Newton Theological College is the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea’s institution for training people to become clergy. In 2018 the PNG Government announced new requirements for higher education institutions to keep their registration and accreditation. In partnership with the Anglican Board of Mission (ABM), Bishop Jeffrey Driver was appointed to the role of Acting Principal to mentor the staff, teach the students and support the college to meet the new regulations.
Over the last two years the college has developed a new curriculum including a two-year qualification that will be taught over three years to allow time for other aspects of ministry formation. A highlight of the new curriculum is the greater focus on PNG faith and culture. They have also developed a new bridging course for students who have not completed Year 12 or the equivalent.
“The first of these courses will go ahead in the second semester, assisted by committed Anglican teachers from Popendetta Secondary School. It looks like there will be about 20 students in the course,” Bishop Driver said.
Bishop Driver grew up in a small country town in New South Wales, and was a newspaper journalist before being ordained. His experience, as both the Executive Director of St Mark’s National Theological Centre and as the founding Head of Charles Sturt University’s School of Theology, was great preparation for his work at Newton College.
Every November Archbishop Phillip Aspinall promotes an annual provincial appeal to fund a project nominated by an ABM mission partner. Parishioners all around our province give generously to the appeal, with over $85,000 donated in the last three years alone. Last year the money was sent to support the work at Newton Theological College.
On Saturday 15 August, the South East Queensland ABM Committee is providing an opportunity for members of our province to learn where donations to the Archbishop’s 2019 November appeal went and the difference the donations are making. The event is being held via Zoom, which eliminates the complexities of distance and travel and provides flexibility for those in high-risk groups who are still sheltering in their homes in the COVID-19 environment.
The evening will be hosted by Bishop Cam Venables with guest presenter Bishop Jeffrey Driver. Archbishop Phillip Aspinall will also join us for a special message and prayer and there will be Q&A opportunities throughout the evening.
ABM believes that God’s mission is to transform humanity in its entirety, using the Five Marks of Mission as a way of focusing their work. ABM has contextualised the marks of mission for the Australian context. ABM’s second mark of mission to ‘Build welcoming, transforming communities of faith’ has been incorporated into Saturday’s event, with a flexible structure that allows space for parishes to gather, maybe over a glass of wine and some cheese. The event will also address the ABM’s third mark to ‘Stand in solidarity with the poor and needy’ as stories from the students give those present a real-time understanding of current life in PNG.
The event will be held on Saturday 15 August from 6.30 pm via Zoom. There will be a brief tutorial 10 minutes before the start time for those new to Zoom. To register, please RSVP by 12 noon Friday 14 August via email: email@example.com.
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