Bonner Querschnitte 17/2020 Ausgabe 635 (eng)


The two flagships of evangelical theological training in Australia

(Bonn, 09.03.2020) As representatives of the Department for Theological Concerns of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Thomas and Christine Schirrmacher visited the two most important evangelical theological training centres in Australia, the Anglican Moore Theological College and the Baptist Morling College, both of which cooperate with the University of Sydney.

Photo 1: Guest lecture by Christine Schirrmacher at Morling College in Sydney © BQ/Thomas SchirrmacherIn addition to guest lectures and discussions with faculty members, the focus was on talks with the two principals, Dr Mark D. Thompson and Dr Ross Clifford, who also guided the guests through the extensions of the two colleges.

“One can hardly imagine a greater difference between two training centres than these two evangelical flagships,” Thomas Schirrmacher said afterwards. This large range is typically Evangelical, he added.

“Moore” represents the classical theological education in old historical walls. Students and lecturers live together on campus, biblical and dogmatic subjects are the focus. Most graduates become Anglican pastors or missionaries.

“Morling” is quite different: the training takes place in modern buildings, takes up every modern development like web-based teaching, combines theology with the various other disciplines, and is flexibly tailored to the situation of a variety of students. Cooperation with different partners is the order of the day. Some students live on campus, others in the surrounding area, but others are spread all over Australia. Graduates go into a variety of church and social services.

Ross Clifford explains to Thomas Schirrmacher the interior of the extension to Morling College © BQ/Thomas SchirrmacherRoss Clifford guided the guests through the construction site of a new lecture building of “Morling”. In 2004 Thomas Schirrmacher published Ross Clifford’s doctoral thesis in his publishing house as volume 5 of the series “Christian Philosophy Today” (‘John Warwick Montgomery’s Legal Apologetics’. VKW: Bonn, 2004. ISBN 978-3-938116-00-5).

Moore Theological College was founded in 1856 and is the theological training seminary of the Diocese of Sydney in the Anglican Church of Australia. Since 1891 it is connected to the University of Sydney. The college has a strong tradition of conservative evangelical theology with a strong emphasis on biblical languages, the use of primary sources, and, critically, the importance of learning in community. The college is one of the largest Anglican seminaries in the world, with normally around 300 full-time students in its BDiv and BTh programs, which attract students from all around the world. Its evangelical and reformed character has been created and maintained by the vast majority of the diocese’s clergy being men and women trained at Moore College.

Morling College is a Baptist theological college in Macquarie Park, New South Wales. It is an approved teaching institution of the Australian College of Theology and a registered teaching institution of the University of Sydney. It was established in 1916, and moved to its present location in 1961. In 1985 it was given its current name, in honour of Rev George Henry Morling, who served as principal from 1921 to 1960.

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