She’s one of the few Tongan students studying at the Pacific Theological College.
Forty-year-old Tupou Aonu’u Lino from the Episcopal Anglican Church of Tonga chose PTC to follow in the footsteps of the great Tongan theologians who’ve gone ahead of her.
“Many church leaders across the Pacific studied at PTC, like Archbishop Emeritus Rev. Dr Winston Halapua, President of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga Rev Dr Tevita Havea and others,” she said.
“I came. I wanted to know the secret at PTC,” she added, chuckling, her genial demeanour engaging.
Lino is studying for her Bachelor’s in Divinity with a focus on the history of Christianity.
She joins PTC from St John’s Baptist Theological College, where she completed her Diploma in Theology.
“In my early teen years, while being part of the scripture union at Tupou High School, I started dreaming about becoming a church minister,” she said.
“I wanted to know more about God and the bible and enhance my knowledge.”
“I desire to serve God for the rest of my life, and what better way to do it than to be a church minister,” she added.
Lino is also motivated to be one of the cadres of women who have burst through the barriers of patriarchy in leadership, especially in church leadership.
“Other women have set the pace. Women like Queen Salote of Tonga, the Prime of Samoa, and others breaking the barriers of patriarchy in Pacific leadership.”
Lino believes PTC is the best place to grow and be shaped into an outstanding Pacific leader because of the richness of the learning environment.
“The ecumenical spirit of engagement here at PTC is unique and makes this a special learning environment,” she said.
“I’ve never experienced a place like this before and am enjoying my studies.”