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Save the date
1 December 2020
The Passing of Richard Hibbert
“Gripped by God in his youth, Richard gave himself wholeheartedly to the task of reaching out to those without an opportunity to hear of Jesus. Full of encouragement, ever positive, loving action and adventure, yet an outstanding scholar, Richard modelled how to live life abundantly.
His race is well run, he has passed the baton on. He has gone to collect his crown and to join the crowd of witnesses cheering you on.” – Evelyn Hibbert
Dear SMBC family,
Our much-loved brother in Christ, Richard Hibbert*, died peacefully at his home last night after a long battle with cancer. Richard has touched the lives of so many in profound ways and there will be members of the SMBC family all around the world feeling the loss deeply right now. As we mourn, let us be comforted by the very good news that this man who was so passionate that people have the opportunity to know Christ has himself gone to be with Christ. We praise God for his legacy at college and for his example of love, joy, hope and purpose.
Please pray for Evelyn and the family as they grieve. If you would like to send them a card or message, please send them to SMBC, PO Box 83, Croydon NSW 2132, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of a memorial service will be forthcoming.
In confident hope,
(*Dr Richard Hibbert was Director of the SMBC Centre for Cross-Cultural Mission)
19 October 2020
Study at SMBC in 2021
Many of you have been wondering, in light of the pandemic, what studying at SMBC might look like in 2021.
So, I wanted to take just a few moments to share with you how we plan, under God, to continue to provide you with the very best that SMBC has to offer.
We will be continuing to offer Bible-centred, missions-focussed training in an interdenominational and community-based environment. That’s the core of who we are. That’s not changing.
For 2021 we’re planning to offer all our lectures back in the classroom, face-to-face, in a COVID-compliant environment. This is what many of us have been longing for – the personal relationships and incidental interactions that happen when we’re all in the same space. We call this on-campus mode.
But we can’t deny that the world has changed since COVID-19. Many of your personal circumstances have changed considerably. And many of you are simply not able to be with us on campus – whether due to distance or health reasons.
So we’re making it possible for all our lectures to also be available online. By online we mean live, interactive lectures where we continue to learn together. We call this off-campus mode.
For us, 2020 has been a fast introduction to the world of online classes. Our lecturers have done an absolutely amazing job of raising the bar with online pedagogy and creativity. And we want to continue this excellence.
Thanks to some new video-conferencing technology, many of our lectures will actually be a combination of both on-campus and off-campus cohorts at the same time. So, whether you’re in the classroom, or at home, you’ll be studying all together. We call this hybrid mode.
And, this is a first for us, we’ll be offering all these study modes for both part-time and full-time students. This applies to all our intensive, daytime and evening classes – and whether you’re studying at degree, diploma, certificate, or even audit level.
Our onsite accommodation also continues to be available.
We don’t want this pandemic to hinder God’s people growing in their knowledge and love of Him, and being better equipped to serve Him, wherever he leads.
But what about all the other aspects of studying at SMBC – Principal’s Hour, Ministry Matters, Fellowship Groups, and so on? We continue to see your growth in character as an absolutely critical part of your time with us at SMBC. And so we're remodelling many aspects of SMBC life to ensure that each student has access to the best formation we can offer in the time you have with us – whether you're an on-campus student or off-campus student.
We’re excited for study at SMBC in 2021. Both for the new innovations and for the things that remain unchanged. We’d love you to join us!
7 April 2020
A Message from the SMBC Acting Principal
Warm greetings from all of us here at SMBC.
It’s been quite a journey for us over the last couple of months – as I’m sure it has been for you too. The purpose of writing to you today is to update you on what’s been happening at the College.
It almost feels like we’ve been turned upside down, as we carefully put in place the necessary measures to help stop the spread of this virus. However, despite the challenges and uncertainty, we are acutely aware and thankful that he who watches over us neither slumbers nor sleeps (Ps 121).
Three years after Rev Benson Barnett founded SMBC, the Spanish flu hit Sydney, Australia and the world. There was much prayer about whether to close the College, thereby closing its mission to prepare people for cross-cultural gospel work. It remained open. Fast forward 101 years to COVID-19. Again, there has been much prayer; and with great thanks to God, and the technology he has provided, we are very much open and continuing to prepare people for cross-cultural gospel work.
Lectures, fellowship groups, prayer groups, chapel (Principal’s Hour) and the weekly mission spots (Ministry Matters) are being delivered in an online Zoom or equivalent format. Most residential students are temporarily living off campus. Nearly all staff are working from home including our registrars, our IT and admin teams. Never in our wildest dreams in January would we have thought campus life would look like this! But praise be to God who has equipped SMBC with a brilliant staff and student body who have responded to the disruption with such grace and patience.
The academic support of our students’ learning is continuing unabated: while the library is closed, the library staff are providing enhanced online services and the lecturers are in regular contact with their students.
It’s a unique time in the history of the College, as it is across the world.
We’d greatly value your prayers. Our monthly Prayer Diary, on the resources section of the website, provides a few short prayer points for each day of the month.
We’re very grateful to you for your support and encouragement. Just last week we received a letter from a supporter with a cheque enclosed. It came from a gentleman, who, missing his beloved wife, commented that ‘if she’d still been with us, she would have had this cheque out earlier, but here it is, better late than never.’ A taste of God's abundant mercy and goodness...delivered with a good dose of wry Aussie humour!
These are anxious and uncertain times for many people. However, our God does not change, and is eternally faithful, good and true. Trusting the Lord is a great comfort in such uncertain and worrying times. (Ps 36:5). The main weekly chapel service, Principal’s Hour, goes on and will continue to be uploaded to the resources section on our website - we hope this will be an encouragement for you.
Since 1916, students have come to SMBC to go. And they go to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to bring him glory. The harvest is large, and the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to continue sending workers into his harvest field.
‘For the sake of my holy name’
United in Christ,
Rev Mark Adams, Acting Principal
25 September 2019
Announcement of the new SMBC Principal
We're delighted to inform you today that the SMBC Board has appointed a new Principal.
After a lengthy recruitment process, attracting outstanding local, interstate and overseas candidates, we can today announce that the new Principal of Sydney Missionary and Bible College will be Derek Brotherson.
Derek will commence on 1 July 2020.
He is a committed man of God who for nearly ten years has been developing theological education in a cross-cultural context in Asia.
After completing an honours law degree, Derek worked for a number of years with the Australian government in Canberra. He completed his Master of Divinity at SMBC before leaving Australia for gospel ministry in Asia. While teaching in Asia, Derek’s doctoral studies have allowed him to focus on his deep interests in contextualisation, hermeneutics and application, including the application of biblical theology to missiological issues.
Derek is unwavering in his commitment to the central place of the Bible in theological and cross-cultural training and development, and in Christian life and community.
He has proven skills in motivating and enabling people, balanced with strong academic, missiological and pastoral skills to lead SMBC into its second century of service—continuing the work of our founder, Rev Benson Barnett and succeeding principals. He is also an outstanding thinker with sound experience in analysis, strategic thinking, and decision making.
His passion to prepare students from all walks of life for local and world-wide sacrificial gospel and preaching ministries is a great encouragement to the Board.
He has clearly demonstrated the value he places in preparing harvest workers - the next generation of missionaries, pastors, church and lay workers – for service both here in the western post-Christian world, and globally amongst the lost, unreached and unengaged.
Derek and his wife Anna, also an SMBC graduate, have three young children and are very much looking forward to joining and pastoring the team at SMBC.
May we encourage the Christian community to join us in enthusiastic prayer for Derek and Anna as they prepare to serve God in this strategic leadership role? Additionally, we value your ongoing prayers for the work and ministry of SMBC in preparing students to make the love of Christ known throughout the world.
‘For the sake of my holy name’
Derek Brotherson - SMBC Incoming Principal
Derek Brotherson Profile
BA/LLB (Hons) (ANU), MDiv (SMBC/ACT), PhD (candidate) (SMBC/ACT)
Prior to SMBC:
Derek studied Arts/Law at the Australian National University and worked as a lawyer for the Australian Government Solicitor in Canberra for a number of years. He and his wife, Anna, then moved to Sydney to study at SMBC. After that, they moved to Southeast Asia with OMF, where they served in a variety of settings, including a Bible college, a missionary training school and a women’s refuge.
- ‘Terang untuk Bangsa-Bangsa: Pelajaran dari Perjanjian Lama untuk Misi Holistik’, Te Deum 2.1 (2012): 215-234
- ‘Discipling Through Worldview-Changing Bible Study’, Mission Round Table 9.2 (2014): 22-24
- ‘Does Over-Contextualisation Result in a Distortion of the Gospel?’ Mission Round Table 14.3 (2019): forthcoming
- OMF mission consultation 2019
- OMF 150th anniversary celebrations
- AFES conferences
- Various churches and conferences in Southeast Asia
- Mission events and seminars in Southeast Asia and Australia
- Contextualisation and syncretism
- Hermeneutics and application
- The application of biblical theology to missiological issues
Derek is married to Anna. Along with their three children, they are looking forward to moving to Sydney in 2020. As a family they enjoy hiking in the Southeast Asian jungle, swimming in volcanic hot springs, and eating spicy food. They can’t wait to find out what their new hobbies will be when they move to Australia.
Geoff Dean (SMBC Board Chairman), Derek Brotherson (Incoming SMBC Principal) and Stuart Coulton (Outgoing SMBC Principal)
1 MAY 2019
SMBC Principal Rev. Stuart Coulton—Retirement
Geoff Deane, SMBC Chairman has announced the retirement from SMBC of Rev. Stuart Coulton, Principal, effective January 2020, following over 30 years of service at SMBC with the last eight years as Principal.
In an era of immense change in digital technology and online communities, Stuart as Principal has relentlessly pursued the priorities of gospel proclamation and spiritual formation in SMBC students. Under his leadership, as with his predecessors, Stuart has ensured SMBC maintains its strong reputation for being a Bible-centred, cross-culturally mission-focussed and prayerful College as did the Rev Benson Barnett did from its opening in 1916.
Under God, Stuart’s contribution to the development of SMBC has had a wide influence. His leadership has seen the commencement of overseas biblical and mission study tours, a flourishing 100 for 100 program, and the new online Master of Intercultural Studies has become a reality. The Bridge (SMBC’s mission-focussed gap year program, for 18 to 21s), commenced, and a new Associates program was initiated.
Students regularly comment on the strength of the diverse community and the teaching they receive at SMBC.
Stuart said, ‘I love SMBC and it has been such a joy and privilege to serve God in various capacities within the College over all these years. Throughout my time at SMBC, it has been the contact with students and graduates of the College that has brought me great delight, encouraged me to persevere as a disciple of the Lord Jesus, and enriched my life in countless ways.’
Stuart also expressed his immense thanks to the prayer and financial supporters who contribute so essentially to the work and ministry of SMBC.
When Stuart approached the College Board late last year, advising his intended retirement, The Board expressed their enormous gratitude to him and Pauline for their considerable contribution, wise leadership and service.
Geoff Deane has advised that the Board has already prayerfully commenced the process towards the appointment of a new Principal.
The Board, faculty and staff are strongly committed to a smooth transition of leadership, and, importantly, the ongoing work of the College through its Bible-centred training in an interdenominational and missional community.
Download Press Release (91KB PDF)