I am often asked what I think of different Theological Colleges in Australia, and where we send our people to study. There are certainly many colleges across the country; Melbourne alone has no fewer than 9 Protestant Bible Colleges.
I thought I would take an opportunity to talk about where we have been encouraging our people to study.
For sometime our preference has been to send students to Ridley College. This does not mean that there are not other suitable colleges, and this doesn’t mean that we agree with everything that takes place at Ridley, but it does mean that we have a confidence in the college to help equip our people for Gospel ministry.
Here are 8 reasons why we choose Ridley College (I appreciate that some of these points are true for others college as well):
- Ridley is an Evangelical College in the Reformed tradition. Sending people to liberal colleges is a poor investment and will likely cause them spiritual harm. Sending students to colleges where theology and Bible subjects are not core is also a poor choice. It is exciting to hear students wanting to learn about ministry, but without proper theological foundations they’ll practice poor ministry.
- Ridley is located in Melbourne (we want to encourage local training, and we are conscious of the fact that students need to develop local networks with other like-minded Gospel workers).
- I need to trust the Principal. Principals have the unenviable job of leading the college through all manner of changes and challenges. The Principal needs to be a godly man with deep evangelical convictions and Gospel vision. I have a high regard for the Principal, Dr Brian Rosner, as I have for his predecessor, Peter Adam, who worked tirelessly in growing the college.
- Baptists are welcomed. Ridley College has trained baptist pastors for many years and will continue to do so in the future.
- Not only are baptists welcome, but students of a reformed and complementarian persuasion are also made welcome and respected.
- They exercise Gospel generosity. Several faculty have given their time and skills to help us at Mentone in different ways and times.
- Ridley has an excellent online Correspondence Course that can serve local churches well in training lay people.
- Ridley offers useful academic and pastoral courses for pastors seeking to continue their education beyond their basic degree.
There is no perfect institution for theological training, and any college doing its job is one working closely with the local churches. We value the relationship we have with Ridley College, and we commend the college to others who are considering training for Gospel ministry.