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ambassador magazine · Issue 216 · Spring 2013 Melbourne School of eology ambassador MAGAZINE CONTENTS PRINT DOWNLOAD SPIRITUAL Creative Arts Formation Worship WORSHIP FORMATION ARTS ORGANISATIONAL Leadership Pastoral PASTORAL ORGANISATIONAL LEADERSHIP THEOLOGICAL THEOLOGICAL BIBLICAL STUDIES STUDIES TEACHING Teaching Bible Studies Biblical BIBLICAL BIBLICAL STUDIES TEACHING STUDIES INTERCULTURAL STUDIES Missions ISLAM + OTHER FAITHS PASTORAL PASTORAL CARE Chaplaincy Pastoral CHAPLAINCY CARE CARE INSIDE THIS ISSUE MST Welcomes Matt Jacoby p5 Meet Peter Tyrrell : It’s All Apples p10 Richard Shumack Adds to MST CSIOF p27 Why Do Gospel Workers Need PhDs? p34 MST Promotes ‘Streams’ Model from 2014 Learn more on page 6

MST ambassador MAGAZINE Spring 2013

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The quarterly magazine of MST with news and stories of our God working in the world using out students, past and present.

Text of MST ambassador MAGAZINE Spring 2013


    Melbourne School of Theologyambassador magazine Issue 216 Spring 2013Melbourne School of Theology





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    INSIDE ThIS ISSuEMST Welcomes Matt Jacoby p5 Meet Peter Tyrrell : Its All Apples p10Richard Shumack Adds to MST CSIOF p27 Why Do Gospel Workers Need PhDs? p34

    MST Promotes Streams Model from 2014

    Learn more on page 6

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    ambassador EDITORIAL TEAm

    Editor Dean Troth

    Section Editors MST Undergraduate (Blue): Rev Sam Reeve MST Chinese (Red): Dr Y C Liong MST Postgraduate (Silver): Dr Doug McComiskey MST CSIOF (Green): Dr Peter Riddell MST Alumni (Purple): Graeme Rule

    Design Kaleidoskope Design

    Printing Classic Press

    Proof Readers Deb Fox, Jo Khoo, Peter Orr

    Thank you to all contributors. If you would like to provide feedback on this ambassador or contribute articles for future ambassadors, please contact the Editor on [email protected]


    Post: PO Box 6257 Vermont South VIC 3133 e/ [email protected]

    ABN 58 004 265 016 CRICOS Code: 00691A/02809J Registered Training Organisation 3638

    The pages motif, which makes up part of the MST logo, represents pages of the Bible, the living Word of God.

    melbourne School of Theology exists to equip Gods people with transformational theology, biblical depth and a missional heart, to effectively communicate the Gospel of Christ to a diverse and changing world.

    FIRST SUBJECT* FREE!If you have been considering theological study for some time, or have a general interest to expand your knowledge in a particular area of the Bible, mission, or ministry, this could be the PERFECT OPPORTUNITY for you! MST invites members of the wider Christian community to enjoy their first *audit (non-credit) subject for FREE in Semester 1, 2014.

    To apply, contact James on 03 9881 7800 or email [email protected]

    ContentsReflections from the Principals Desk 3Farewell Rosie 4Board Profile: Geoff Cox 4MST Welcomes Jacoby 5A New More Flexible Student-Empowered Model 6Maximisingour Space = Being Good Stewards 8Its All Apples with Peter 10Clarity of Mission for Kim 12A Trifecta of Sisters Doing GDDs 12Proclaiming Christ, Back at Uni 13Clem Seeking True Disciple-Making 14Pages from My Diary 16From Fast Cars to Washing Feet of Lepers 17Sharing the Gospel: From Drinking Water to Life-giving Water 18Meet our New Students with a raft of Gospel Experience behind them 20Mission Week: The Highlight of their Year 21The Plays The Thing 22So his fame spread through all Syria... 24Zorro, Goldilocks and Jesus 26Talking Past Each Other: Shumack Joins CSIOF 27Meet Marsali, Doyen of Reunions 29Trevor and Heather Smiths epic story 30Way Out West where the Son Still Shines 33Why Do Gospel Workers Need PhDs? 34Espionage Novelist Writing to Serve God 36Theology, Science and Art 37Exploring the Storm Centre of Matthew 38Walking through Time, Making History on the Way 39Christian-Muslim Relations World Wide History Project 40Sharia Finance Uncovered: Ethical Finance but Whose Ethics? 41The Churchs R2P 42A Tour of Discovery through the Contest of Ideas 43

    Melbourne Bayswater







    MST Location: Iconic triangle island at intersection of Eastlink, Burwood & Mountain Highways, Wantirna.

    15 minutes from everywhere in melbournes east.

    2 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    Living Out the Gospel in a Thousand Ways

    Reflections from the Principals Desk

    Therefore, Holy Brothers, who share in a heavenly calling; fix your thoughts on Jesus For we are his house, if we hold on to the courage, and the hope of which we boast.

    Hebrew 3:1

    One of the more fascinating, and encouraging things I often reflect upon, is the variety of ways in which, over the years, our graduates end up serving God.

    While many of them have gone into formal ministry roles in mission agencies and churches, vast numbers of our graduates also serve the Lord with passion and commitment in the context of a fantastic variety of vocations; medical and allied health work, commerce, education, the labour market, science and technology, aviation, engineering, aid and development, public service, the military, the family home . the list is endless!

    In my own travels around Australia, and around the world, I constantly meet men and women whose lives and ministries were shaped by time spent studying here. It leaves me not only with a sense of great privilege, but serves as a reminder of something quite profound about the nature of the Christian life, and the work of Christ: that ultimately, the gospel can be appropriated, lived out and declared in the context of a thousand ways.

    It should not be a surprise. After all, as the writer to the Hebrews claims, our highest calling is a heavenly one, but the outworking of that is that Jesus Christ delights to indwell, empower and enable his children, wherever they

    are, and whatever it is they do. Being the house of God means that Christ can be known, and declared even in the most ordinary things and not simply those roles that are more often associated with ministry.

    Dallas Willard put this so eloquently, when he wrote,

    Were he to come today, as he did then, he could carry out his mission through almost any decent and useful occupation. He could be an accountant, a computer engineer, a bank clerk, an editor, doctor, waiter, teacher, farm-worker, lab technician, or construction worker. He could run a housecleaning service, or repair cars.

    In other words, if he were to come today, he could very well do what you are doing. He could very well live in your flat or house, hold down your job, have your education and life prospects, and live within your family, surroundings and time. None of this would be the least hindrance to the eternal kind of life that was his by nature, and becomes available to us through Him. Our human life, as it turns out, is not destroyed by Gods life, but is fulfilled in it; and in it alone.

    (The Divine Conspiracy).

    Rev Timothy Meyers Principal

    OPEN DAY/NIGHTTuesday 8 October Day 9.30am2.30pm Night 5.30pm9.30pm

    Thank you for your partnership in the gospel!

    I wanted to include a short note saying a huge thank you

    for your support, particularly following our first Annual

    Update and Financial Report which came out in June.

    You should be encouraged to know that we have close

    to doubled our total donations in the past 12 months and

    increased the numbers of donors by more than 25%

    Praise the Lord and THANK YOU!

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 3

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    Farewell Rosie Rosie finished up at MST at the

    end of August to join the team at David McCracken Ministries (DMM), a prophetic ministry with a passion to speak prophetically into local churches, as its first business manager.

    Two and a half years earlier, when Rosie first joined the team at the end of 2010 to manage the settling into the new Wantirna campus, she made it clear upfront that God had clearly given her this assignment for two years.

    It has been an absolute joy and privilege to have had Rosie on our team for these past two and a half years, Principal, Rev Timothy Meyers, said.

    She not only has brought outstanding skills in financial management but with her deep commitment to prayer, spiritual life and leadership, she has been an inspiring leader within our Executive Team and, in particular, in the management of the Operations of the College.

    She has brought excellence, efficiency and best-practice across a range of critical areas within the management of MST and we will miss her greatly. We pray that the Lord will greatly bless, encourage and empower Rosie, as she moves on into another important ministry, he said.

    You might remember the story of faith she shared, back in 2011, (the first edition of Ambassador after changing our name and moving to a new Campus), how God had led them from South Africa, half way around the world to Melbourne, based on a vision of a coffee shop and the words Melbourne is Canaan (the promised land). To read the full story CLICK HERE.

    MSTs accountant, Jo Khoo, has worked most closely with her and observed that Rosie can seem stern at first but has a compassionate heart.

    Rosie always considers people, not just the tasks or functions they perform. I will miss Rosies prayerful care and concern. She has brought order out of chaos. And she has formed a team, recognising the strengths of each person, and empowered each to perform the work required, Jo said.

    Thank you Rosie, and I know my thanks are echoed by all in the team, for your constant prayers, for crying with me and laughing with me, for your gentle reminders and for being the best boss Ive ever had, she said.

    A Trifecta of Sisters Doing GDDsWe have lots of talented new undergraduate and graduate students starting at MST in Semester 2, so we thought wed introduce you to a trifecta of sisters, each enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Divinity.

    Read more about Belinda, Johanna and Wern on page 12.

    Board Profile: Geoff Cox

    Geoff Cox is a relative newcomer to the Board of MST, joining in 2011, but he has been connected to the life on ministry his whole life and his family connections go

    back more than 80 years.

    His mother, Lois, served on the Board for many years and earlier studied at Melbourne Bible Institute (MBI) before serving in mission in Papua New Guinea. Geoffs grandfather (Lois father), Charles Sandland, was a long-time supporter of MBI and was one of a group of leaders who were key in the advancement of the college in the 1930s and 40s. Through these key people in my life, Geoff shares, Ive been able to appreciate the great work of MST.

    Geoff is a Partner with McCracken & McCracken Lawyers, practicing in property, commercial and workplace law. He has Board experience with Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra, the Missions Development Group of Scripture Union Victoria and a small NGO delivering aid and development programs in the Middle East.

    He believes one of the key challenges for MST is to provide a learning experience for students which engage both the heart and the mind with the gospel.

    It is a real privilege to be involved in the growth and development of Christian leaders [through the ministry of MST][I joined the Board because MSTs ministry is] so vital in equipping people with the living Word to engage more effectively in their own spheres of ministry and mission.

    Geoff is married to Ros and they have three daughters, Emma, Sophie and Claire.

    4 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    The high profile front man of internationally-acclaimed psalm-singing band, Sons of Korah will join the MST team in 2014 to teach philosophy, preaching and worship.

    Dr Matthew Jacoby is a pastor and teacher at Barrabool Hills Baptist Church in Geelong. He will be teaching Christian Worship, Introduction to Philosophy and Introduction to Preaching, to undergraduate and graduate level students in 2014.

    In reframing and refocusing the way MST develops, structures and promotes courses, MST Principal Tim Meyers says he wanted to introduce some new electives, such as Introduction to Philosophy, and bring back some that hadnt been taught for many years, such as Christian Worship, to include in its new Creative Arts, Worship and Spiritual Formation stream.

    Matt admits he is a man of many callings. In the past two decades has worked for the Bible Society; lectured at two of MSTs sister colleges; and was one of the founding directors of

    MST Welcomes


    Foundation 61, a live-in community on the outskirts of Geelong which offers hope and direction for people dealing with life-controlling issues. In addition to this, Matt has been doing most of the preaching and teaching at Barrabool Hills over the last nine years. He has also recently started writing daily devotionals for the quarterly booklet, Thrive.

    After completing his Bachelor of Theology through the ACT in 1995, he went on to complete a Bachelor of Letters with Honours in Philosophy from Deakin University. At The University of Melbourne, Matt completed a PhD in Theology and Philosophy. He drew on the conceptual tools of contemporary analytical philosophy to articulate the views of 19th Century Christian

    philosopher, Sren Kierkegaard, in the areas of truth, meaning and theology.

    Academically, Matt has a wide range of research and teaching interests, from Biblical theology and Church history to Christian worship and Faith and the Arts to Homiletics and Reformed Epistemology. He has had papers published in academic journals and has written widely on the spirituality of the Psalms, recently publishing Deeper Places: Experiencing God in the Psalms.

    He and his wife Kate have three children: Sophia, Jeremiah and Ivy.

    I couldnt think of a better person in Australia for students to sit under to learn about Christian Worship and Philosophy, than Matt Jacoby, MST Principal, Tim Meyers says.

    Peter moving on to Moore You may have heard on the proverbial grape vine that our Lecturer

    in New Testament, Dr Peter Orr, has agreed to join the Faculty at Moore College in Sydney from the start of 2014. Thank you so much, Peter, for your service to MST over the past years, particularly at a time of rapid growth and change for the College. A longer farewell and interview will appear in the final Ambassador for 2013.

    Apply before 31 January to study Preaching, Philosophy or Worship with Matt

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 5

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    MST is very excited to announce the arrival of electronic books (eBooks) to its Library collection! While the rollout of eBooks is still in its infancy, we already have 39 electronic books available for registered library users.

    In this fast-paced world of technological advances, eBooks are enabling readers throughout the globe to access a wide range of information through dictionaries, novels, guides and text books previously limited to the remote shelves of particular library collections.

    MST Librarian, Ros Devenish, explains that eBooks offer a wide range of benefits to students and teachers alike in accessing the latest reviews and information on a wide range of different topics. eBooks will be of a particular benefit to distance students who are unable to travel to the library to access physical books and resources, she shares.

    eBooks allow for unlimited simultaneous users to access an eBook at any one time, eliminating the need for borrowers to have to go on a reserve list for a particular title. You can also add your own notes to the text as well as copy

    and paste limited amounts of text, making essay writing and referencing less tedious. EBL, the platform used for eBooks, automatically keeps track of material copied so that copyright will not be infringed.

    All MST students making use of this electronic resource will enjoy the benefits and ease of using this new programme. Ros adds, While the majority of our set texts are not available through eBooks at the present time, the number of books available is increasing steadily. eBooks are an incredible supplementary tool to assist you with your research.

    The MST collection will grow as we are given access to a wider range of titles from the electronic provider, EBL. Students can find out further information on how to make use of eBooks through the eCampus portal or by contacting the library at [email protected] Please note that access to MST eBooks is limited to registered library users.

    Library eBooks: a world of theological resources at your fingertips

    From 2014, MST will be adopting a different approach to the structure and shape of our entire curriculum. Under this new, more flexible student-empowered learning model, there will now be much greater freedom and opportunity for MST students, whether full-time, part-time or distance, to benefit from flexible learning, and shape their studies in ways that directly reflect the vocational and ministry outcomes to which they feel called, and for which they wish to specifically prepare.

    In practical terms, this will not only mean more free choice among a growing and more diverse suite of electives on offer, but more importantly, the opportunity to pursue major and minor areas of focus, across the entire spectrum of Awards. It will also provide MST students to participate, both on campus, and on-line, in learning cohorts, with others preparing for similar areas of ministry.

    Initially, we plan to offer five key areas of ministry training emphasis, represented by five colours of our new multi-coloured Apply for 2014 poster, (pictured):

    Core Values Corner

    Truly InterdenominationalOne of the great strengths and distinctives of MST is that for nearly a century, from the very outset, we have been an openly interdenominational school. Our students, Faculty and staff come from a wide variety of church traditions and denominations.

    This diversity fuels vision and inspiration, nurtures maturity, encourages humility, and greatly enriches the classroom as well as culture of the College. We also believe it is one of the most powerful and important environments in which to study the Scriptures, and be shaped and effectively equipped for ministry in the modern church, mission and society.


    A New More Flexible Student-Empowered Model

    6 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    Pastoral and Organisational Leadership for those preparing for local church, pastoral, mission and para-church leadership.

    Biblical and Theological Studies for those wishing to prepare specifically for teaching ministry, either in the church, or academic world.

    Intercultural Ministries for those going into cross-cultural ministry, or wishing to focus on areas of specific interest such as Islamic studies.

    Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care for those interested in counselling, school-based religious education, sports chaplaincy or campus ministry.

    Creative Arts, Worship and Spiritual Formation for those whose sense of calling and passion lies in the creative arts, and spirituality.

    In 2015, MST hopes to add a sixth major area, focusing on Vocational and Marketplace Ministry for those who do not feel specifically led into full-time vocational Christian service but are keen to be well equipped in the Scriptures to live out their faith in the workplace.










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    We are excited about intentionally moving to a model that allows for more flexibility and personal choice of subjects, across the range of ACT Awards available MST Principal Rev Timothy Meyers shares.

    This will provide MST students with a far broader range of electives, within our Awards, than previously available, enabling students to shape their learning in ways that are directly relevant to their sense of calling.

    OPEN DAY/NIGHTTuesday 8 October Day 9.30am2.30pm Night 5.30pm9.30pm

    A New More Flexible Student-Empowered Model

    Apply before 31 January

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 7

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    Maximisingour Space = Being Good Stewards

    Why does a bible college need such a large building? and What is MST doing with its extensive facilities outside of normal class times?, you may have been wondering.

    Over the past 18 months, MST has evolved from an educational institution into to a ministry hub, with hundreds of Christians meeting and using our facilities every single week. The space is used for ministry activities, Bible studies, prayer, business events, as well as classes and activities for our growing full and part-time student body.

    It makes good stewardship sense to maximise use of the amazing facility God has given us. It gives us an increased income to expand our ministry over the long-term, but there are many other benefits in making our ministry sustainable well into the future, MSTs Property Services and Venue Coordinator, Susanne Quilliam, shares.

    It is an absolute joy to know that almost every day, our building is being utilised for Kingdom-building purposes.

    Susanne adds, Benefits for our sustainability include: increased income for ministry; deepening our relationships and interdependence with other Christian mission and ministry organisations; and growing exposure of our ministry outside our traditional church circles.

    MST plans to maximise use of its space in a three-fold strategy:

    1. Long-term tenancy with organisations to utilise spaces that MST does not currently use, such as the lease of the Warehouse by CMS Australasia (see article on p9);

    2. Partnership with churches and other Christian ministries who meet here regularly, such as Bible Study Fellowship and Hills Bible Church; and

    3. Venue Hire for one-off or annual conferences and events, such as World Visions workshop, The Faith Effect, in early September, with visiting South American theologian Ruth Padilla DeBorst.

    Two of our partners are Bible Study Fellowship and Hills Bible Church.

    BSF Every Monday, up to 300 women

    and up to 90 school-aged children meet to study Gods Word, as part of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).

    Sally Minett, BSFs Teaching Leader of the Evening Womens class for the Knox District, says she is excited the class is able to meet at MST and is thrilled the class has been growing at such a rapid pace. The class had been meeting weekly in a church building but had outgrown the facility. Each year, they were forced to turn participants away, placing women and children on a waiting list. After much prayer and searching, they approached MST, which had the space and car parking

    they needed and, most importantly, shared their vision to make thorough, in-depth Bible teaching available to all.

    We are extremely grateful to God and to MST for the relationship we enjoy and for the generous availability of your building to us, Sally shares.

    Its an incredible privilege to see women give their hearts and lives to the Lord Jesus for the first time, to hear of marriages saved, class members becoming bold in their witness and women taking up ministries in their churches. These ladies are becoming sensitive to Gods leading and passionate about the Kingdom.

    BSF runs a nine-year cycle of studies which students can begin at any time, including Genesis, The Life of Moses, The Minor Prophets, Isaiah, Matthew, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Romans and Revelation.

    We thank MST for the warm welcome youve given us and extend an invitation to students, staff and friends to visit us any Monday night and see God continue His work after hours at MST, she said.

    Hills Bible Church Hills Bible Church (Hills) is a

    growing, but newish church, that meets at our Wantirna campus each Sunday morning, with anywhere from 80 to 100 meeting for worship, exegetical preaching and a time of Godly fellowship together.

    Andrew Courtis, Pastor of Hills, says he is excited about sharing the facility with a ministry that shares the same vision and purpose as the

    8 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    New Warehouse Tenant Creates the Wow Factor

    church he leads. Hills is a reformed Baptist church, robustly evangelical in its theology, upholding the centrality of the scriptures with a strong teaching ministry. The church has gone through such growth after moving to MST that it recently started a new evening service.

    The facilities at MST are amazing. We love large the open space, the warm and bright feel of the building. It is also encouraging to be meeting in a facility that is committed to training men and women for ministry, Pastor Courtis shares.

    Hills started in 2009, originally meeting as a small homegroup church on Sunday afternoons in a members home in the Surrey Hills area but quickly outgrew the lounge room and moved to a hall in Mont Albert to extend its mission. When the Lord continued adding to their number, they reached the capacity of their site and, as they grew, identified MST was at the most central site to where members lived. More info about Hills Bible Church visit www.hillsbiblechurch.org

    Following months and years of prayer over MSTs need to lease the warehouse, Principal Rev. Timothy Meyers wrote to faculty and staff in late May beginning,

    This is an email I have been longing to write. It is with tremendous pleasure, thankfulness to God, and a grateful heart for the hours put in by so many, that we announce that the warehouse has now been LEASED! Praise God and Hallelujah!

    The story began in late 2012 with a sign, the worlds safest car, and a dream.

    Christian businessman Steve Anderson and his event communications business, CMS Australasia, had been contracted in 2012 to help create the wow factor

    for the Australian launch of the new Volvo V40, using their state-of-the-art 3D rendering technology. However his current premises did not have the space to set up and test the launch. After seeing the real estate sign outside MST on several occasions, Steve walked in the front door and enquired about hiring a 30 metre by 30 metre space for a couple of weeks.

    The moment we moved in and set up, however, we could see the potential. This warehouse is a dream, we thought. It was perfect and allowed us space to not just build, test and display our products and services, but room to store, pack and rack our equipment, Steve said.

    Over the weeks following, Steve says they kept thinking and talking and things eventually became very clear. When asked if he thought Gods will was involved in his decision, he quickly responds 100%. The Lord has had His hand on it the whole way through.

    Steve started CMS from humble beginnings in 1992 as a conference recording company, known as Conference Recording Services and later as Conference Media Services. Twenty-one years later, CMS Australasia is a technical production company providing audio visual hire and recording,

    The wow factor created by CMS Australasia for the Volvo V40 launch.

    production and live streaming of major events including gala balls and dinners, business update events and conferences for some of the worlds largest corporations and Australias best known brands including BP, Dell, Coles, NAB, and Kmart.

    I am a man of faith and this business was never about building my kingdom or my house but about building His Kingdom and His House. To me it is about stewarding what God has put before me, Steve said.

    I believe synergies will develop between the services we offer and the ministry of MST and hope we can be of assistance in seeing the gospel go out, he added.

    Both Tim and Steve expressed their sincere thanks and gratitude to Rosie Eloff, Finance and Administration Manager, and Susanne Quilliam, Property Services Coordinator, for their professionalism, persistence and attention to detail in handling the lease from initial enquiry to the final approval.

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 9

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    MST Principal Rev Timothy Meyers recently announced Peter Tyrrell as the new Director of Ministry for the College. Peter comes with a wealth of business and ministry experience from his role as the Australian CEO of Insight for Living, Chuck Swindolls radio Bible-teaching ministry. He looks forward to joining the MST team in September.

    But who is Peter and why is he joining MST?

    Applesits all about apples, Peter explains with an enthusiastic grin. (Well come back to that analogy later.)

    When Peter turned 55, his closest friends approached him and, rather than asking his plans for retirement, they asked him three questions:

    How are you going to finish?

    Whats God saying to you now?

    What is the most significant thing for His Kingdom that God has been preparing you for your whole life?

    These significant questions set him on a path of discovery over the next few years and were ultimately answered by his arrival at MST.

    Peter is a man of diverse talents and his skills stretch across many boundaries. He is an avid learner and a skilled and experienced teacher. He has built houses and played in bands his whole life, playing 6-string and bass guitar. He is a professional communicator and an audio engineer. He is also a photographer, a keen camper and a enthusiastic long-distance cyclist, riding throughout Tasmania, cycling from Melbourne to Adelaide and back, and participating in Around the Bay in a Day three times. He is currently training for a ride, from Ferntree Gully to Mansfield, to raise money for his daughter, Eve, to work in a Muslim orphanage in Beirut.

    I believe I have been training for my next role at MST for my whole life, Peter shares. His philosophy is that everything he has done and experienced in the past is meaningful and that God will use will use it for the future.

    Prior to joining Insight for Living in 2003, Peter worked in operations and program development at Focus on the Family for seven years, and prior to that spent almost a decade

    Its All Apples

    with Peter

    10 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    in telecommunications for the organisation that launched Optus in Australia. He started his professional life in the early 1980s as a school teacher.

    He tells a story from his early life and a job that would significantly shape him for later ministry. At just 25 years old, Peter was hired as Head Teacher of the smallest primary school in the State, in a tiny township in one of the most isolated alpine regions of Victoria. Originally a gold mining township in the 1860s, Woods Point lies at the extreme headwaters of the Goulburn River, a three hour drive from Melbourne, on the road between Mansfield and Marysville. In Winter, it was accessible only by Four Wheel Drive. This was in a time prior to mobile phones and internet, he reminds me.

    The experience at Woods Point taught me many life lessons, the most profound being about loneliness. It was the loneliest time of my lifeit went close to destroying me. The lives of three previous teachers at Woods Point had been destroyed, literally, because of loneliness and I was nearly another statistic!

    Once a week, Peter recalls jumping in his 4WD and driving an hour and a half into Mansfield, just to play squash for an hour with himself, and then turn around and drive back. He

    believes that experience has given him the ability to really empathise and understand the pressures many people have to deal with on a daily basis.

    Life is a journey and everything is a learning experience becoming equipped to do more and more of what God wants us to do next, Peter says. As well as being a learning sponge, he says he also likes to shake things up by asking questions and welcoming change. There can be no sacred cows. If there is a better way, lets do it.

    When asked about his first comment on Apples, Peter quickly refocuses. He remembers a quote from a sermon by Dr Robert Schuller that he believes applies to everything we do at MST. Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.

    Gods plans are bigger than just fertilising or strengthening one tree or organisation, Peter says. I want to help equip MST to take people with a passion for the Scriptures and

    love for the Lord and fertilise and encourage them, sending them out and seeing them germinate so that many many trees end up bearing fruit, across decades, because of our ministry at MST.

    Coincidentally, Peter happens to like the apple analogy because he grew up in Vermont South, within four kilometres of MST, and remembers this area when it was all orchards.

    I remember, as a boy, stealing apples off the trees and being chased over the fence by orchadists with dogs and guns, he shares with a chuckle.

    We welcome Peter to our team as he begins to tend the seeds God has planted in His orchard at MST.

    Peter is married to Cornelia, who teaches German at several primary schools in Melbourne.

    They have four daughters in their 20s. He begins his new role with MST at the start of September 2013.

    Woods Point, a tiny isolated township in

    regional Victoria.

    Largest Leadership Intensive Ever!Leadership is one of the five streams or areas of ministry training emphasis, that MST is introducing in 2014 and Principal Tim Meyers led an intensive on Leadership and Management in July, dubbed the largest and most popular intensive in living memory! by our Dean of Studies, Delle Matthews.

    Heather Coleman, who is General Director of Global Interaction (the Baptist Unions cross-cultural agency) was part of the intensive and said the group had a mix of gender, ages, experience levels, denomination and work contexts and would recommend future students study ministry leadership at MST, rather than be confronted, confused and or surprised.

    Mentoring fromidentifying a suitable mentor by their characteristics to being a good mentor, was the big take out for Heather, who leads an agency of around 150 people.

    She said the biggest highlight for her was the opportunity to spend a week focussing on the area of management and leadership in ministry, as well as the richness that comes to learning in a face to face forum, sharing questions and ideas.

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 11

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    Hear how God has been active

    Meet some of our new vocationally diverse students

    Hwee Kim Toh, one of the first MinistryTrax interns from CityLife Church to study at MST, is also a trained medical doctor. Born and raised in Malaysia, she remembers telling her parents at a very young age she wanted to be a doctor when she grew up so she could help people. Six years ago she came to know Christ and has since developed a heart for local and global mission!

    Before coming to MST, God had given me a vision and the heart to share the gospel with the lost and serve His people in the South East Asia, Kim said.

    God has opened doors for her to volunteer with the patient care ministry at New Life Fellowship Church based in Phnom Penh, the capital of

    Cambodia. The ministry is to villagers who have been seen by an overseas medical team, or referred by one of the New Life pastors, leaders, evangelists, health-care assistants or members.

    We help by coming alongside these patients and providing the assistance they need, whether that is medical assistance, financial assistance or prayer. At the same time, I am also involved in providing basic healthcare training to the provincial healthcare assistants, she said.

    Kim says the ministry has both medical and Kingdom benefits and over the years it has been able to actively save many lives and souls.

    From a healthcare point of view, it is vital because many times these sick people, especially those from the villages, do not know where to go for help or do not have the means to get help.

    From a Christian perspective, I see this as an open door to demonstrate Gods love in action to these people. And at the same time, we have plenty of opportunities to reach out and share the Gospel of Christ with them, Kim said.

    Kim says that over the years, she always struggled emotionally with

    patients dying, seeing the limitations of medicine. But by incorporating both faith in God and medicine in her ministry, she can see God working in awesome ways, far beyond what medicine alone can do.

    Kim says her study at MST has equipped her with the Biblical knowledge she needs and helped her through some of the challenges of serving cross-culturally.

    Kim is willing to be used by God however and wherever He plans but she feels God calling her to use her skills and training somewhere in South East Asia after she graduates.

    Clarity of Mission for Kim Kim first heard about MST through the ministry internship program at her church. She says it was the clarity of the mission statement that really attracted her at the time:

    MST exists to equip Gods people with transformational theology, biblical depth and a missional heart, to effectively communicate the Gospel of Christ to a diverse and changing world.

    A Trifecta of Sisters Doing GDDsWern Li Chia, 26, is a fully-qualified pharmacist working full-time in the community and enrolled part-time in the Graduate Diploma of Divinity (GDD). Commonly known as Wormie or Wernzy, she was born in Malaysia butgrewup inMelbourne and worships at CityLife church.

    As well as studying and working, Wern has also co-led a Life Group at CityLife and is part of the Communion preparation

    team. She believes God brought her to MST to become better equipped for Gods service by diligentlystudying the Word and learning from those around her, and to gain clarity and direction in what God has called her to do.

    She says the workplace is her mission field at the moment and she is usingher pharmacy knowledgeand skills to serve the community. It is her hearts desire to be an integral part of a God-drivenmovement that will impact people locally and globally for His Kingdom.

    Wern also wants to be spurred on in Christ so that she, in turn, can encourage and motivate others in their walk with God and perhaps, in the future, also teach the Word.

    Johanna Kornaczewski, 31, is also enrolled in the Grad Dip of Divinity (GDD), however studying full-time.

    Born in Melbourne but raised in Hobart, Jo completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology and a Major in German.

    She says her plans of becoming a psychologist were interrupted by God when, in 2005, she followed His leading to join an inter-denominational Christian community, known as The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, whose ministry is motivated by a deep love for God and centres around building up the Body

    12 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of TheologyHear how God has been active

    Proclaiming Christ, Back at Uni

    Just six months after completing her Master of Divinity, Mardi is so grateful for the opportunity to have studied at MST.

    After teaching overseas, Mardi Easton wanted to prepare for long-term mission work, so decided to study theology and part way through the first year of her MDiv course, she realised that she wanted to teach people about Jesus instead of maths and physics! Nearing the end of her course, she decided she wanted to serve God by working in university student ministry, and started working with Christian Union (CU) at The University of Melbourne.

    Studying full-time was invaluable in the way it shaped my thinking. Although I am in no sense proficient, I am grateful for how my mind has

    been trained to think theologically, Mardi shares.

    Her responsibilities at CU are varied: she spends a lot of time meeting up with girls one-on-one to read the Bible and enjoys seeing them learn about how rich the Bible is and how much they can get out of it with a little bit of time and study. She also runs an Alpha course, a couple of Bible studies and, this Semester, will be co-leading a Ministry Training Group on systematic and biblical theology.

    Im really excited about this, because I remember doing the Old Testament overview class in my first semester of Bible College and being excited and blown away by the realisation that the whole Bible, Old AND New Testament is about Jesus and Gods plan of salvation through Him. Im hoping I can share this enthusiasm with the students who will be taking this course.

    She shares a few things that have happened that help her see Gods hand in her work. The first is how much she loves doing the work and using her skills to serve, in meeting with students and in organising events. Another great experience,

    she remembers, in orientation week of her first year at Melbourne Uni. A first year girl saw her wandering through Uni with a CU t-shirt and recognised her from when she had been a beach mission leader, some 12 years earlier.

    When she found the CU table she signed up to do the Alpha course and I got to meet her again when she came to one of our public Bible talks, she says excitedly.

    Please pray for the work of Christian Union at Melbourne Uni and for the course Mardi is co-leading this semester.

    Most of all, pray that God will be using the CU to further His plans at Melbourne Uni, she finishes.

    A Trifecta of Sisters Doing GDDsof Christ. After serving six years at their headquarters in Germany, and another 18 months in NSW, she is now back in Melbourne, worshipping at St. Lukes Anglican Church in Vermont and excited to see where God will lead her in the future.

    Jo says her heart breaks for the lost in the church those who know some church traditions but dont know Jesus personally, particularly in Europe.

    More than anything Germany is on my heart and I believe Hell take me back there some day to serve Him there. Its my hope that my studies and time at MST will not only give me a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, but that Ill be further equipped for whatever lies ahead, she says.

    Belinda Fox, 28, calls herself a local because she has lived in Wantirna, just down the road from MST, since she was ten. A member of Heathmont Baptist church, she is also studying the GDD full-time.

    Prior to studying at MST, she completed a degree in Indonesian and Linguistics (Hons) at Monash University, before moving to Papua (eastern Indonesia) with Wycliffe Bible Translators. For the past three years, she has been serving in a holisticcommunity development project among an isolated tribal group, which included an oral Bible storytelling component.

    It was anamazing experience to witnessthe incredible workGod is doing to the ends of the earth, she shares.

    Towards the end of her time in Indonesia, God putthe idea of going to Bible College on her heart. She believesGod wantsto sharpen her knowledgeof Him and His word, both for spiritual growthand for future ministry purposes.

    I realise now how much there is I dont know about God. My desire is tobe better equipped to serve Him and share His love with others, Belinda says. I definitely feeldrawn into global mission but ultimately I want to seek Gods direction for the next step, wherever He leads.

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 13

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    Building up the Church is important thats what Im tasked to do as a pastor. But recently Ive begun to see with greater clarity than probably ever before, that making disciples is our primary assignment, and that there is a huge difference often misunderstood and unexamined between church-building activities and true disciple-making intent.

    So says Clem Fung, formerly a student at BCV from 2002, completing a Master of Divinity in November 2005. Previously, he and his wife served for 10 years in missions, working and travelling all across Australia and internationally to Mexico, Zambia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Their ministry focused primarily on itinerant evangelism, discipleship, and training. But even just a few years into his service, Clem longed for deeper, more systematic training in theology to better understand and accurately convey the Word of God.

    His father, a retired seminary professor and published NT scholar, strongly encouraged Clem to pursue Bible college training, particularly as Clem sensed Gods calling long-term to pastoral ministry. In the end, I chose BCV because of its

    strong reputation for solid Biblical studies, cross-cultural and inter-denominational expression, and a theology going beyond mere intellectual exercise to practical application in mission and ministry. It probably helped too that my Dad and Dr. Colin Kruse [then and still a NT lecturer at BCV/MST] had an affinity and strong mutual admiration for each others work!

    It had been a decade since his last formal studies in the very different field of Computer Science and IT, and Clem wondered if he would cope with the study load and discipline of reading, assignments, and exams. And while it was definitely hard work and stressful at times, he says he loved his time at BCV. I was able to see with fresh insight the consistency of God at work to redeem humanity through OT, NT, and Church history that this reality has been true throughout time and certainly continues today. Theology classes helped me think through the place and expression of Christ and the Holy Spirit in mission, the Church, and everyday personal and social relevance. Biblical and Greek studies gave me tools to mine deeper gems of truth in Scripture that previously I might have heard about or had

    inklings of, but didnt know how to discover or affirm firsthand.

    When he finished at BCV, and started a few months later as an Associate Pastor at Grace Church of Christ (www.gracechurch.cc), he was itching to get back into ministry. His role covered small group life and training. Over the next almost four years, Grace Church went through 40 Days of Purpose and 40 Days of Community, in the process seeing God grow their small groups ministry from 15 cells involving about 180 people, to around 30 GROW Groups encompassing more than 280. Clem conducted monthly training for the group leaders on the purpose and function of small groups, understanding group dynamics, and practical leadership skills. And he also worked with the Education and Training team to devise and implement a discipleship strategy for the whole church, which included a spiritual growth stream, an equipping track for ministry, and courses in everyday life such as marriage and parenting.

    When the Senior Pastor retired at the end of 2009, the Elders asked Clem to step up, and since the beginning of 2010, he has served as Lead Pastor at Grace Church.

    Clem Seeking True Disciple-Making

    Hear how God has been active

    Clem Fung Family at BCV: Many years ago, outside BCV Lilydale, with his parents, and Dr Ronald Y.K. Fung

    14 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    Its been a joy and privilege, and so exciting to see God at work He has added to our staff; our youth, young adult, and young family communities in particular are growing and thriving; we are more deliberately and consistently engaged in our local community than [we have been] in a long time; we planted a new congregation last year to reach unchurched 20- to 30-somethings, and as a result had to extend our facilities and build a childrens playground; God is bringing new people to us all the time.

    As thrilling and satisfying as the journey has been thus far, Clem believes God wants Grace Church to shift gears: Jesus says in Matt 16:18, I will build my church and in Matt 28:19-20, [you] go and make disciples teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. But instead,

    what we often do as Christians is spend the bulk of our time and effort on building the church, with little left over to actually disciple anyone.

    He continues, In the NT Greek, church is ekklesia which connotes the gathering or assembly of Gods people, and Christ promises to be in their midst. Gathering is important, but it doesnt guarantee those who gather will automatically grow in their love, loyalty, and obedience to Christ. We spend so much time trying to gather people, and figuring out new and better ways to gather more people small groups, Bible studies, prayer meetings, church services, outreach events these are all good; Jesus gathered large crowds too by the thousands. But He discipled only a few, letting them get close enough to really see what a Spirit-filled life in communion with

    MST Students at Grace ChurchA team of students from MST led by lecturer Scott Harrower, will be joining Clem at Grace Church during Mission Week, 15-22 September.

    Clem says, Im really looking forward to them ministering with us theyll gain some experience and exposure in our local outreach activities, youth and young adult ministries, intercessors group, new Encounter service, and time with our staff. Im praying that itll be a blessing both for them and for us.

    the Father looks like. Over three years Jesus relationally rubbed off on them; they got more than just information, but learned to truly follow Him (Matt 16:24-25) even after He was no longer physically present.

    At Grace Church they still will do whats necessary to gather people in all the various settings, because gathering creates opportunity for relationships to be built. But for true disciple-making to happen, those relationships need to go further by each person intentionally seeking to rub off on a few others in the same powerful way Jesus did.

    To find out more about Grace Churchs ethos and strategy to shift gears from church-building to disciple-making, please contact [email protected]

    Clem teaching at Grace Church Clem and Justine

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 15

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    Pages from My Diary

    Hear how God has been active

    You are the light of the world, Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14. And where does light have the greatest impact? In the darkness of course!

    To see where this journey takes me, feel free to check out my blog: www.sandraoh82.blogspot.com

    Realising the need to share the Good News of Jesus in the most unreached parts of the world has set MST alumni, Sandra Oh, on an incredible journey to Nepal, where shes been serving God for the past three years. What has this journey looked like? Below, she has shared some snippets from her diary

    May 2000: CrossCulture Church of Christs Missionary Convention

    Dear Diary. Tonight I sensed God say Youre not too young anymore. Its time you take seriously my call to overseas missions. What should I study at university that will help me to grow in the gifts and abilities Gods given me so that I can use them for Him?

    December 2001: Tabor CollegeDear Diary. What an amazing year. So thankful to have

    had the opportunity to grow in my faith by doing Year In The Son! Now onto RMIT University to get a Bachelor of Business Management.

    January 2003: On board the MV Doulos in Ghana, West Africa

    Dear Diary. So glad I did this short term trip! Ive learned so much about living in an international community and have had so much fun sharing Jesus with the people Ive come across. Not sure if being onboard longer term is a good fit for me though. I think I want to be in a place for a longer period of time so that I can learn the language and culture and really invest in friendships with locals.

    December 2005: Bible College of VictoriaDear Diary. Coupling working as the Youth Ministry

    Worker at CrossCulture Church of Christ with studying a Grad Dip in Ministry over the past two years has been fantastic training for ministry! So thankful for the opportunity to do more in-depth study of the Bible and for the great lecturers I learned from. Am thankful for BCVs focus on mission and the different missionaries we got to hear from during Chapel.

    September 2006: Urban Neighbours of Hope English Camp, Klong Toey Slum, Bangkok

    Dear Diary. I am SO blessed to have English as my first language! What a fantastic tool for missions! Its amazing that people can gain education and employment opportunities by knowing a bit of English! Maybe I need to

    look into English teaching as a way to bring hope for the future, as well as a way to build relationships where the Good News of Jesus can be shared.

    August 2010: At home, Melbourne, Australia

    Dear Diary. The past few years, getting experience teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in South Korea, and then at Monash Universitys English Language Centre, have definitely prepared me for the new adventure I am about to embark on teaching ESL (with support from Interserve) at the Kathmandu International Study Centre a Christian international school for mission, expatriate and Nepali children. Im sure that moving to one of the poorest countries in Asia will have its challenges, but Gods heart for the poor is clear throughout the Bible and I look forward to seeing how He can use me to bring hope and light to the people there.

    April 2012: Kathmandu, Nepal

    Dear Diary. What a truly fascinating experience! Living in a country that is 80% Hindu (only 1% Christian), I knew about the Kumari, but to meet her this afternoon was truly unbelievable! I think my Year 7 students were shocked that a young girl, the same age as them, is considered a living goddess and is worshipped by many Nepalis.

    August 2013: Kathmandu, Nepal

    Dear Diary. Im just about to start my fourth year in Nepal. Ive come to see that there are many challenges that face the education system here, especially in more rural areas where students and teachers may have to walk many hours just to get to school. Over the next three years, Im excited to continue teaching ESL, as well as train Nepali school teachers through a program which aims to transform communities by providing training for Nepali teachers, giving scholarships to kids who cant afford to go to school, and taking books to schools in remote areas. Its a new season, and I look forward to seeing what God is going to do in and through me in the years ahead.

    16 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    From Fast Cars to Washing Feet of Lepers

    Hear how God has been active

    As Jason was studying in medical school, he dreamt of living in a mansion, driving several luxury cars and jet-setting around the world in first class. God had other plans. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mt 16:26, NIV). Gods merciful hand slapped him awake and guided him to a trip into Thailand and Myanmar in 1998 that changed the whole course of his life.

    In this trip, his callous heart was softened to the tremendous needs he saw in the tribal hill people of Thailand. Most of all, he saw the difference a humble and available child of God could make to people

    who were desperate for hope. He cried every time he saw how Gods love rescued people from the darkness.

    After graduating medical school, he was determined to make his life count for the kingdom of God. Since graduating as a medical doctor, he has spent his holidays on at least one missions trip each year. He has served primarily in China but has also gone to India, Taiwan, Thailand, Myanmar, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. His work involves training doctors, caring for orphans, teaching English to high school students, providing sexual education to adolescents in schools and providing free medical care in rural settings.

    On the mission field he has met amazing children of God who has given up much in this world to gain so much more in the world to come. One of his most life-transforming moments was learning how to care for the wounds of lepers from an Australian nurse. Her ministry involved walking into leprosy villages abandoned by society. The people encounter the radical love of God with raw authenticity as we kneel before them to wash the wounds on their feet. For decades, people would not even want to be in contact with them, let alone touch them. And now they could experience Gods love for them through Christians washing their feet! Often these patients would cry as we serve them and many have committed themselves to following Christ.

    So what of Jasons dream during medical school? God has brought him to live in mud huts in the middle of nowhere, sit on horse-driven carts and travel to the poorest parts of the world. And yet his heart has never been so full of joy and contentment.

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 17

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    Sharing the Gospel: From Drinking Water to Life-giving Water

    Hear how God has been active

    Ash Seaton, a former NSW Police Officer, is a distance student completing a Bachelor of Ministry, whilst working in development in a popular tourist destination in SE Asia, among the islands four million Hindus.

    Ash and his wife, Caz, are involved with a small NGO that is committed to living out the gospel in such a way that lives are transformed in ways that bring them closer to Gods intention for His creation. They run water projects in villages with no access to clean water; and meet the needs of the disabled, particularly through therapy, wheelchair distribution and other mobility aids. They are also engaging in broader village based development. Their fellow-workers are all committed followers of Jesus and seek to live out their love for God in all situations. They look for people in whom God is working and form groups to study the Word together.

    Our vision is to see a disciple-making movement amongst the Hindus on our island. We would love to see a multitude of communities discovering what it means to follow Jesus, being transformed by the gospel and then sharing the same with other communities.

    Ash and Caz seek to develop the community by both meeting human need and encouraging engagement with the Word of God. They are involved in training local believers to make disciples, producing resources for ministry and leadership development of house church leaders.

    Meeting the Word through Water

    Ash shares:

    About a year ago, a team member visited a man who had suffered a stroke seven years prior. He

    had not been able to walk unassisted since. This team member prayed for this man and he was miraculously healed and was able to stand up and walk into the village! He returned soon after with a small crowd from the village and proceeded to burn his crutches and many trinkets that had been given by various witchdoctors. The next week, both he and his wife were baptised in response to the good news and are now leading a small group of people in their village to discover the truth in the Word.

    The team has also been privileged to see a village transformed by gaining access to clean drinking water on tap at each home! The village, one of the poorest on the island, is also one of the most enthusiastic they have come across. The team now visits weekly to run simple program for the children and youth that teaches them twelve foundational moral values to live by. This program

    18 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    was requested by the local leader and village head. We are praying that God will reveal areas where he is already working and be able to identify persons of peace.

    Ash completed a Diploma at SMBC in Sydney before coming to study at MST. Having worked in cross-cultural mission for eight years now, he says his study at MST is very much about sharpening my focus and helping me to evaluate my current ministry.

    He is currently studying two intensive subjects, Aid and Development with Peter Riddell, and Principles of Leadership and Management. Of the Aid and Development course, Ash says he very much enjoyed engaging with other students and learning very practical application for their work in SE Asia.

    The Aid and Development course has been instrumental in instigating

    some changes to our local approach to community development and making disciples, he says.

    It has pushed me to rework the vision of our foundation. We are trying some different approaches to development and have also started partnering with another foundation that is doing some great development work. The course also encouraged me even more to not be separatist about the gospel, but to allow the entirety of our work to be an expression of the gospel, he said.

    He says the Leadership course emphasised the need for mentors at different levels and it has helped him to clarify and be intentional about the direction of his own leadership development.

    There is increasing openness to the good news on our island. God is definitely stirring up a deep interest in searching out truth amongst the

    The Aid and Development course has been instrumental in instigating some changes to our local approach to community development and making disciples.

    people here and there is no doubt that he is engaging in a very active way. It is not uncommon to hear testimony of dreams and miraculous healing leading to faith in Him. In the past two years we have seen an increasing number of people gathering in groups to study the Word.

    These people are not all followers of Jesus but many are searching. God is bringing a greater sense of unity amongst the disciple makers on our island, but please pray for the many seekers who are ready to be discipled!

    Ash and Caz, who have three children eight and under, have asked people to pray for their team as they re-discern their vision for these people and for clarity as they determine new and effective ways to live out the gospel in needy rural communities.

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 19

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    Hear how God has been activeMeet some of our New Students with a raft of Gospel Experience behind themA few of our new students this year, already have decades of experience in cross cultural gospel work. Ian and Dorcas, on home assignment after nearly 30 years in an Islamic country in South Asia, are two highlights.

    As part of their plan for 10 months rest & refreshment theyve jumped into the Grad Certificate of Divinity at MST, with a special interest in subjects offered by the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths (CSIOF).

    When they married in 76, Ian was already qualified as a doctor. He worked in the local hospital as the GP in a regional town in northeast Victoria, where they started their family. Dorcas remembers they loved being part of the community and sharing Christ.

    Our desire to share the gospel with those whod never heard kept increasing. Thus it was that in 1984, we planned our move to South Asia with our 5 kids. Our church and friends backed us, thinking we were called, but some people just thought we were crazy! Dorcas shares.

    The Lord graciously led and guided them over the years, but they had to work out their priorities within His plan. Top on the list, Dorcas shares, was prayer and meditating on the Bible for at least an hour a day; then there was language and cultural experience. Family was a particularly high priority, with their sixth child was born over there. They wanted their kids to be happy and well-adjusted.

    We sought for ways to effectively communicate the gospel and have been involved in different things over the years, she says.

    As a medical doctor, Ian was involved in tuberculosis & mobile

    clinics, drug rehabilitation, a quit smoking program and flood relief, as well as work in Christian hospitals. Dorcas taught, wrote booklets and worked with ladies in a doll-making business.

    Working with national believers was our priority and we put a strong emphasis on practical Christian living, encouraging people to share their faith in difficult and dangerous situations, as well as on how Christ calls us to serve him sacrificially, she says.

    All their children have now grown up and left home, but Ian and Dorcas delight in visiting and playing with their grandkids whilst theyre on home assignment.

    Its a pleasure to be part of MST, meeting like-minded people, making friends, learning, gaining new insights, being encouraged and hopefully encouraging others, Dorcas shares.

    They plan to return to South Asia in November and continue their course by distance online.

    Ian and Dorcas with their family, before they left for South Asia, in 1984

    20 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    Mission Week: The Highlight of their Year

    Mission Week 2013, in mid-September, will see MST student spreading out in five teams across Victoria and South East Asia, to partner with churches and other groups to proclaim the good news and help build up Gods people.

    It is a great time for students to get out there and put into practice what they are learning here, as we join with others in getting the gospel out to their communities, said Sam Reeve, Vice-Principal (Community).

    Teams of students, led by a faculty member, are preparing to go to city, suburban and rural locations in Australia, as well as to Cambodia, from Sunday 15 to Sunday 22 September.

    The team to Bendigo will be partnering with a new church plant called Reforming Church. Pastor Russ Grinter is excited to have an influx of enthusiastic students as they seek to grow and impact their community.

    The Drouin team will be working with past Student President and graduates, Heath and Mel Easton at Drouin Presbyterian Church, and another group will be ministering with MST Graduate Clem Fung at Grace Church of Christ in Wantirna. Students look forward to getting

    good input on what its like to minister full-time in these kinds of environments.

    Greg Forbes, Head of Biblical Studies at MST, is looking forward to leading the international cross-cultural team going to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where they will be partnering with New Life Fellowship, a fast-growing church with myriad connections to their community and a real heart for planting new congregations. A key feature of this student experience will be teaching basic theology in local churches.

    Students often tell us that Mission Week is the highlight of their year, as they see God at work in their own lives and the lives of others, by

    Come to Graduation 2013 Please join us on 25 November for the Graduation Service and conferral of Awards for students completing courses in 2013.

    Monday 25 November 2013, 7.30pm

    Speaker: Rev Dr Mark Durie

    Location: MST Upstairs

    Light supper at close of Service

    MARK IT IN YOUR DIARY NOW. No booking required.

    putting into practice the things they are learning at MST, Sam said.

    Please pray this will be an encouraging and enriching experience for students and faculty, as well as the churches and groups they partner with. Most of all, pray that this week will see people brought to faith and built up in Christ.

    Melbourne Wantirna



    Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    MST Students ministering to locals in the Solomon Islands in Mission Week last year.

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 21

  • Melbourne School of Theology


    The Plays The Thing in which the intersection of Theology and the

    Arts is discussed and a challenge is issued!Ben Chenoweth

    In Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2, Hamlet exclaims:

    Ill have grounds

    More relative than this the plays the thing

    Wherein Ill catch the conscience of the King.

    Hamlet wants to catch out his guilty uncle by publicly re-enacting the events surrounding the murder of Hamlets father. He (and by extension, Shakespeare) clearly knows the value of the Arts for putting things in such a way that they can deeply impact the audience.

    In my second year of studies at MST, then called BCV, I had Rikki Watts for one of my subjects. That year he gave his students a choice for our main assessment: either, we could write an essay on one of a number of topics, or we could submit something from the Arts instead, something that had come out of our theological reflection on the themes of the particular book we were studying. (We would also have to submit a short essay briefly describing that theological reflection, but the item of Art was the main part of the assessment.)

    A few brave people did this. A couple of people submitted paintings, someone performed a song, and there was even a complete oratorio performed in multi-part harmony by a large group of Tongans! In each case it was extremely moving to see theology expressed through the Arts.

    What did I do? I wrote an essay.

    Now, 17 years later, what do I remember my essay or the theological Art? I dont even remember the topic of my essay, let alone the content! However, while I didnt take up Rikkis offer, the event really stuck with me. In fact, I took it as a personal challenge: to always be on the look-out for opportunities to intersect Theology with the Arts.

    I didnt have to wait long. When I was asked by Ted Woods daughters to write a musical for their church based on the book of Esther I jumped at the chance. Here was an opportunity to get some theological reflection and (hopefully) good exegesis onto the stage. It took a while I remember working on the orchestrations during classes while studying at SIL school but in 1998 Lilydale Baptist performed Esther over four glorious nights. (A recording of one

    of those performances is available for free from www.noisetrade.com/benchenoweth/esther.)

    The experience was invigorating. I started looking around for another project. Now, one of my favourite books in the Old Testament is 1 Samuel. I remembered that in the course of researching for an essay for that subject, I had come across a brilliant book and a fascinating article. Together, these two sources had been amazingly helpful in explaining the significance of a number of otherwise puzzling events in the text. At the time I remember thinking, Everyone needs to read this stuff! So here was a perfect opportunity to do something arty that used these two sources, presenting the material in a more accessible form. So I wrote Saul, First King of Israel, a play in two acts that portrays the book of 1 Samuel from the perspective of Saul, with

    22 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    Melbourne School of Theology

    considerable input from the prophet Samuel (eBook available for purchase here). Unfortunately, this play has never been performed. So much for making it accessible!

    My wife Kylie and I joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and eventually we were sent to St. Petersburg, Russia, where we lived and worked for nearly ten years supporting translation teams scattered across the former Soviet Union. During that time, in the occasional spare moment, more as a hobby than anything else, I wrote a novel entitled The Ephesus Scroll. This time, I wanted to show that there are alternatives to the way the book of Revelation is interpreted by those of a pre-millennial dispensational persuasion (ably illustrated by the very popular Left Behind series). It took seven years to write, but the novel finally came out in electronic form last year (available here) and as a paperback more recently this year.

    While I am clearly taking this opportunity to shamelessly plug my stuff, I would also like to extend that same challenge Rikki Watts extended to my class all those years ago: make your theology accessible and whenever possible, use the Arts to do so. Lecturers, give your students the opportunity to submit

    theologically-reflective art, not just words. Students, take what you learn, shape it into art and put it out there for others to enjoy and learn from. And perhaps in the process you will catch the conscience of someone and change their life!

    Ben Chenoweth is an eCoach for distance students and from 2014 will

    teach Introduction to New Testament Greek and Romans at MST. He is also Personnel Manager at Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia. Email ephesus.

    [email protected] to order a paperback copy of The Ephesus Scroll.

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 23

  • MST Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths


    So his fame spread through all Syria... (Matthew 4:24) Mary Davidson^

    It was late January 2011 and we were sitting with friends who, like us, had lived and worked in Egypt, in a coffee shop in Amman, the capital of Jordan, watching in disbelief as events in Egypt unfolded in front of us on the TV screen. Just over a month earlier, Muhammad Bouazizi, a Tunisian fruit vendor, had set himself on fire, leading to Ben Ali, President of Tunisia, resigning and popular demonstrations for democracy spilling over into Algeria, Yemen and Libya, sparking protests across the region that became known around the world as the Arab Spring.

    Now the crowds were massing in Tahrir Square in Cairo in a new fearless solidarity as they demanded political change. As we returned to Damascus for the end of that visit to the Middle East, we knew that the wave of turmoil would inevitably reach Syria, sooner or later, and also that the struggle there would be more drawn-out and complex. But it came sooner, and has been longer and bloodier than we could ever have predicted.

    By the end of March 2011, protests had spread from their

    beginning in Deraa in the south of Syria to cities around the country, beginning a struggle that has continued for over two and a half years. Some estimates suggest that 100,000 people have died since the conflict began.

    From a population of about 23 million, nearly two million Syrians are registered as refugees with the United Nations in neighbouring countries; and millions of others are unregistered and trying to survive in the surrounding countries, or are internally displaced within Syria itself. An average of 6,000 people are fleeing the country every day, generating what the UN describes as the worst refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

    Everyone we speak to, from many different religious and ethnic backgrounds, has had family members die or disappear, and tells stories of atrocities committed, too awful to be contained by paper and ink.

    The Syrian regime, not known for its tolerance of dissent, reacted harshly, generating more protests and demonstrations from people

    from a range of political and ethnic backgrounds. Increasingly, although some protesters have tried to continue non-violent protest, many, supported by army defectors, respond with violence.

    News coverage from both Arab and Western sources initially focused on atrocities committed by the government, with no mention of equally savage rebel retaliation. Lack of access meant that reports of raids and bombings were hard to substantiate, even circulating photographic evidence that had pictured other wars in other countries.

    Early on, the government (erroneously) claimed that, rather than a movement across religious groups, the protests were driven by religious sensibilities. Now we see this claim fulfilled as increasing numbers of foreign jihadists join the conflict, fighting for a Sunni state.

    As assistance continues to come in for the rebels from Arab states and western allies, Iran and Hizbollah in Lebanon have become more overt in their support for the government.

    A young Syrian refugee waits to be registered at a centre in Al Beereh. Source: Salah Malkawi Flickr.com/UNHCR

    24 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    MST Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths


    Newly arrived Syrian refugees in Jordan. Source: flickr.com/UNHCR

    The length and ferocity of the combat, together with the militant position of some jihadist rebel groups, are now causing some who initially backed the revolt to abandon it in support of the government. At this point it seems impossible to predict whether one side or the other will gain power, or if the country will disintegrate into different ethnic areas. Probably the answer lies not within the country itself, but in the amount and direction of external involvement.

    When the disturbances began, many Christians supported the regime, believing that a Sunni state would be more restrictive. Over the last year, in conjunction with the rise of jihadist groups and foreign fighters, there have been growing reports of specific targeting of Christians by the opposition. Many Christians have joined those fleeing. Other Christians, though reporting shortages of electricity, water and food, and experiences of rape, kidnapping and death of community members, affirm their commitment to stay, pray and care for their country.

    Following the kidnapping of two priests and two bishops in February and April 2013, the churches overcame traditional divisions to come together for a day of prayer for Syria on 11 May 2013, which was joined by Christians all around the world.

    Gods hand has been evident in many ways. Though there has been tragedy, there have also been miraculous deliverances. An audio CD recounting the story of salvation in Syrian Arabic was produced just before the turmoil began, and thousands have been distributed. Muslims are coming in numbers into churches in Syria, asking about Jesus Messiah, and many in refugee camps outside the country borders are coming to faith. While the country disintegrates, Gods church is growing in strength.

    Let us hear and pray with a leading pastor in Syria:

    My people are hurting...

    Thank God we are the CHURCH of the living God. We are here in this country at such a time in history not just to mourn, though

    mourning is certainly proper ... We thank God because the Church is united across the country in prayer 24 hours a day, seven days a week; praying for the glory of God to dwell in the Church, for an end to the bloodshed, for peace in the country, for keeping the Churchs faithful witness, to reach out to the suffering, to share the divine cure of the gospel, to speak the word of the Lord in all boldness.

    ... We see darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon His church and His glory appears over it.

    We deeply appreciate the prayers of Gods people everywhere; it is a rare time where the Church in Syria is feeling the true oneness of the body of Christ all over the globe. For this, we thank the Lord, for it is a great encouragement to us.

    ^ Mary Davidson is a pseudonym, used by a research candidate at MST

    CSIOF, who has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East.

    For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au 25

  • MST Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths


    I was reminded of the old Zorro movies as I attended a Forum recently, headed Jesus: Prophet, Messiah, God?

    In the movies there was always a moment where the Spanish Dons were so close to discovering Zorros true identity that it seemed all but assured that it would happen. Then, of course, came a rush of Zorro impersonators and the revelation that was all but assured was once again a mystery.

    The Forum in July, hosted by City Bible Forum in conjunction with CrossCulture Church of Christ, attempted to unmask the man called Jesus, posing the question whether he was a Prophet, the Messiah or God. The speakers at the Forum were;

    Shahir Naga: a Muslim and founder of the website 1GOD.com.au

    Steve Katsaras: a Unitarian minister and founder of Red words church, and

    Dr Bernie Power: a Trinitarian from Melbourne School of Theology.

    Each speaker was given an eight minute window to present their view on the nature of Jesus. The remainder of the forum was then an interactive question time, with brief closing statements from each speaker. It was not surprising that even after the forum closed there were still many questions left unanswered. They presented their views intelligently and respectfully

    and, for the most part, also clearly and concisely. No-one would be in doubt that each man had a very different view about Jesus.

    Steve, who presented Jesus as a non-divine Messiah, clearly knew his material well, showing he had committed considerable time to preparation. However the use of overly academic language in his presentation limited his audience somewhat. Even though his conclusions were clear, it was hard to follow the line of argument objectively.

    Shahir, on the other hand, presented a prophetic Jesus focusing particular attention on the nature of God as a single personality. Shahir illustrated his points from both the Quran and the Bible to reinforce his arguments. It was easier to follow his thinking and more appropriate language for the audience at the forum, however it would have been helpful to hear him speak in more depth on his points with broader citations to reinforce them.

    The final speaker was MSTs Dr Bernie Power, presenting Jesus as a divine part of a Trinitarian God. In many ways Bernies presentation was the simplest of the three, keeping the language uncomplicated and using basic illustrations. His points were given strength by the associated material showing the breadth of research behind each of his points.

    While each speaker presented quite clearly, listening at times felt a little like Goldilocks trying out the three bears beds.

    Was the forum a success? Yes, I think so. It succeeded in providing an open, safe and encouraging environment where people of all faiths and backgrounds can come to hear and discuss big faith questions. A wonderful turnout on the night exceeded organisers expectations and packed out the room. The fact that many approached the speakers after the forum to continue their enquiry was proof that the views expounded were not only heard but resonated with the audience.

    As a Christian, I believe it also worked to show that the Jesus of the Bible is relevant for all people today. I would encourage you to watch the Forum, posted on City Bible Forum Melbournes YouTube channel.

    Lets keep these conversations going with our friends and colleagues, keep the question of Who Jesus is on the agenda and remember that the word of God is a living word which does not go out in vain.

    Mike Druber is a first year Bachelor of

    Theology student.

    NEXT DEBATE: Bernie Power vs Faraz Normani

    Jesus or Mohammed: Who is the best model for humanity today?

    Melbourne City Conference, 333 Swanston St, Melbourne

    Thursday 19 September 2013 7.30pm

    Zorro, Goldilocks and JesusMike Druber

    26 For more information about studying at or supporting the ministry of MST, visit us online at www.mst.edu.au


    MST Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths


    Talking Past Each Other: Shumack Joins CSIOF

    Well-known Sydney-based writer, academic and itinerant teacher on engaging Muslims,

    Dr Richard Shumack, has agreed to join MSTs Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths (CSIOF), as both a member of its Advisory Board and an Adjunct Supervisor in its Postgraduate research program. We spoke to Richard to get to know what motivates him.

    Richard says that one of the biggest problems for Christians wanting to engage Muslims is they so often talk past each other. Quite simply, we answer questions the other is simply not asking, he said.

    Richard completed his PhD research at the National Centre for Excellence in Islamic studies at the University of Melbourne. Richards research examined the philosophy of present-day Muslims, particularly their epistemology, which asks the question How do we know what we know? (or Why do we believe what we believe?). His thesis focused on certainty and doubt, in particular the arguments and writings of Muslims philosophers, both traditional and Western.

    Most modern Muslims, even many Western Muslim intellectuals or academics, have a dualistic worldview, which recognizes two completely different sorts of knowledge. The first, and most important, sort is divine revelation. This is taken to consist of the Quran and the traditions of Muhammad. It is assumed to be unquestionably true. The second sort is human empirical knowledge which recognizes the need for reason and evidence.

    This framework limits the capacity of Muslims to examine their faith.

    When asked why he chose a secular university like Melbourne University rather than a Christian school of theology (like MST) to complete his PhD, Richard said he wanted to really get inside how Muslims thought and wanted to learn from, and be assessed by, the best qualified Muslim philosophers and academics he could find. Richard says this has opened doors to him that simply would not be opened if he had studied at a seminary or Christian institution.

    Christians need to understand that Muslims have an unwavering confidence that their beliefs are true. The problem is that