Indigenous Cultural Awareness Introduction

On Wednesday 17 April, Brisbane School of Theology joined forces with Neville Naden from Bush Church Aid to bring us a half-day presentation on Indigenous Cultural Awareness. There were a few key questions that drove the day: What is culture? What is Australian culture? What is the impact of privilege and power as it relates to First Nations communities? What are the Do’s and Don’ts of serving in the Indigenous space?

The day began by spending some time thinking about the definition of ‘culture’, and how we wrestle with that in a general sense (particularly in a very multi-cultural nation like ours). Next, Neville took the group through an exploration of the last 220 years, and the impact this has had on First Nations cultures.

We were reminded that when it comes to First Nations culture, there’s no such thing as just one ‘culture’; it’s a very broad and diverse context. It was a thought-provoking day that challenged many preconceptions and encouraged participants to meet, talk, and share with each other.


CAC Dinner & Appeal Wrap

As April draws to a close, our special appeal for the Centre for Asian Christianity also concludes with the end of this month. It has been exciting and encouraging to see the increased support for the Centre, and so far nearly $25,000 has been donated to support our work for the rest of this year, and beyond.

In one of the major highlights of the BST year, the Centre for Asian Christianity hosted its annual Fundraising Dinner on 18 April, this year with the theme of ‘Family Style Faith’. As well as enjoying a fantastic Indonesian banquet, our 50+ guests enjoyed a great time of fellowship (including making some paper ‘dumplings’ together) and learned about the many ways they are actively helping to accelerate Gospel growth in the Asian church through their generous support.

These funds are vitally important to the Centre as we continue to build and grow resources for Asian pastors and leaders, fund mission conferences, and commission speakers for online lectures and training sessions.

We set out with a goal of raising $40,000 in support by the end of April, so we are more than half way there. If you would still like to donate, even after the appeal has closed, you can give here.


Faculty Spotlight - Dr Jason Bryan-Brown

There’s a long-running joke at Brisbane School of Theology that Jason Bryan-Brown has been here since he was 14 years old. The reality is only slightly different to the fiction: Jason came to BST in 2012 as a fresh-faced 17-year-old, and has since completed his Bachelor of Ministry and Bachelor of Theology with BST, as well as his Honours in the Book of Revelation. After a few years serving as a pastor in Nambour, as well as sessional lecturing and tutoring at BST, last year Jason joined our full-time teaching faculty as the Lecturer in Bible… And today Jason formally graduated with his Doctorate, finally earning him the title of ‘Dr Bryan-Brown’.

We are thrilled for Jason and his family. Today’s graduation marks the end of a long journey and (we hope) is only the beginning of a much longer, and very fulfilling, new journey with BST.

Congratulations Dr Bryan-Brown!



Life-long learning tips: Falling in love with academic journal articles

As lifelong learners, we all have our preferred methods for engaging with new knowledge. Some might gravitate towards books, while others prefer podcasts or online blogs. But have you ever considered the benefits of academic journal articles? 

I, Buffy, BST Librarian, could write a PhD thesis about the benefits and wonders of the academic journal article. However, that would defeat the purpose, as the beauty of journal articles is to get straight to the point, so shall I. 

Let me present you with my findings, in the style of a journal article, on why you should be reading academic articles, no matter who you are.


This article explores the often-overlooked benefits of academic journal articles. Through analyzing user needs versus resource features, three significant advantages of academic journal articles have been identified. These advantages make academic journal articles efficient and effective tools for engaging with the “meat” of any subject matter (compare with the Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 3:1-2).


As stated by the Apostle Paul, it is essential for Christians to actively engage with the teachings of the Word of God (Colossians 3:16) and exercise caution regarding the sources from which they learn about spiritual matters (Ephesians 4:14). Therefore, it is quite common to find Bible-believing Christians reading a variety of devotional books, subscribing to Christian blogs, and downloading faith-based podcasts on their phones to deepen their knowledge and understanding of theology.

However, I have largely found a reluctance to engage with academic journal articles – even among theological students. This raises the question: do academic journal articles have anything to offer as a means of learning more about God’s Word? And if so, how?


Let’s take a closer look at the three key advantages of academic journal articles:

  1. They’re short. Academic articles are written for people in a rush and can be read in the time it takes to finish a cup of coffee or lose 5 lives in Candy Crush. Unlike other resources that include lengthy introductory chapters about irrelevant topics like the author’s latest camping trip, journal articles get straight to the point with a concise abstract that lays out the main points of the article even before you start the introduction.
  2. They have a point. Academic journal articles are not written for the sake of writing but to make a point. To be published, at least one other person had to think it would interest the audience and that the author was qualified to make that point.
  3. They’re up-to-date and well-thought-through. Professionally published books can take years from the author finishing it to you receiving it. On the other hand, many blogs, social media posts and podcasts can be uploaded before the authors even have a chance to think better of it. Quality academic journal articles go through a rigorous and timely review process before they’re published, ensuring that the information is of the highest quality.


Many may ask: how can the average reader know if the journal is quality? 

Good question – some complex metrics can be analysed and deep research done to determine their validity. However, who has the time for that? Well, the BST librarian, for one. 

As a token of appreciation for reading this article, I would like to share a document specifically created for BST students: the Open Access BST Journals. 

 Open Access BST Journals

This is a list of journals BST has paid to subscribed to in the past, that are now available for anyone to access (either in full or back issues). The journals have been graded based on their ranking by the ACT or Australian Research Council, with A* (well above world standard) to C (at world standard) grades.


In conclusion, academic journal articles may not be the most glamorous form of learning but they are certainly one of the most effective. By taking advantage of their short length, clear purpose, and timeliness, you can deepen your understanding of theology and God’s Word. So, the next time you’re looking for a new source of knowledge, consider giving academic journal articles a chance. 

Before clicking through to an unverified blog, why not try one of these top journals that are openly available and worth keeping an eye on:

 Australian Journal of Mission Studies: issues from 2007 – 2 years ago are available from their archives. 

 International Journal of Frontier Missions: issues from 1984 – now are available on their website. 

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society: issues from 1958 – 2 years ago are available from their archives.

Ministry: International Journal for Pastors: issues from 1928 – now are available on their website.

Themelios: an international journal for theological and religious studies students: all issues are freely available on the Gospel Coalition website.

Tyndale Bulletin: all issues are freely available on their website. 

Logos & Pneuma 道風:基督教文化評論 This Chinese academic journal is available, excluding the last 2 years, on the Logos & Pneuma website. 

And in case you’re afraid that all journal articles must be boring, here’s a link to an article in the latest issue of the Australian and New Zealand Theological Librarians Association e-journal, entitled: Life-Loving Libraries. I promise you’ll have a smile on your face by the end. 

March 2024 Update

College Camp

It’s not every day that a college cancels classes for a week to indulge in activities such as playing board games, swimming, and building relationships. However, at BST, College Camp is an essential event on our academic calendar.

The purpose of College Camp is to intentionally prioritize the heart-knowledge of Christ and his teachings alongside academic knowledge. We believe that attending Bible College is not just about academic learning, but also about being transformed into the image of Christ. One of the key ways God brings about that transformation is through our relationships with one another.

Through games, chats, prayer, and worship, we build a community that allows us to practically work out our faith and academic learning. It was a joy to spend time together at Camp earlier this month, and we are looking forward to seeing the fruit that time will bring to our formation in Christ.

"Commissioned by Christ"

On Thursday, 21 March, we celebrated with our class of 2023 at City North Baptist Church as they formally graduated from Brisbane School of Theology. 42 students completed their awards; while some will continue on with further studies, it’s always a bitter-sweet night with many farewells and, for some, a sense of a chapter concluding at last.


As always, though, this is ultimately a time where we rejoice with our students in their accomplishments, and look forward to where God will direct them in their future lives and ministries. For some, this will mean a call to formal pastoral ministry, or mission work; for others, school chaplaincy, or counselling, or a return to their church and workplace with a renewed sense of passion and zeal for God’s word.


We thank God for each person who chose to spend so much of their time, energy, and heart with this college and their fellow students. We remain firmly committed to face-to-face, on-campus learning, and it’s nights like graduation that remind us why this is so important.


Each of our graduates prepared a short statement about what was most meaningful to them about their time at BST, and one of our graduates, Luisa Laughren, summed up the ethos of BST like this:


“During my time at BST, I have developed a profound awareness of the crucial nature of belonging to an authentic and loving community rooted in faith commissioned by Christ in honouring God’s mission.”


Please join us in praying for our new graduates as they continue to be shaped by God’s word, and serve his world, for many years to come.

Centre for Asian Christianity Appeal

The CAC relies on the generous support of friends like you to continue our mission of accelerating Gospel growth in the Asian church.


Over the next four weeks, we’ll be asking you to help us fulfil that mission. We are praying for $40,000 in gifts to help support the Centre for the next year. Your tax-deductible gift today will help fund more missions conferences, see more books and resources published in Asia, bring together key church leaders in Australia, and fuel new ministry opportunities in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and around the world.


If you have a heart for the Asian church, I hope you will give as generously as you are able to help us meet this $40,000 goal and support the Centre’s work in 2024.


Even if you can’t give financially today, I ask that you please hold the CAC in your prayers.


Specifically, please pray for wisdom and strategic allocation of funds as we determine which of the many needs and opportunities the Centre should focus our efforts towards; and pray for the Asian church, which is lacking resources on many fronts but also has immense opportunities, and is experiencing tremendous growth. Pray for God to provide nourishment, leading to healthy growth.


Please give your tax-deductible gift by 30 April and help us reach our goal of $40,000 so we can launch into our next 12 months of ministry.


Thank you!

Sitting with the suffering—God, connection, and comfort

What do you do when someone opens up about the negative things in their life? Do you freeze, change the subject, awkwardly try to remind them of the hope they have in Jesus?

To ‘weep with those who weep’ is not easy. It means having to face something in ourselves that is uncomfortable; sadness. While loving others is foundational to the Christian life, it can be one of the hardest things we will do. In our comfort-driven world, it can seem easier to endure godly persecution ourselves than to sit quietly with a suffering friend as they experience their anguish, doubt, fear and pain. Yet, in sitting with them, we reflect God’s steadfast love for them as their brother or sister in Christ.

To illustrate this, we use a picture of a Triangle in our Pastoral Care for Mental Health course. When someone opens up in despair, the first step is connection; ‘I am with you.’

Secular psychology will talk about the power of therapeutic rapport: Being present with a person. Research shows that feeling loved and heard is a powerful catalyst for therapeutic change. But what difference is there in this as Christians?

We have a God who is with us – not only with me, but also with the other. His presence changes things.

  • It changes our focus. Rather than thinking, ‘How can I be with you in this?’ or ‘What can I do?’, we think, ‘How will I be a vessel of God’s love and truth with you in this?’, and ‘How might God work through me to help you to know that He is with you?’
  • It changes our source. When we recognise that God is with us, we do not rely on our own strength and resources. God is our source, of love, kindness, and wisdom. It is better to rely on His unending grace than to work from our discomfort, fear, impatience, judgemental nature, and inadequacies.
  • It changes our expectations. God is here; I am not the answer. I can expect God to work. He cares about my relationship with him, about me, about my relationship with the other person and is Lord over it, he cares about the other person, and he cares about his relationship with them. I can sit with them with the expectation that God will be present and cares far more than I could.

Connection is the foundation step. We teach several other steps, but they all fall flat without connection. We do not have to agree with or affirm someone’s thinking rather we commit to being as God is to us, loving us while we were still sinners, preparing us for the next steps of his work. When we experience, ‘I am with you’ and ‘I am for you’ the truth is not only easier to bear, the truth of God shines to us.

The next time someone begins to open up, take a deep breath and ask God, who is always with us, to be sovereign as he already is. Ask him to work through you and help the person you are with to know his presence in their time of pain.  

February 2024 Update

Ministry Leaders' Lunch

We were honoured to host the Ministry Leaders’ Lunch on Thursday, 15 February, for over 35 pastors, mission, and ministry leaders to gather together over a delicious meal. The event was held at Brisbane City Hall thanks to a venue credit gifted to us by Christians Against Poverty.


It was a rare opportunity for like-minded leaders to build connections with each other and with BST. The atmosphere was filled with joy and collaboration as the leaders shared about their ministries and we shared about the various programs we offer—like the Master of Theological Studies, the Child Abuse in Christian Communities: Prevention and Response unit, and the Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Care for Mental Health.
At BST, we are committed to training godly men and women in the word of God for His service and look forward to partnering with churches and missions to achieve this goal.
We are thankful to all who attended the Ministry Leaders’ Lunch and made it a memorable event. 
Would you like to connect with BST and see how we can partner with you to train your community in the Bible? Contact David Birch at dbirch@bst.qld.edu.au to organise a visit or chat.

New students on campus

We have been loving being on campus these past few weeks. Chapel is full, lunches are lively, and our classes are alive with fantastic discussion and learning. We are grateful to God for the large cohort of new students joining us this semester. Check it out here!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see first-hand what is happening on campus. 

Have you had "The (tech) Talk" with your kids?

Questions to consider for parents and church Leaders

Instagram, TikTok, game chat, forums, X (formerly known as Twitter), Whatsapp, Signal…. The list goes on with the numerous ways young people engage with technology. This has opened a world of opportunity and connection, which is a wonderful thing. But where there are children, there are predators.

As adults we need to educate ourselves on how technology is used and manipulated by predators so that we can protect our children. We need to help guide children through their technology use calmly and clearly.

Children need to be taught about what is and isn’t OK online, just like they learn what is safe in real life.

When they are learning to ride a bike you are alongside them, guiding them and protecting them from veering into oncoming traffic or down a steep gully. The same goes for their internet use. They need direction on what is and isn’t OK and where to go for help. If they don’t hear it from you… Who will tell them?

Here are some helpful questions for parents to get you started:

  • Do I know what my child is doing on the internet/mobile?
  • Have you seen what personal identifying details your child has up on their profiles?

Tip: If you can see their school uniform, club uniform, or church—then a predator knows where they can be found and at what times.

  • Does your child know they can talk to you if things get ‘weird’?

Tip: Predators will pretend to be a child to make connections and elicit information. If your child starts to sense something is weird, do they know they can stop talking to the person and how to block/report them? Do they know that you will listen without getting angry? As Christians we often teach children that they should be polite, kind, and patient with others. This can cause harm for a child in an online grooming situation. See resources below on how to save chats, as that can be important for police in a future investigation.

Questions for church leaders to get you started:

  • Do you post pictures of your events on social media that include children?

Tip: If you can see a child and the details of the church, then predators can find and contact that child.

  • Do you have clear guidelines for online behaviour for your ministry leaders? How do you check they are following this—apart from asking them?

Tip: People lie. We need to have multiple ways to check our policies are being implemented to keep everyone safe.

  • Have you considered running an info session for parents to talk about online safety with their kids? Do parents know how to talk about personal safety with their children in real life as well as online?
  • Do the young people in the church, children’s ministry and youth group know who they can tell if a church member is acting inappropriately with them?
  • How do you as a community talk about issues like sexting, pornography, safety and healthy relationships?

Tip: If you don’t talk about it, kids learn that they shouldn’t talk about it with you either. This will prevent them reaching out to you if they are being groomed or abused.


It is not a one-off conversation.

We need to have multiple conversations with our children, and with each other, to keep children safe.


See these resources for more information and practical steps to keep kids safe online:

The Queensland Police have released a handbook for parents and concerned family members to protect their children. Who’s Chatting to your kids:  https://www.police.qld.gov.au/policelink-reporting/reporting-cybercrime/children-and-the-internet/whos-chatting-to-your-kids

Think U Know is an online safety program that you can book with the police service: https://www.police.qld.gov.au/initiatives/thinkuknow

The eSafety commission has a great webpage to guide you through tech questions: https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents

Way of Life Podcast

Mathew Thomas graduated from BST in 2018 with a Bachelor of Theology and is now the Youth & Young Adults Pastor at Wynnum Baptist Church. Mat’s passion is to share God’s love and teachings with the younger generation, inspiring them to discover Jesus.


He is also the creator and host of Way of Life Podcast. Check it out on a variety of platforms using this link https://linktr.ee/wayoflifepodcast


Way of Life Podcast:

At Way of Life Podcast, we see that everyone picks a way of life and that the way you pick truly matters. We therefore interview professionals from all around the globe on life’s most important topics. Wherever you are at we invite you to wrestle with Jesus’ claim that he is the best way of life (John 14:16). 


Latest Episodes:

  • Spiritual Conversations: How to have conversations like Jesus with Steve Forward
  • Health and Faith: Holistic Christianity – body, mind & spirit with Esther Thomas
  • Walking with God in everyday life: Listening for the Spirit’s guidance with Joel Shaw
  • Living a Bible lead life: How the bible can help lead your life with Rev Dr Richard Gibson


Check out the Way of Life Podcast at https://linktr.ee/wayoflifepodcast