We believe training for life and ministry is primarily the responsibility of the church. Local churches are the primary context for developing Christian convictions, character and competence.
However, it is often necessary and desirable for churches to engage the specialised skills and resources of a theological college to assist in such training. The RTC is therefore a servant of the church, committed to helping churches equip people for godly living and for a broad range of church and kingdom ministries. Our training supplements rather than replaces the training of the local church, and so we will always encourage students to remain strongly involved in church community and ministry.
The RTC values and strives for ministry training and theological education that is:
We believe the Bible, as the inspired, inerrant and authoritative Word of God, is the only solid foundation and guide for life and ministry. We want our students to know God’s Word well, love it with all their heart, submit their lives to it, and grow in their capacity to exegete it accurately and minister it boldly, faithfully and skilfully.
We believe that effective Word ministry is built on strong biblical theology. We therefore value Bible training that exposes people to the whole story of the Bible, so that all the parts are seen in the light of the whole and Scripture is understood as a single, unfolding narrative that centres on God’s actions through Jesus Christ to redeem the world. We are to see ourselves, our world and the work of the church today in the light of the biblical narrative.
Theological education should lead people to a deep knowledge of God and an ability to think theologically about life and ministry. To this end, we are committed to exposing our students to the riches of the Reformed evangelical tradition in which we stand. We value drawing from several rich theological streams including the robust systematic theology of the Continental Reformers and their successors, the spiritual vitality of English Puritanism, the mission-minded and revival-hearted theology of the evangelical awakening, the worldview theology of Kuyperianism, and the contemporary gospel expression of much of this theology in the new Calvinist movement. As we draw from these streams, we value deep theological reflection leading to clearly articulated theological convictions that shape life and ministry.
The heart of the Bible’s story is the good news of the saving and renewing work of Jesus Christ. In Christ, God is not only saving many individuals but redeeming the whole of his creation. This gospel is to be spread throughout the world, so that disciples are made of all nations and the church is built up to the full number of the elect. That is God’s mission and it must be ours as well.
We therefore value ministry training that imparts to people a profound grasp of the gospel and its global implications, models for them a passionate commitment to live and minister the gospel in every part of life, and equips them to live as missionaries wherever God has placed them. We value training that equips pastors to be leaders of mission-focused churches. We will seek as a College, as we are able, to serve the worldwide church in practical ways.
We believe theological study must not only form people academically but also spiritually. Spiritual formation is the work of God, by his Spirit and Word, to conform us to the likeness of Christ. Such formation must impact our hearts, stirring us to godly affections. We want to see our students growing in devotion to Christ, passion for the gospel, prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit and seriousness about personal holiness.
This kind of formation takes place in the context of a spiritually vibrant and worshipping community where there is constant encouragement and modelling of spiritual character and godly passion alongside rigorous study. We value education where all teaching and learning is marked by both academic integrity and spiritual vitality. We recognize that lecturers have a particular responsibility to model and encourage true spirituality in their classes and in College life as a whole.
We are committed to equipping our students to live and minister the gospel in contemporary and relevant ways. While we gratefully turn to the past for wisdom and knowledge, we do not want our ministries to sound dated or old-fashioned but to be appropriately contextualized to our varying cultural settings.
We therefore value theological education that challenges students to understand both Western and other cultures, equips them to know the times in which they live, and minister in ways that speak relevantly to people in our generation.
We aspire to living lives that adorn the gospel. As people who have been humbled by our sin and saved by the free grace of God we seek to live lives that reflect the grace of the gospel. Far from theological education making us cold, detached or obnoxious, we believe it should make us humble, gracious and loving.
We therefore value approaches to life and ministry that make the gospel as accessible, attractive and engaging to people as possible so that it is only the gospel itself, and not us, that gives offence. We seek to model this in our teaching and in the way we interact with other people, including those who disagree with us. We desire to cultivate this same attitude in our students as well.
As we provide theological education marked by these six core values our end goal is that God may be glorified in every dimension of College life and that our students are moved to seek his glory above all else.