My name is Maria Lockard, and I’m a current student at Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney, Australia. This blog is about my experience. Feel free to comment and ask questions and follow my blog for more updates :]
Q: What led me to choose Hillsong International Leadership College?
Story… I was 13 when the random thought to do a missions trip to Australia was in my mind (that didn’t happen though) Then when I was 15 I clearly heard God call me to the country Australia. He used Isaiah 42 to really speak to me directly about it. I said yes, thinking I was signing up to be a missionary one day in the future to Australia. Made sense at the time, missions was on my heart. Later on, I might have been 17, I found Hillsong College on Youtube! I saw a College Year summary video or something like this and I remember clearly thinking, I HAVE TO BE THERE! I WANT IN ON THIS!!! This is where God first stirred my heart for College. Then when I was on a missions trip in South Africa when I was 17, God was speaking a lot to me through Abraham’s story/calling. I’d been accepted to a school very similar in Texas called the Honor Academy. I was familiar with it, my sister had gone there, etc. It was safe, comfortable, doable. But in South Africa God asked me to obey His original calling for me to go to Australia and to go to Hillsong. I said YES! I was so excited, I was ready to go that coming semester – I was eager to do it! But, also using Abraham, God reminded me that after He gave the promise it took 25 years for God to cultivate Abraham’s character and prepare him to be a father of nations. I wasn’t ready to go just yet, I needed the next year to prepare and also save money. So I got 2 jobs, worked, and boom – here. Haha, in a nutshell, that’s how God led me here. =] Practically why I chose Hillsong College: It’s seriously a world class college. I’m not just saying this. The trainers we get to hear from, the church we get to be a part of, the culture we have here – is nothing like any other place in the world (at least in my experience). I love that it’s not simply a “bible college”, where we get lots of head knowledge, but we are daily OUTWORKING everything we learning in classes through daily life and ministry. It’s incredible. It’s in Australia. The ‘ends of the earth’. Away from all I know. Away from comfort, security, familiarity. The perfect soil for God to do outrageous things in your life – you’ll be wrecked forever in the best way.
Q: Which campus is better? Hills or City?
While there is no difference in the course academically, the main differences are straightforward: Do you like city life or suburban life?
In the city you live in the heart of downtown Sydney, live in flats/apartments. Living costs are a bit higher. Church-wise you sometimes link to the Hills campus (via video) when Pastor Brian is speaking. But with city campus you may have more of a ‘smaller church’ feel.
In the hills you live in a neighborhood in houses. Living costs are a bit lower. Hills is the main church campus, so it is much larger, with thousands in attendance. Hills campus is 1 bus away from the city (1 hour), and another bus after that to any beach.
Hope that helps!