Interview with a graduate - Catholic Theology
Dr. Juliana Troy

Completed program of study at the University of Innsbruck/year of graduation:
Doctorate in Catholic theology, 2013

What is your current profession? In brief, what are your responsibilities?
Hospital chaplain. Assisting the ill and the dying, their relatives and hospital personnel. The work entails recognizing the (spiritual) needs of people in the hospital (prayer, communion, blessings, funeral ceremonies, emergency baptism, conversation, assurance of administration of the sacraments,…); it also entails 'catching' and supporting people in critical situations.

To what extent does your current profession relate to your degree program?
In terms of the basic theological requirements, a great deal. People who do not have solid knowledge of theology and have not reflected upon and tested their 'own' theology will have a difficult time doing theology with others. In terms of the practical requirements of a chaplain, the degree program is only partly helpful. These abilities are conveyed in a special part-time training program (KSA).

How did your working life get started after you finished your degree?
It was a fluid process. As pastoral professions require the completion of a special university 'pastoral year' program in order to acquire professional experience, entering the profession is easier because you get to know potential areas of work. At the end of the year, talks are held with the diocesan human resources representative to discuss possible areas/fields of work.

What advice would you give students, especially those at the beginning of their degree programs?
To retain the foresight to figure out what you're interested in. Perhaps by attending lectures in various subjects during the first year so that your interests have the opportunity to develop. Definitely go abroad for a year (it's the opportunity to learn about yourself that makes it so valuable!). Be interested in the world apart from your degree program – studying should educate the entire person, not make young people into narrow specialists with only a very limited perspective.

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