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Centre for Preaching and Pastoral Ministry

SMBC has a long tradition of commitment to the priority of biblical preaching. We believe that God’s word is the means by which God's kingdom comes, churches are planted, souls are saved and lives are transformed.

Our Centre for Preaching and Pastoral Ministry trains and develops its students to be preachers and pastors who handle God's word skilfully in order to preach Christ faithfully and connect it engagingly to people and the world they live in.

Why Preaching and Pastoral Ministry?

As preaching most often occurs in a pastoral context, our goal is to prepare and develop preachers who regularly feed God's people with God's word in the local church – whether in Australia or overseas in cross-cultural ministry. We do that by teaching and modelling expository, Christ-centred preaching.

Preaching and pastoring are inextricably linked to one another. Pastoral ministry is grounded in the preaching of God's word that proclaims Jesus as Lord. Preaching is necessarily informed by pastoring God's people to love and follow Jesus. We aim to prepare our students to not only be skilled preachers of the word but also to have a holistic understanding of the primary context in which preaching takes place week by week. Critical to this is a foundation of personal godliness and a life of prayer.

Preaching is not an end in itself. Its purpose is to prepare God's people for works of service so that the church may be built up to be united in Christ and to grow up into Christ (Ephesians 4:11-15).

The Priority of Preaching at SMBC

To prepare students for a lifetime of gospel ministry SMBC gives priority to training students in preaching. This training involves teaching and modelling ministry, with a strong emphasis on practising preaching. It's our conviction that students only improve as preachers by preaching regularly.

‘FOUNDATIONS OF PREACHING’
All full-time students study 'Foundations of Preaching'. This unit of study offers training by experienced preachers in how to prepare, structure and deliver a sermon; how to illustrate and apply the biblical text; as well as an overview of the goal of preaching. 

'PRACTICAL PREACHING'
Classes Students prepare and preach an expository sermon in these weekly, small group workshops. In a collaborative environment, the lecturer and students discuss each sermon and provide feedback.

PRINCIPAL'S HOUR
At Principal's Hour each week, the College community gathers to sit under God's word, where expository, Christ-centred preaching is modelled by SMBC lecturers and guest speakers.

COLLEGE CHAPEL SERVICES
Students have the opportunity to preach at College chapel services, where they receive feedback from a lecturer and fellow students.

MINISTRY PRACTICE WEEK
Every second year the College sets aside several days to focus on preaching skills and pastoral issues with a range of experienced local and international speakers. Whilst this is part of the College's program for its students, it is also (outside of COVID-19 times) open for guests to attend. It aims to create space for:

  • exploring current issues for ministry practitioners (whether church based or para-church based, full-time or part-time or unpaid);
  • inspiring regular and occasional preachers to remain committed to Christ-centred, expository preaching;
  • developing skills and insights in connecting the truths of God's word to contemporary listeners and culture.

ONGOING TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
SMBC is committed to the ongoing training and development of both regular and occasional preachers through:

  • A biennial Ministry Practice Week;
  • Occasional one to three day workshops;
  • 'Preaching I’ as an intensive unit;
  • Specialised intensive units on preaching books of the Bible;
  • Specialised intensive units on pastoral matters, for example, Christian mentoring, Self-Care and Resilience.

Who is on the team?

Rev Dr Kirk Patson leads an experienced and diverse team. Kirk is a very gifted and widely respected preacher. He has considerable experience as a pastor, and has a PhD and research interests in the field of Practical Theology.

Rev. Mark Adams is Pastoral Vice-Principal and lectures in theology, spiritual formation, pastoral care and preaching. Prior to joining SMBC in 2013, Mark was senior minister at New Life Presbyterian Church, Gungahlin in Canberra for twelve years.  He previously practised as a lawyer in Sydney for ten years until 1998.

Jenny Salt is Dean of Students and lectures in spiritual formation, pastoral care and preaching. She has taught at SMBC since 1997. Jenny speaks regularly at women’s conferences and events both internationally (Gospel Coalition in US; South Africa) and throughout Australia (Katoomba, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Tasmania), and has recently contributed to the ESV Women’s Devotional Bible (2014).

Derek Brotherson is the principal of SMBC and lectures in cross-cultural mission. A graduate of SMBC, he served for over 10 years in cross-cultural ministry in S.E. Asia.

Pierre Thielemans is Dean of Single Residential Men and lectures in Greek, spiritual formation and preaching. He serves as an elder at Ashfield Presbyterian Church, where he also preaches. Pierre is an experienced TESOL teacher, who has preached in numerous cross-cultural contexts both locally and overseas.

Janet Riley is Dean of Women and lectures in Greek, pastoral care and preaching. Prior to joining SMBC, Janet worked as women’s and children’s pastor at Randwick Presbyterian Church. Janet speaks regularly at women’s events and conferences.

Matt Vander Heiden lectures in New Testament. Prior to joining the faculty in 2019, Matt taught at the Portuguese Bible Institute.

Want more info?

For further information regarding SMBC’s Centre for Preaching and Pastoral Ministry please contact us here


Enjoy resources from past preaching conferences:


As part of our 2018 Preaching Workshop, we enjoyed the teaching and wisdom of Alasdair Paine (senior minister at the church of St Andrew the Great, Cambridge). Here he chats with Mark Adams about preaching in today's world


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Sydney Missionary and Bible College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology
ACT Cricos Code Provider: 02650E
ABN: 11 000 047 950