Perspective for life, faith and work
“Having the opportunity to study, and to dive deeply and reflect thoughtfully in Scripture, is one of the most important and precious opportunities of the Christian life,” says Tim Meyers, Executive Principal at Melbourne School of Theology (MST) and Eastern College Australia.
“Every day at MST and Eastern we see God at work, bringing about a beautiful convergence of theological truth, identity, calling and vocation, in ways that shape the lives of women and men long after their studies here are over. We are so thankful for this unique privilege.”
MST and Eastern describe their relationship as “two colleges, one community” – a partnership that began in 2018, drawn together by a shared vision to equip Christians for life, mission and ministry – integrating faith, everyday life and vocation.
The colleges co-locate at Wantirna in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and are truly non-denominational, ensuring broad perspectives in a culturally rich community.
According to Tim Meyers, students benefit enormously from this diverse learning environment, a gifted and highly qualified academic team, and access to new hallmark centres of excellence and innovation: “I see our specialist centres as incubators of thought leadership across subjects of special relevance to our culture today – such as mental health and well-being, the global church, and intercultural life and vocation,” says Meyers.
Well-being, identity and mental health
The Centre for Theology and Psychology (CTP) was established in 2020 to help Christian leaders and believers respond to increasing levels of mental illness in our world. The Centre has attracted strong interest from people internationally and from diverse walks of life.
Director, Dr Michael Bräutigam, says: “Our units are team-taught by theologians and psychologists who share a common vision to achieve integration of these crucial disciplines.”
Coming up next Semester is the unit, ‘Theological Approaches to Well-being’ (via MST) as part of the Graduate Certificate of Pastoral Care for Mental Health (click here for more).
Inter-disciplinary course options, including the Thriving Christian Leader Program, are tailored for those serving (or training) in vocational positions in churches, schools, community and missions.
Engaging with Islam
The Arthur Jeffrey Centre (AJC) for the Study of Islam, led by Dr Richard Shumack and set up in 2008, seeks to train Christians to effectively engage in cross-cultural ministry.
“We also want to enable Christians to be an informed and biblically grounded voice in shaping the political and religious landscape of our nation,” says Shumack.
AJC offers teaching programs into Islam from a Christian perspective (from community courses and undergraduate study to postgraduate research), with upcoming units in Semester Two including Christian Ministry in Islamic Contexts, and Christian Apologetics to Islam.
Reframing the conversation about mission
The most recent addition is the Centre for Missional Engagement (CME), led by Dr Kirk Franklin. Building upon MST’s Master of Missional Leadership, CME aims to bring fresh thinking around definitions and expressions of mission, both locally and globally, with a strong focus on leadership and church resource.
From MST’s formation in 1920, the college has also supported Christian work and witness in China. Established in 1996, MST Chinese focuses on training Chinese pastors and mission workers, offering fully accredited degrees in Bible and Theology in Chinese (click here for more).
Flexible study options
MST and Eastern understand the need for flexibility, offering on campus, online and blended study options. Meyers says: “We offer a range of courses from certificate up to masters levels that will enhance your faith journey and better equip you for ministry, pastoral care, education, chaplaincy, or arts and social sciences.” Audit units are available for those wanting to dip their toe in.
Meyers notes that Eastern is unique in Victoria as a Christian Higher Education provider, and the courses in Education (face to face or blended) range from the certificates in Education Support through to Bachelor Degrees, the Master of Teaching and the Master of Education (M.Ed). Upcoming M.Ed units in Semester Two include Biblical Interpretation for Educators, and Organisational Culture: Systems and Change.
*Morning and evening sessions available