December 2018

The year is almost over, and in God’s mercy, we have a lot to be thankful for at Bible College SA. I tend to think about the College in terms of the ‘three Ss’: students, staff, supporters. The nice thing about this is that it captures all that we do through a grid of the people who matter so much to our ministry.

As I have noted before, the student body in 2018 has been superb. We have had a great bunch of women and men who are faithful, pastoral, sacrificial, hardworking and competent, and I am so excited that so many of them will be joining the ranks of vocational ministry workers in the years ahead, while all of them will be making great contributions to their churches and the other ministries they are part of. These are the people we want to be sending out and we praise God for each one.

Our staff team is also excellent. Again, knowledge, character, heart and skills are all of a great standard across the team, and—joyfully—we all share great relationships too. I have quipped that while I would probably always rather be on holidays with the family, working shoulder to shoulder with the Bible College SA team is a pretty great blessing too. It’s great to come to work with a group of people who share common convictions, have a common vision, and who have a lot of fun and laughs together too! We have become a bit famous for our tradition of bringing in cakes for our morning tea on Monday, and that is just one expression of the ways we like hanging out together.

Then there are our supporters, and if you are reading this newsletter now, that includes you! We are greatly blessed with a wonderful bunch of partners who are committed to the long-term strategic gospel work that we do. Some of you support us through your prayers, for which we are so very thankful. We truly believe that God answers the prayers of his people and we do not doubt that the season of fruitfulness we are currently enjoying is in line with what you have been praying for us. Some support us financially, which is critical to our operations as—like Bible colleges across the country—we only receive about half of our income needs from student fees. This partnership keeps the college afloat and we are most appreciative of it. And many of you also support us by your ongoing advocacy: talking up the college to other potential supporters or students and helping more and more South Australian Christians learn about what we do and why it is important.

In addition to the ‘three Ss’, I must also make mention of the College’s governing Board. It has been a blessing to work with a group so clearly focussed on our missional purpose, and among whom there is also a great trust and fellowship. The Board works behind the scenes on many high level matters, and we thank God for working through them for their attention to so many complicated matters, and for keeping the work focussed as these have been navigated.

Thank you so much for being part of the Bible College SA fellowship in 2018. We really look forward to continuing our partnership for Jesus in 2019, and for many more years into the future. We wish you a wonderful Christmas celebrating the gift of our Lord Jesus, who brings us peace with God, hope for eternity and purpose for today.

In and for him,
Rev Dr Tim Patrick

• Monthly prayer points are in the side bar of this email and you can find our ‘prayer wheel’ here.

• If you would like to support us financially, you can arrange that online here, or else contact the office at or on 08 8291 8188.

Tim Patrick

Over the past few weeks we have had three great end of year events: our students’ End of Semester Celebration BBQ, our supporters’ end of year Twilight Party, and our Graduation Celebration. Below are some pictures that capture something of each of these.

Nicholas van Ruth
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
One of the first things that people notice about me is that I have an accent. I was born in Australia, but lived in Holland for a year and Canada for four years (that's where the accent is from), returning to Australia in 2000. I'm married to Emily and together we have a son (Joshua - 6 months old) and a dog (Micah - 4 years old). Together we are a part of City Reach Oakden and have been so for about a year. Before coming to college I was a process engineer, working for a major South Australian skincare manufacturer. 

What are you currently studying?

I'm studying a Masters of Divinity part time (3 quarter load) and working for City Bible Forum alongside that. 

What do you like most about studying at BCSA?
I love the opportunity to rub shoulders with other people passionate about God and his mission to the world, others who have challenged my thinking, demonstrated creativity in how to present the truths of the Bible and shown me different ways of doing things. 

In what ministry do you hope to work when you finish at BCSA?
For a long time I've been passionate about helping people live out their faith authentically in the context they are in. At the moment I'm doing that with young workers through my role at City Bible Forum. I imagine long term I'll end up in a church / training role, helping Christians navigate this ever changing world, equipping them to stand up and stand out for Jesus. 

What is one thing you are learning at the moment that is particularly insightful?

At the moment I am doing an online summer subject that is challenging my thinking about what the church should look like. In the past, western churches have been influenced by the goals and culture of the suburbs, but these don't suit the new urban culture Australia is developing. We need to be working hard to analyse the symbols, rituals and narrative of the culture we are trying to reach, share the gospel in a way that the truths can be heard, understood and accepted, and adapting how the church engages with the community and culture it is in. 


Monday 24 Dec - 6 Jan 

Christmas shutdown





Thank God for - 

• A great year on all fronts. For our wonderful students, staff, supporters and Board, and that together and under God, we have been able to advance and achieve the purposes of the College for his glory.

• Those students who have recently graduated and the ministry opportunities that they are taking up.

• The Christmas season where we once again remember the gift of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, and all that he came to do for us.

Please pray –

• For a good 2019, where we all continue to work together well and faithfully and focussed on our purpose of preparing the next generations of gospel workers for Adelaide, South Australia, and beyond.

• That our graduates would be faithful and fruitful in their ministries, and especially that those starting out in vocational roles for the first time would quickly find their feet and serve well.

• For a great enrolment of new students next year.


Please also remember Sydney Missionary and Bible College in your prayers too. This is one of our sister colleges and, as their name suggests, they have a particular focus on raising up overseas gospel workers. Give thanks for the great work of principal Stuart Coulton and his team, and pray they would have a good 2019.


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