Rev Peter Lockhart, Board for Christian Formation chairperson, and Dr Leigh Trevaskis, recently appointed director of education for ministry and principal of Trinity College Queensland (TCQ), addressed members on the status of the board and TCQ.
“The world of tertiary education is a changing environment constantly, and the way education is delivered, particularly in the online space, has been growing and the ability of people to access it,” said Peter. “What does that mean for us as a board? Essentially that means we find ourselves in a far more competitive environment in seeking to provide theological education.
“As a board it requires us to think far more strategically around our approach to running our college. In this, the BCF envisages Trinity as a place of theological, ministry and spiritual education and learning for the whole people of God. Trinity College is for everyone, for the whole Synod, for congregations, for presbyteries, for agencies, for anyone interested in deepening their faith, in engaging in the mission and ministry of God, whether it’s through a specified ministry or just your own personal life work.”
Leigh delivered a passionate speech outlining his background and his vision for Trinity College. Growing up in the NSW Uniting Church, Leigh’s history includes dairy science and theology, which he attempted to link via Leviticus, drawing laughs from members.
“Trinity College going forward will be one that produces mission-ready leaders,” he said. “We want to produce people that can go into a dire situation but they’re ready to do it: they’ve got the business acumen, they’ve got the pastoral experience and wisdom, they’ve got the biblical literacy, they’ve got theological frameworks to engage in society and with the people in those churches in a way that’s stimulating, rather than boring or ho-hum.”
Leigh outlined four key areas in his future plans for Trinity College: offer aspirational models of leadership, offer flexible delivery of education, provide understanding and practical education in a local church context, and reaffirm the identity of the college within the context of Uniting Church traditions.
Leigh proposed a vision of people the college intends to produce that, “can maintain a solid understanding of the gospel, understand the tradition from where they come from, and yet can engage generously with all types of people and be enriched in that process.”
Peter paid tribute to Trinity College Queensland’s departed staff—Alice Foo, Alethea Hubley and John Coles—with a motion of thanks, and put forward a minute of appreciation for Neil Thorpe, director of Pilgrim and adult faith educator in Trinity College Queensland. Neil is now The Downs Presbytery minister. Both the motion of thanks and the minute of appreciation were passed with acclamation by members.