This is what Bishopdale Theological College is about. A busy College, with a diverse body of students, a significant range of courses and qualifications, but all with one intent – allowing God to take us deeper … allowing God to go deeper with the Church.
The Gospel tells us the story of God’s mission to bring the whole creation to ‘salvation’ – to a new place with God, full of wholeness, health, and life. All this is finally accomplished in Jesus, through whom we have life, and in whom we have perfect hope for the future.
BTC is a College which exists to serve the Gospel and the Church God creates. We study in order to understand more fully what God is doing and how God calls us to serve. We study to become more obedient disciples and more faithful worshippers. We study to bring our gifts and our deepened insights into the service of God’s people.
In the New Testament letter to the Ephesian Church we read that God gives apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip God’s people for the work of ministry. God’s people serve within the mission of God, and apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers help enable that to happen. BTC serves by helping to deepen insight and strengthen faith so that this can happen all the more. We seek to serve God by serving God’s people and discipling and training leaders.
The College is a community of Christian faith, and we seek to deepen in faith both as lecturers and tutors and as students. Faith is the reality of relationship with God, and life lived within God’s purpose and goodness. Faith is the spiritual reality of God’s gift of life. We seek to explore theology ‘from faith to faith’ – we begin from faith and go deeper, as God works.
So our academic work is always about aiming for the highest possible standards, and for the best practices possible, but it is also about worship and obedience, about the life of God among us and in us. We expect God to lead us into new initiatives to see the Church reach out to different groups of people, to adapt ourselves to serving God’s mission in radical and challenging ways, we expect to have our expectations shaken and deepened, and our lives taken in new directions.
Rev Dr Andrew Burgess, Dean
BSc, Canterbury (NZ); BTh MTh(1st) St Johns (NZ); MTh Oxford; PhD (Oxford)