Meet Louise Kenyon
Where did you grow up? What did life look like before NTC?
I grew up in a village just outside Macclesfield, Cheshire before heading off to University in Chester and then Hull.
What did life look like before NTC?
I had previously completed 5 years at art school finishing with a degree in graphic design (film and animation) before working for a number of years in manufacturing. I attended an independent evangelical church and was very involved in youth and children’s work there.
When did you come to NTC? What year did you graduate?
I came to NTC in 2000 to do a 2 year diploma. I graduated from this in 2002 and then stayed on to complete the BA (Hons) in Theology graduating in 2003.
Why did you want to study at NTC?
I have always been involved in leading youth work and ministry but felt a distinct calling to study theology and youth ministry with a view to deepening my understanding of my faith and gaining some training in youth work. It was a very personal journey and, at the time, the final qualification was not as important as the learning I felt I needed so initially I started on the Diploma rather than the degree course. NTC definitely had the depth of learning opportunities that I was in search of compared with other courses available at the time…I’m slightly biased but I still think NTC offers a depth of learning unlike other courses!
What did you enjoy/learn at college?
Ha! I enjoyed everything! 🙂 I really enjoyed the mix of classroom-based learning and placement learning and commuted from my placement in Sheffield each day. However, I think that if I hadn’t continued studies in youth work and ministry I would have continued to study New Testament or Church History. I grew to love being in the library and the opportunity to read and study in a way that I never had before…a bit of a geek really.
How did this change/shape you?
It certainly helped me to think more deeply and intentionally about my work with young people as well as my faith and roles in leadership. Probably discovering a love of studying alongside practice is one of the biggest change for me; I am half way through a PhD (in the geography department at MMU!?!) which I never would have imagined.
What happened after you graduated?
Towards the end of my degree I was asked if I would be interested to come back and work for the College as the Placement Manager and, long-term, as the Youth Course Coordinator. This was very unexpected but I felt it was definitely a part of my calling and so, with excitement (amazement and diffidence!), I accepted. I was sponsored through NTC to complete my PG Dip with JNC and Masters degree at MMU before returning to teach and manage the youth work placements. Initially this was part-time as I continued to work for Cheshire County Council as a Senior Youth Support Worker. Since 2006 I have been full-time at NTC teaching and with oversight of placements and the Youth Work course.
Where are you now and what are you doing? How are you living out your faith in your current situation?
I live in sunny Gorton with my three chickens and continue to work and minister at NTC. However, during this New Year my role will be changing significantly. I am taking up a new post as Assistant Dean as well as maintaining a day a week as the College’s Marketing Liaison Coordinator which is a little daunting but very exciting. I worship at Community Church of the Nazarene, Longsight as well as being involved in leadership there. I view NTC and the local church as the main contexts of my call to ministry and am still amazed by how this has come to be. I was ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene nearly 3 years ago – I suppose this fulfils the nickname some of my fellow students had for me; ‘The Vicar of Didsbury’!