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MORLING COLLEGE

Ross Clifford – Principal
Bill Rusin –Chair of Morling College Board

Morling College Campuses
Let us update you from the last Assembly.

Morling expanded in size at the start of 2021! The merger with Vose Seminary was finalised and 2021 academic year saw one college, with two campuses (Vose/Perth and Sydney). This has been a benefit to our students with increase resources, faculty, and opportunities for study. It has also delivered a strong academic and administrative team to ensure the future of quality education. We are better together!

Morling continues with plans for the development of both its Sydney and Perth campus. Our campus videos give a short and inspiring update on how we use our resources in our vision of training and equipping people. Both videos have input from their respective Director of Ministries, Steve Bartlett, and Karen Siggins (interim).

Perth Campus: https://vimeo.com/646315846/62dd159cca

Sydney Campus: https://vimeo.com/650567708

We thank God for the ongoing cooperation, vision and direction which is evident in these plans. We also appreciate the Morling Foundation Board, as it oversees the investment and distribution of property proceeds and legacies for the College’s sustainable growth. 

For most of us 2021 has been challenging year. Both campuses have responded to government initiatives with respect to Covid and have ensured that the College operates within all guidelines. This has meant most of our classes have been delivered on campus, live stream, and live stream record and online throughout 2021. Because Morling has an advanced online program we continued to quickly adjust to Covid lockdowns and restrictions. We have kept in touch with students and monitored their progress in these extraordinary days. We thank the staff for their extra work and commitment that allowed us to continue to move forward as a college. Morling is committed to leading the way in what the Covid experience means for future education. Be assured that all our courses are available and will be delivered in ways that students can access them irrespective of their circumstances. With respect to our Residential College on our Sydney campus, your prayers are appreciated, as Covid has had an impact on student applications. Please continue to encourage those who are considering a residential college to look at Morling, which offers strong pastoral support.

Morling Press

 

New 2021 Publications:

  • Rise- Reimagining the Resurrection Life by Ross Clifford and Jim Baucom.
    How resurrection living reverses the fall and restores discipleship based on Genesis 1 & 2.

Books in Progress:

  • Adventures to Godliness: Filling the Hole in Your Bucket List By Dr. Scott Wigginton
  • Silas Mead: The Man, His Descendants and His Legacy By Ken R Manley, Rosalind Gooden, Stefanie C Pearce
  • Vital: An Exercise in Practical Theology for Australian Churches By Ian Hussey and Anne Klose
  • Why on Earth Should We Pray? By Raymond Case

2021 Main Events

 

Graduation
Graduation has always been a highlight for our denominational year. There were three graduation services in 2021, one in Perth and two in Sydney. The Perth campus graduation celebrated the merger, and most students completed their studies under Vose Seminary. Because of Covid restrictions two services were needed on the Sydney campus and approximately 200 students graduated.

Main Events for 2022

  • Graduation (March)
  • Indigenous Worldviews Forum (April)
  • Trauma Informed Pastoral Care Workshop (April)
  • Atonement Forum (May)
  • Tinsley Lecture (May)
  • Psalter Forum (July)
  • Preaching Conference (September)
  • Climate Change Forum (Semester 2)
  • Gender Dysphoria Forum (Semester 2)

Other Morling College Council/Board Participants: 

Other Directors
Rev Ian Deane, Dr Beverley Moore, Adjunct. Prof. William Peirson, Dr Alan Rice (Chair, Academic Board), Rev Richard Sindel, Rev Dr Brian Powell, Ms Hashini Panditharatne, Rev Neil Dawson, Rev Karen Siggins, Rev Frank Farag and Dr Helen Blanch.

Others Attending
Rev Dr Stephen Bartlett (Director of Ministries), Geoff Moore (Legal Advisor), Peter McCrindle (Board Secretary) and Rev Dr Ross Clifford (Principal).

The Morling College Board met six times in 2021. In addition, the Directors participated in regular subcommittee meetings to oversee academic matters, property development, finance, residential accommodation, risk management and human resources.

Morling College Initiatives and Updates

Scholarship Program
The launch of our Scholarship Program had a significant impact on students in 2021. This included General Scholarships, Tinsley Bequest Scholarships, Kel Willis International Student Scholarships, Chaplaincy and Baptist Care Scholarships, TOGA scholarships, and Matching Scholarships. The Scholarship Committee, consisting of staff from the Sydney and Perth campus as well as a representative of the Baptist Association of NSW and the ACT, were deeply impressed by the quality of applicants and the ways that recipients are serving their churches and communities.  We pray that these recipients, especially those in NSW and the ACT, will have a significant impact in the Gen1K vision.

Scholarship funds were managed well by our accounts team and did not exceed our budgeted costs. This allowed us to allocate some scholarship funding to also support those studying in Commonwealth Supported Places in Counselling and Chaplaincy. 

Snapshot:

  • Number of official Scholarships accepted: 80
  • Percentage of new students in 2021: 43.5%
  • Faculties Represented: Bible and Theology, Counselling, Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care, Education
  • Campuses or modes: 47% Sydney campus, 15% Perth-Vose campus, 18% online
  • Number of 2021 units enrolled in by Scholarship recipients: 350 across all faculties
  • Total funds allocated (including from Tinsley Bequest, Kel Willis Fund and external funds): $400,744.43

 

Recipient testimonies

  • “This scholarship doesn’t only give you the chance to study with a lesser financial burden; it opens doors and possibilities as you get to delve into what God might be trying to teach you, and where He may be trying to take you.”
  • “Receiving a scholarship to study at Morling, enabled me to achieve a lifelong dream of Christian academic study, to enrich my own faith and support others.”
  • “The scholarship award has been an incredible blessing to our family both for the financial assistance and the spiritual blessing that has come from knowing that people believe in my education enough to support me financially.”
  • “As a result of the Tinsley scholarship, I am a more thought-through leader, with deeper convictions about the missional nature of the church and the place of the local church in the world.”
  • “Receiving a scholarship from Morling, didn’t just give me financial assistance, it gave me a community, support, and the inspiration to work for God’s kingdom and to see how he has been working through me.”
  • “The Morling Scholarship program allowed me to embrace a path of full-time study which both nurtured and encouraged the spiritual, creative, and intellectual components of who I am.”

 

Looking ahead
The Scholarship Committee has begun processing and offering scholarships for 2022, with a strong focus on matching scholarships and scholarships for those beginning their studies at Morling.

We are deeply grateful for the faithful support of individuals, churches and other organisations for their financial support and prayer support in 2021. We want our Scholarship Program to be sustainable and our goal is to increase our scholarship funds to provide opportunities for students, year after year, generation after generation. So, where possible, we encourage churches and individuals to consider providing a tax-deductible matching donation for a scholarship recipient or to donate to our General Scholarship, Tinsley Mission or Kel Wills funds. More information can be found on our website: https://www.morling.edu.au/scholarships/

Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Morling continues to be committed to developing pathways for training in ministry-related skills and competencies through Vocational Education and Training (VET) awards. We have entered into an arrangement with Malyon Vocational Training for 2022, to open up opportunities for VET-based ministry training provided by MVT an accessible for students here in NSW and the ACT. The first pathway opened up under this agreement will be for online, on-demand training in the essential competencies that are required for people serving in schools under the federally funded school chaplaincy programme. We are in the process of exploring other possible training opportunities and pathways for 2022 and beyond, as we continue to pursue the larger vision of a national Baptist VET provider offering quality competency-based ministry training, solidly grounded in a Christian worldview.

 

Professional Supervision
Professional Supervision is an important and expanding field of practice. The recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse included in its report a strong recommendation that all people in religious or pastoral ministry should have professional supervision with a trained professional. Working with a team from both our Sydney and Perth campuses, Morling has developed a new Graduate certificate of Professional Supervision, which has been accredited by TEQSA to admit students in 2022. We anticipate that this will be a great benefit to our pastors and churches and will foster a culture of resilient, safe, and responsible ministry practice. We are also delighted to be able to offer top-quality training for those who will be offering professional supervision to counsellors, chaplains and others working in similar professions. If you are interested in enrolling to be equipped for a ministry of professional supervision, please contact the College.

 

Religious Freedom
Morling College has continued in 2021 its active involvement with ACHEA (Australian Christian Higher Education Alliance) in lobbying with respect to the Federal Religious Discrimination Bill and NSW State Legislation. It is essential that we maintain the freedom to appoint staff and maintain staff who hold to our religious beliefs and convictions. Advocacy has led to the principal appearing before the Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee together with ACHEA lobbyist, Nick Jensen, and lawyer Mark Sneddon. A lot of the questioning before the Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee and other authorities has focused on the rights of schools and theological colleges to employ staff who hold to their biblical view of marriage.

 

Education
In 2021 Morling College announced the appointment of Dr John Collier as the Dean of Education. John has been the Head of St Andrew’s Cathedral School and St Andrew’s Cathedral Gawura (Indigenous) School for 11 years and, prior to that, was Principal of a multi denominational Christian School and a Government School, ranging over 30 years of Principalship. Morling is committed to its education program and has been blessed by graduates who are ministering in schools, both locally, nationally, and globally. Dr Collier joins us at a strategic time, as Vose Seminary (Perth), has now joined Morling College, as ‘one’ ministry institution. Dr Collier with his broad networks and experience will continue to lead Morling in equipping Christian teachers and focus on our existing courses: Master of Education and Master of Educational Leadership. He is also exploring with key stakeholders the following initiatives:

  • Initial Teacher Education
  • A Doctoral program
  • MIISTE (Morling Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies in Theology & Education).

 

Goals and Strategies
Over the course of 2020 the Leadership/Executives Teams of Morling and Vose, the Morling College Board, and the Transitional Working Party (who worked through the merge of Morling and Vose Seminary) considered what focus areas could best direct our efforts to seize the day and cement the merger in 2021. The following strategic areas were the focus as a College for 2021:

  • Develop Education Opportunities
  • Explore opportunities for Vocational Training (VET)
  • Steward our property and income
  • Strengthen our staff and student community and culture

 

The Morling Board have approved a new vision/strategy for 2022-2025. If anyone would like a copy of the strategies, please email kerryp@morling.edu.au