An update from John Tucker, Principal of Carey Baptist College, for 2022.

While this year has presented its challenges, we have much to celebrate. Despite COVID-19 disruptions, our students have maintained a remarkably high course completion rate of over 90 per cent. God has gifted us some remarkably capable and Spirit-filled new staff. Our teaching team have published three new books: Godu2019s Provision, Humanityu2019s Need; Formative Feasting; and Sports and Play in the Christian Tradition. We hosted a very successful international conference exploring how science- engaged theology can lead to the flourishing or shalom that God intends for humanity.

In addition to this, our graduate studentsu2014many of them Baptist pastorsu2014have produced some very exciting research into ministry and mission in Aotearoa. They have explored, for example, what makes for effective discipleship within our church youth groups. They have also researched what we can learn from the demographic changes experienced within New Zealand Baptist churches over the last 30 years.

A real highlight was the installation of some spectacular carvings in the Mu0101ori learning space on our campus. These carvings express our deepest commitments as a college to Jesus, his word, his gospel, his church, and his mission in the world. We have much cause for celebration.

In my report this year, though, I want to ask for your help. I have three particular requests:

First, could you please help us identify the potential pastoral leaders in your church community? Within our larger general study body, Carey currently has 43 students completing our various ministry and mission tracks. With a large number of pastoral vacancies and the prospect of many pastors reaching retirement age in the next few years, our movement desperately needs to see more people training for pastoral ministry. This year, could you make the task of identifying and developing emerging leaders a regular item on the agenda of your church eldership or leadership team or in your pastoral cluster? Talk about it. Pray about it. Ask the Lord of the harvest to help you identify who in your church needs to be encouraged into ministry training.

Secondly, could you consider how you might utilise the different training pathways weu2019ve developed for your church? Careyu2019s pastoral leadership track is designed to form robust leaders with the biblical convictions, practical skills, emotional health, and spiritual maturity needed for effective ministry today. Careyu2019s internship programmes also provide excellent pathways for developing emerging leaders in the context of a local church. Our Centre for Lifelong Learning continues to grow its suite of training options for Christian leaders and church life groups. All these training pathways are now fully accessible from any region in New Zealand. Most of our students (60 per cent) are now training with us by distance through a combination of online learning, block intensives, on-site classes, regional hubs, and local supervisors.

Finally, would your church consider setting up a scholarship fund to support students you think should study through Carey? The cost-of- living crisis makes it more difficult for people to study theology or train for ministry and mission. Why not allocate some funds in your churchu2019s budget or hold a special annual appeal on Carey Sunday in August to establish and sustain a scholarship fund? This kind of support could make all the difference for those in your church who you think would benefit from theological study or some kind of ministry internship with Carey.

Carey is the theological college and ministry training centre of the Baptist churches of New Zealand. Our family of churches, 96 years ago, established Carey to train leaders for Baptist ministry and mission. Thatu2019s why we exist: to form leaders for your church and to resource the people in your church.

Weu2019re grateful for the opportunity to serve you. Thank you for your ongoing support of the college.

This update is from the 2022 Annual Report of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand, which you can view here.

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