COVID-19 — Response and Information. More info

Centre for Cross-Cultural Mission

SMBC was established in 1916 by Charles Benson Barnett, a returned missionary of the China Inland Mission. His heart was to train people for Christian service in Australia and overseas. Cross-cultural mission has been in the very DNA of SMBC ever since.

Today the College has a strong reputation for mission expertise and experience. SMBC graduates are serving in countries across the globe in a vast variety of ministries and with a wide range of mission organisations.
The SMBC Centre for Cross-Cultural Mission strengthens the global focus of the training offered at SMBC and responds to the increasingly multicultural context of ministry in Australia.

At the core of the Centre is the belief that it is God’s mission to reach every tribe, nation and language with his gospel – and his people are called and privileged to participate in it.

The SMBC Centre for Cross-Cultural Mission includes the following...

Mission units in all courses

SMBC offers mission units in all courses and at all levels – undergraduate and postgraduate. These units address the practical challenges of cross-cultural ministry in the light of the Bible and missions theory. Our two-year full-time Associate Degree in Ministry is especially designed to maximise the combination of Bible and missions content.

On staff missiologists

The SMBC missions faculty consists of three full-time missiologists who have a broad range of cross-cultural experience. However, it’s not just the missions lecturers that bring cross-cultural experience to SMBC – many of the other lecturers and staff have also served across the world in missions. Consequently, a conviction and passion for mission is inherent in all aspects of the College’s curriculum.

Weekly missions sessions

All full-time students attend weekly sessions where missionaries present workshops, run discussion groups and explore a range of current missions topics. This also gives opportunity for them to enjoy informal interaction with students over morning tea and lunch.

Mentoring program

The Centre co-ordinates a mentoring program between members of the missions community and students interested in cross-cultural mission. The aim of this mentoring is to assist students in further exploring their role in global missions.

Missionary in Residence

Every year a missionary (single, couple or family) on home assignment serves as the full-time Missionary in Residence. They mentor and guide students working through the process of investigating and moving towards cross-cultural missionary service.

In 2021 we have the privilege of having Phil and Carol Short, with their 47 years of mission experience, as our Missionaries in Residence. Phil and Carol grew up in Victoria and have farming backgrounds. In 1974 they left to serve with SIM in West Africa. Their goal was to share the gospel with an unreached pastoralist people group, living among them, entering into their culture, and learning their language.

In the mid 80s, their horizons were further widened when they moved to take up a six year role as deputy director of three Francophone countries, which included pastoral care and mentoring of colleagues engaged in making disciples among different people groups. During the 12 years they then spent in Australia for their childrens’ education, Phil’s role as SIM’s Victorian director included mobilizing people for missions.

In 2004, they returned to West Africa to continue their focus on making disciples and teaching believers among pastoralists, nomadic and semi-settled people. They have seen God growing and developing leaders who are committed to bringing the gospel to their own people. They also appreciate partnering with leaders in overseeing a Ministry Training Centre and well-digging projects in remote locations.

The Shorts

In these videos some of our previous Missionaries in Residence reflect on their year at SMBC...

David & Georgina
Ian & Dorcas
Ross & Lyndal

Visiting missionaries

Current missionaries from a range of agencies are invited to live on campus for a week at a time. This happens most weeks of the academic year, thus enabling our students to learn ‘first hand’ about the variety of missionary service, the needs of the world and the challenges of cross-cultural ministry. These visiting missionaries are also encouraged to take part in our community life.

Biennial Missions Conference

The Centre hosts a Biennial Missions Conference with expert international and local missiologists. The purpose of the conference is to impart, or strengthen, a passion for world mission, plus provide practical insights concerning how to do the work of mission, both as senders and goers.

College mission teams

All full-time students at SMBC become part of an annual College mission team, led by a member of faculty. Mission teams travel to different parts of Australia as well as overseas – for example, India, Nepal, Greece, Fiji, the Middle East and South East Asian countries.

‘In Context’ Cross-Cultural Ministry Exposure

This program offers full-time students the option of living among people from very different cultures than their own. Groups of students are offered accommodation in various highly multicultural suburbs surrounding the college where they learn how to work as a team in getting to know people and sharing their lives and the gospel with them. The questions and issues that emerge from their interactions with neighbours helps to drive their learning in missions classes where they can reflect on them in the light of the Scriptures and input from lecturers.

Mission organisations

Strong relationships are maintained between SMBC and a wide range of mission agencies and ministries. These relationships are encouraged in a number of ways, including a regular breakfast  together to discuss further opportunities for partnership between the College and the missions community, and to collect feedback on the effectiveness of cross-cultural preparation of SMBC’s students.

SMBC Master of Intercultural Studies

New to SMBC (from 2019) is the Master of Intercultural Studies (MICS). This postgraduate course is a unique and completely online offering with a focus on the specialised knowledge and research skills needed for expert intercultural ministry practice.

This course is for those currently serving among people from a different culture than their own, and who are wanting to enhance or sharpen their ministry. They may be serving in cross-cultural ministry overseas, or here in Australia

The MICS was also designed to intentionally develop an inclusive missionary learning community that increases the missiological expertise of the global missionary community without requiring missionaries to leave their place of ministry for extended periods of study. Learn more here

The Angelina Noble Centre

SMBC recognises the value of high quality missiological research in our commitment to understanding and addressing the challenges of cross-cultural ministry in and beyond Australia. The Angelina Noble Centre (ANC) is a much-valued partner in this task as they bring together women scholar practitioners in cross-cultural missions from all over the world.

SMBC and the ANC have many shared goals and work together to provide a supportive environment for the next generation of women missions’ scholars to flourish. A number of the SMBC faculty and adjunct faculty involved in the delivery of master’s level units are members of the ANC. ANC mentors are also available to supervise masters and doctoral research through SMBC and ANC members are valued members of the SMBC research community.

Visit the ANC website to learn more

If you are interested in pursuing research with ANC mentors through SMBC, contact SMBC’s Director of Research, Kit Barker here

For further information regarding the SMBC Centre for Cross-Cultural Mission please contact us here

Upcoming Events

SMBC, PO Box 83
43 Badminton Road, Croydon NSW 2132
T +61 2 9747 4780
Sydney Missionary and Bible College (SMBC) is an Affiliated College of the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS: 02650E
ABN: 11 000 047 950