Student Story: Sam

Sam Durdant-Hollamby is an ordinand studying at St Mellitus College, North West. Below, he answers a few questions.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Sam and I’m 30 years old. I’m married with two young kids and we live in the beautiful city of Chester. I grew up in Kent and at nineteen I moved north to do a degree. I studied drama and went on from university to get a job as a youth and drama worker and then assistant pastor at a local church. I enjoy anything relating to sport, theatre and food. I am currently open to ideas as to how one might successfully combine all three. My family and I feel called to plant churches in urban estate contexts and as such I am currently training as a pioneer ordinand.

Why St Mellitus College?

Worship is at the heart of St Mellitus. All our theology is done in the context of worship. The purpose of our study is the glory of God. Furthermore, the college takes theology seriously. We are spoilt with the calibre of lecturers on our books, all of whom have an evident love for God and his church. This is true across all the centres. St Mellitus is also very committed to families. I am based at the North West centre and the staff there have been very proactive in investing in my wife and supporting my family.

St Mellitus strives to create a culture of ‘generous orthodoxy’ – something which it achieves. I have had my eyes opened to new perspectives and ways of worshipping God. What you learn here is that he’s the same God however you worship him and that we can encounter him in a myriad of ways.

I also believe that the context-based approach to training is very important. Each week I am given an opportunity to outwork my learning in my ministry context. This has had a massive impact on my growth as a disciple and a leader.

How is the programme shaping your leadership?

My prayer for a long time has been, “God, make me a leader that lasts.” I want to be a leader who falls more in love with Jesus each day and sees that outworking in life and ministry. These are the types of leaders St Mellitus want to create. Through the teaching, residential weekends, focus on formation and staff support I have really grown whilst at St Mellitus.

Most importantly, I love God more now than when I started. I also have greater confidence in my ability to unpack and teach scripture and doctrine. God has shaped me in my time here as a more compassionate and prayerful leader. I also believe that I have been empowered to be a more courageous leader taking steps of faith that I wouldn’t have done before.