Mike Pears brings news of an exciting new way that Bristol Baptist College is training ministers.
The College has a vision to equip Christians to engage in mission, evangelism and church planting in urban contexts. Cities are changing fast and this brings great challenges and fresh opportunities. In response to all this we are developing an approach to training that is radical, flexible, adventurous, and mission-shaped.We do not intend to abandon our historical commitment to preparing pastors and teachers for the churches but we are convinced that the future will also need new sorts of ministers and missioners who will want to be trained in more adaptable, sustainable and affordable ways.
Phil has just completed his first year as one of the students on the Mission Track. Phil says: The incarnational mission track has given us an opportunity to continue to engage in ministry in south Bristol, where we have lived for 19 years.
We have felt challenged throughout that time by the proximity of Knowle West and other South Bristol estates, and are encouraged by other Christians who have responded to the call to move there. We are now looking forward to becoming fully immersed in the life of the estate ourselves.
The new Mission Track can be used by those preparing for accreditation as a Baptist Minister but it will be of interest to others too.
The curriculum has been reviewed to
This new pathway has been developed in active partnership with Urban Expression, re:Source Bristol, the West of England Baptist Association and local urban churches. It has emerged because the College staff and students are actively involved in urban mission in the city. Mike Pears, who has many years of experience of urban mission and ministry, is the Tutor in Urban Mission . Stuart Murray of Urban Expression and Nigel Coles, Team Leader at WEBA, are both part of the steering group for this programme.
Andy and Rae with their new baby moved to an intense multicultural area of east Bristol with their new baby to get involved in mission and to explore new forms of church that might connect with this particular part of the city.
Andy says “if you are thinking of moving into an inner-city area, it’s brilliant … it’s great fun, quite hard work … and quite a commitment! It's addictive … it will get under your skin and you’ll never, ever leave!”
The College recognises that this approach to training is very demanding and challenging and that it is not appropriate for everyone. However, those with a heart for urban mission and an appetite to explore fresh and radical approaches to life and ministry in the city may find this option to be just what they have been looking for.