Australia’s Christian higher education system is consolidating, with colleges merging or sharing campuses. Melbourne is a hotspot for these changes.
Two key Pentecostal colleges Alphacrucis College (AC) and Harvest Bible College (HBC) have announced that from the beginning of 2018 the two colleges will join together. This move will bolster their academic offerings, resourcing and providing a larger footprint in Christian higher education.
The merged college will retain the name Alphacrucis College and serve over 4000 students attending campuses in all Australian states, New Zealand and online, offering Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelor and Masters Degrees, and Doctorates in Christian Ministry, Theology, Leadership, Business, Education, Music, Chaplaincy, Community Services and Social Science.
The merger will also support AC’s vision of becoming a Christian University.
AC’s President, Professor Stephen Fogarty, responds: “This is an excellent opportunity to expand and strengthen AC’s influence, as well as continue the legacy of outstanding Christian higher education in Melbourne. We believe there is great value for the community in an institution that not only educates people for particular professions, but does so from a Christian perspective. That is the goal and the mission of Alphacrucis College.”
In 2018, HBC’s current location in Scoresby in eastern Melbourne will become AC’s campus in Victoria’s capital. HBC staff and students will transfer to AC with the institution’s priority being to deliver uninterrupted and enhanced educational services to students.
Just a few kilometres north, two other prominent Melbourne Bible colleges will share the same campus from this month.
Eastern College of Australia will relocate to the Melbourne School of Theology (MST) site in Wantirna in eastern Melbourne. Eastern College was formerly known as Tabor College (Victoria) and has a wide range of courses in their schools of Education, Arts and Social Sciences as well as Theology.
MST began life as the Melbourne Bible Institute and retains the purpose set out by its founder, C.H. Nash: “The MBI stands foursquare for the wholehearted acceptance of the entire sacred volume of the Old and New Testaments as from God. This is God’s book for the plain man, and to such he will interpret its full meaning progressively by his Holy Spirit. Herein, too, is provided a full equipment for everyone who would serve Jesus as Lord.”
The combined student population at Wantirna will be more than 600. While each college has a distinct profile, actuaries employed to do “compatibility research” found strikingly similar “DNA” in their data.