The following article is written by Geoff Macpherson, the principal of Grace Theological College. You can find out more about them at their website. If you would like more information, I would encourage you to contact Geoff Macpherson directly: here
What is GTC?
Grace Theological College (GTC) is a New Zealand reformed theological college. What this means is that we are a school, established in 1995, that exists to train men for pastoral ministry, but also men and women for all forms of gospel ministry. We like to refer to ourselves as ‘reformed and evangelical’ because, while holding to the historic reformed creeds, we are passionate about seeing men and women come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So, we want to see all kinds of Christians well equipped with solid biblical knowledge to present Christ fully to the entire world.
What does GTC look like?
I am the current principal of GTC, a role which I have filled since 2018. We also employ a part-time administrator, a financial manager and a librarian. Our teaching is done by either myself or others who make themselves available to the college.
We have a property in Manurewa, Auckland which we use for our classroom, offices and also to house our library of 12,000 books. However, we are not limited to offering our classes in Auckland, but have many students scattered all around New Zealand and overseas. Students outside of Auckland can join us via video link.
All of our classes are not officially accredited in New Zealand. However, we do have a partnership with Birmingham Theological Seminary that allows GTC students with a prior degree to enrol in their masters’ awards and cross-credit GTC results towards that.
We have also developed a relationship with Christ College Sydney, a reformed theological college accredited by the Australian College of Theology (ACT). Christ College is now able to teach their classes in New Zealand at GTC. The ACT units are recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
The next Christ College unit is a preaching class in August taught by David Cook, the former principal of Sydney Missionary and Bible College.
What papers are offered at GTC at the moment?
For the second semester of 2021, we are offering five papers. These are: ST305 Systematic Theology of the Church and Last Things, BT602 Biblical Theology of the New Testament, HT451 Christianity in Aotearoa, OT152 Intermediate Hebrew, and PT567 Marriage and Family Counselling.
In addition to our classes, students can enrol in the Birmingham Theological Seminary classes online or complete the Christ College units that are either taught in New Zealand or online. Happy to talk to people about these options.
Who are GTC's papers aimed at?
Everyone! All kinds of people have taken and benefited from our classes. We have had school-leavers through to octogenarians in our classes. While we have a core of men who are training to be pastors, we always have a large group of others who are in non-ministry roles but are eager to be better equipped to serve in their churches. Our students come from different churches and use what they learn to lead many types of ministries.
Our internal classes are aimed at the undergraduate level of study one might typically encounter at university. Credit students will write essays or other forms of assessment and will typically sit an examination and receive a grade at the end. However, there are also lots of people who take the classes ‘for fun’ (audit), who don’t do the assessments and don’t receive a grade.
The Christ College classes are aimed at undergraduate or graduate level, and their quality and assessments are approved by ACT and monitored by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency of Australia.
Why should someone study at GTC?
GTC is New Zealand’s only reformed Bible college. We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God and is without error. We also believe that every person, whatever role that they have in a church or on the mission field, should be well-equipped to rightly handle God’s word and answer the questions of both Christians and non-Christians. You can study with us without leaving Aotearoa!
Another reason is that we cost far less than other options. A full-time for credit student will only spend $3,750 on tuition fees each year. If you enrol on the New Zealand campus of Christ College, you will receive heavily discounted tuition.
Finally, we need a good strong reformed theological college in New Zealand so that the church here is able to raise up many more gospel workers who love the Lord Jesus and are passionate about telling others the good news. By studying with us, you can change things in New Zealand for a better future.
How can individuals get involved with GTC?
Aside from enrolling as a student, we welcome those who want to visit or attend occasional classes. We also welcome anyone keen to volunteer their skills. We rely on the generosity of God’s people to help the college achieve its goals. We always need help with technology, property maintenance, library, promotions and advertising and many other things.
How can people support GTC?
Student fees alone won’t pay the costs of running the college. We rely on the generosity of churches and individuals to help us fund staffing costs. We are eager to employ someone to help us better promote the college around New Zealand, so I would love to talk to you or your church about making that happen. We’d need an additional $10-15,000.
Above all, pray for us. This isn’t a cliché. The reality is that the biggest battles to fight are not financially or staffing related, but are actually spiritual. Satan doesn’t want his church to be confident in the God’s word. Pray for boldness and faithfulness.