The massive impact Moore College is having worldwide
Moore College’s Preliminary Theological Certificate is used to train people for ministry across the world, and the Diocese’s new Bishop for International Relations, Malcolm Richards, gave Synod members a snapshot of some of the impact it is having across the globe.
There are two things the Sydney Anglicans has to offer the world
“What do our like-minded friends from around the world want from us, the Sydney Diocese?” he asked. “They tell us they want two things: we need you to keep doing what you do – first, proclaiming Jesus and always bringing us back to the Bible… and second, they want help from us to access Bible-based theological training.”
The PTC has had a massive impact in the Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean – which takes in Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles – and a partnership with Anglican Aid that seeks to expand and accelerate this training.
Madagascan students looking to doubling their training group
The Rev Al Lukabyo, who has been teaching a pilot group of 12 Madagascan students one PTC subject a year for the past five years, said the province’s Archbishop James Wong, and secretary the Rev Berthier Lainirina, proposed doubling the size of the training group as well as finishing the first six subjects in two years.
To help with funding, Anglican Aid has come on board. The project will cost $70,000 over the two years and, Mr Lukabyo told Synod, “most of the money will go to the students’ transport costs and accommodation. To gather in the capital city will require serious resources. We need your support and the support of your parish”.
The Bible has been forgotten in Madagascar
Mr Lainirina explained that, in Madagascar, clergy had “focused too much on liturgies and sacraments for many years [and] the problem is that we have forgotten the Bible”.
Raised in this tradition himself, Mr Lainirina did not understand anything was missing until one Sunday school teacher taught him from the Bible.
“I started to love the Bible, read it for myself [and] realised it’s all about Christ – it’s not about church buildings and liturgy!” he said.
"it's all about Christ"
During his training for ministry he hungrily searched for works online written by Anglicans, and discovered the writings of John Stott, J.C. Ryle and Thomas Cranmer, which showed him there were different “ways of being an Anglican”.
He told a delighted Synod that writings from the Sydney Diocese had been a great influence, mentioning in particular an article he saw “on the internet from Sydney Anglicans – the title was ‘Anglican models’ by Mark Thompson. I don’t know if he’s still alive?”
Taught at Carlile College in Kenya, Mr Lainirina returned home to Madagascar an avowed evangelical and three years ago took charge of a parish of eight churches – and has planted another two.
He explained that priests in his country’s multi-church parishes were supported by catechists and evangelists whom they were supposed to train, but “if the priest doesn’t receive enough training how can they train others?
“We need solid biblical training for clergy and catechists… they lead churches, yet they haven’t had solid biblical training! And we have assessed that the PTC course can be a very good resource for us. We love the Bible we love Jesus Christ but we lack resources and the PTC will be critical.”