Ridley College is excited to announce the appointment of Rev Dr John Dickson to its faculty as Distinguished Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Public Christianity. Students will receive a significant boost as John teaches on campus and online in a wide range of subjects. John’s approach will bring a ‘public Christianity twist’ to those subjects. This means that under John students will study New Testament and Church History in order to better engage with contemporary society. He will teach an approach to evangelism and apologetics that works in a post-Christian context.
The part-time appointment has been structured to benefit the entire Ridley community, including certificate, degree, and doctorate programs, online and on campus students, and Ridley’s extensive alumni network.
One of John’s first projects is to produce a Ridley Certificate subject on ‘Jesus’ which will be released in late 2020 or early 2021 and be widely available. John will also contribute to a new online unit on Apologetics. He will provide occasional workshops interstate to support Ridley Online students taking New Testament units. In August 2020 John will lead a cohort in Public Christianity at Ridley’s first “Mega-Intensive” – a unique one-week program for credit across all Ridley’s degree programs integrating theology, Bible, and ministry practice around a topic (next year it will be ‘Evil’). As Ridley relaunches its Doctor of Ministry program in 2020, John will lead one of the five cohorts.
John co-founded the Centre for Public Christianity in 2007 and has also served as the Senior Minister of St Andrew’s Roseville since 2010. As he commences a new phase of fulltime writing and speaking ‘to make Christ public’, he has also decided to focus on training a new generation of men and women to promote the Christian faith effectively in the public arena. Given Ridley’s commitment to training gospel workers who are able to promote God’s mission in a complex post-Christian world, this was an obvious partnership.
Two Ridley graduates with significant leadership roles have enthusiastically endorsed the appointment. Richard Condie, Bishop of Tasmania says, ‘I am so delighted that Ridley has been able to secure such an excellent Australian scholar who brings academic rigour and a keen cultural eye to public theology. Public theology is a very important discipline. A great addition to an excellent faculty!’
Guy Mason, Lead Pastor of City on a Hill commented that, ‘John Dickson’s enthusiasm and expertise in communicating the beauty, truth and relevance of Jesus in the public square is a rare and treasured jewel. I’m thrilled that John has joined the excellent team at Ridley. I am looking forward to seeing how God uses this appointment to equip and inspire us all to know Jesus and make Jesus known.’
Internationally the appointment is also recognised as being significant. Lynn Cohick, Dean of Denver Seminary and Ridley Online presenter is delighted. ‘Ridley College has included another star player to their team of incredible faculty – Dr. John Dickson. John’s international reputation for intellectual prowess and clear-eyed examination of today’s tough questions through a biblical lens will serve Ridley College well. And John is just plain fun to talk with! Congratulations to John and Ridley College.’
While based in Sydney, John will be a frequent resident on Ridley’s campus and he hopes to be a regular preacher in Melbourne’s churches. It is also expected that Ridley will give him a platform to pursue his academic work, including his current project investigating the place of memory in ancient education and its significance for the mission of the early church.
The appointment of John Dickson to the faculty of Ridley College gives a wider opportunity for engagement with this internationally recognised Christian thinker and Apologist. John’s teaching and research supervision will undoubtedly be a strength for Ridley College.
Archbishop of Melbourne
Super excited for Ridley to take on this appointment! John is incredibly good at everything he does (except for his music, it was only ok, sorry John!) and will be a great asset to the team at Ridley.
AFES Senior staff worker, Melbourne University, and Chair, Lausanne Australia
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