaking to me as well.

We can’t wait to see Tim take to the screen and be a part of a film that will educate the world, especially as we navigate times in a post pandemic world.

Tim Lim on 18. The Book of Job

The Kingdom Good Coalition will present the IMMINENT Leadership Summit on Thursday 14 July. This one-day event will take place at Wesley Conference Centre in Sydney, as well as in various locations across Brisbane and Melbourne. This event is being organised through Christian Media & Arts Australia.


The theme of this year’s summit is ‘Take a courageous step toward the future’ and participants and leading practitioners will explore a number of timely questions including ethical approaches to technology adoption, the Meta Church and the future intersection of virtual and face to face, what is Web 3.0 and do we engage with NFTs, blockchain and crypto, the first steps to cultivating innovation, and creating movement from social media to mobilisation. This will take place in a collective learning environment. On top of robust discussions, there will be case studies and practical steps that churches, media, social justice, not-for-profit organisations and the education sector can take.


Speakers will include:


· Nils Smith – Chief Strategist Social Media and Innovation

· Sam Valich – Senior Director, Global Brand at Compassion

· Dave Adamson – Digital Strategist, Author and Speaker

· Richenda Vermeulen – Founder and CEO, Ntegrity (Panel – Melbourne only)

· Joshua Crowther – Executive Director, Dunham+Company Australia

· Felicity Marlow – Principal, Norwest Christian College

· Stuart Cranney – Director of innovation, CV Global


The purpose of IMMINENT is to serve the greater church in our nation and to be able to critically engage in the spaces of digital, brand, engagement, and innovation. Excelsia is proud to partner with Christian Media & Arts Australia and unite with other organisations, charities and individuals to help further the Gospel across Australia and provide practical steps to help our communities.


To find out more about the event, click the link below

Peninah (Penny) Kansiime is a Lecturer of Social Work and has been with Excelsia College for nearly one and a half years. She has a heart for social issues including forced migration, child protection, family and domestic violence, mental health, and HIV/AIDS, having practised in the field for 12 years. Penny has an international and local practice background and has worked both in university and college settings across Sydney, as well as Uganda. She brings her cross-cultural experience to the College. Penny’s approach to teaching is by helping students to become critically reflective practitioners.


In her work as a social worker and lecturer, Penny has learned from God to think outside of the box and consider multiple perspectives. ‘Outofthebox thinking involves me getting out of the comfort zone regarding what I know and listening to different opinions and respecting them,even if they are contrary to mine,’ Penny says.


God has also taught Penny the value of kindness and empathy. Our students come from across the world, and I have learned with time that we have to listen, understand and treat them as individuals because each of their circumstance is unique,’ she explains. ‘God has challenged me to judge less and be more empathetic.’


One of Penny’s favourite books in the Bible is Psalm 91. Verses 12 say,Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’


One of the things that has surprised Penny the most is the generosity of Excelsia in looking after her emotional wellbeing. Penny would describe the College as a genuinely caring environment’ and it is this care that she brings to her teaching and students as she educates the next generation of social workers. With a down to earth personality and beautiful smile, Penny is a fitting Excellent Personality and Excelsia is lucky to have her.


If you’re interested in helping to care for people and want to learn from compassionate staff like Penny, why not explore our Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course?


Anthea Agoratsios graduated from Excelsia College in 2021 with a Master of Counselling, having previously completed her undergraduate studies with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (majoring in Performance) in 2017. I always knew after I completed my drama degree that I wanted to pursue counselling and specialise in working with actors and other creatives on a therapeutic level. The Master of Counselling offered by Excelsia covered a wide range of therapeutic modalities that aligned with the kind of therapy style I wanted to pursue. I felt a degree like this one would be a great starting point for me,’ Anthea explains.

Over her seven years spent at Excelsia, Anthea has seen the community grow and change as the College has expanded and diversified in its course offerings. Despite the changes, she has noticed the consistent love and support within the student community. ‘Excelsia is welcoming, diverse, and creative; I fell in love with the warmth and hospitality of the community atmosphere. The students I have met during my studies have left a lasting and special impact on my life; the memories I have made are ones that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Through Excelsia I have met my chosen family and for that I will be forever grateful,she says.

Life can be scary and uncertain at times, especially during seasons of change such as completing your studies and moving into your chosen career, however Anthea feels that the student community at Excelsia has supported her in this transition. ‘No matter how uncertain things may seem, there will always be a support network rallying behind you while you complete the transition. Additionally, the importance of hard work, dedication and resilience when striving to achieve your ambitions has been reinforced countless times.

Anthea has many highlights and defining moments from her seven years spent at Excelsia College, however a defining theme she has noticed is her personal and professional growth. Both counselling and acting training require a great deal of introspection and, for me personally, that has led to an immense amount of transformation. I can sometimes hardly recognise the girl that started at Excelsia seven years ago and I am extremely proud of the woman I’ve become,’ says Anthea.

After finishing her studies at the end of last year, Anthea took some well-deserved time off to travel. Now, she is working as a clinic coordinator at a healthcare clinic whilst continuing to aspire towards her goals to becoming a counsellor.

We are proud to have inspiring graduates such as Anthea who embody the College’s values of hard work and a desire to grow not only intellectually but also emotionally. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for Anthea as she uses her knowledge gained to assist actors and creatives. If you want to be transformed, why not explore what Excelsia College can offer you? With courses in counselling, social work, education, creative and performing arts and business, you will be extended in ways you never thought possible.

Enquire with us today by visiting

Anthea Agoratsios – A winning combination of drama and counselling