Presbyterian Theological College

Presbyterian Theological College
Motto Doctus in Regno Cœlorum (Latin)
Motto in English
"Trained for the Kingdom of Heaven"
Type Denominational, Christian
Established 1866
Affiliation Presbyterian Church of Victoria, Presbyterian Church of Australia
Principal Peter Hastie
Academic staff
Peter Hastie, Tony Bird, Jared Hood, Felix Chung
Location Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Campus Box Hill, Victoria, Australia

The Presbyterian Theological College is the theological college of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. It provides theological education for candidates for the ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, as well as for members of other Christian churches. It is an approved teaching institution of the Australian College of Theology and is based in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill.[1]

Six residential units were opened on the college property in early 2008.

Doctrinal position

The Presbyterian Theological College is an Evangelical and Reformed college which teaches in accordance with the standards of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, i.e. "The Supreme Standard is the Word of God which comprises the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. In addition, the Subordinate Standard of the Church is the Westminster Confession of Faith read in the light of the Declaratory Statement of 1901."[2]


PTC traces back its existence to 1866 when the Theological Hall of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria was formed.[3] In 1974, however, the whole staff of the theological hall opted to join with the Uniting Church and the continuing Presbyterian Church of Victoria opened a provisional theological hall in Hawthorn with only a handful of staff and students.[4][5] It relocated to the top floor of the Assembly Hall building in Melbourne in 1977, and again to the present site in Box Hill in 1986.

The Presbyterian Theological College has been at its current site since 1986


The first principal of the newly formed college was the Revd Robert Swanton.[5] He was succeeded by the Revd Allan Harman in 1982 (who served until his retirement in 2001) and then the Revd Douglas Milne until his retirement in 2011. The Revd Peter Hastie was appointed principal for a ten-year term from 2012.[6]

Courses offered

Current awards offered, through the Australian College of Theology, include: Bachelor of Ministry, Bachelor of Theology, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Theology), Master of Theology and Doctor of Theology. A number of graduate diploma awards are also offered as is an internal award, the Certificate of Bible and Ministry.[7]

Presbyterian ministry candidates

The college is one of three authorised to train men for the ordained ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Australia. The academic requirements for candidates for the Presbyterian ministry are set by the General Assembly of Australia (GAA) and administered by the College Committee of the GAA. In accordance with the doctrinal standards of the church and the regulations of the college committee, instruction in the college centres around the biblical area and involves four years full-time training, including work in both Hebrew and Greek.[2][8]

Feature events

Gerald Bray lecturing on the History of Biblical Interpretation

As part of its Master of Arts (Theology) award, the college annually offers a subject taught in intensive mode. This is an MA subject taught over the course of one week and conducted by a world-renowned scholar, often from overseas. Intensives have been taken by Gerald Bray, Tremper Longman, Paul Barnett, Ed Welch, Philip Satterthwaite and Sam Larson.[9]

The college also annually hosts its ministry conference, usually in March or April. Guest speakers, often from overseas, are invited, supplemented by staff members and other local speakers. The conference is attended by ministers, elders, home missionaries, students and others.[10]

Student life

The student group at the college is called the John Paton Fellowship, named after John Gibson Paton a nineteenth-century missionary to the New Hebrides. Six residential units for students were opened on the college property in early 2008.[11]

Swanton Library

The college's library (the Swanton Library) has over 25,000 volumes and subscribes to approximately 140 periodicals.


The college operates a resource centre which sells academic books, DVDs, CDs, including many faculty publications and lectures. It also provides resources for the Presbyterian denomination such as the Rejoice! hymn book as well as training materials for elders and members.[12]

See also


  1. Australian College of Theology website
  2. 1 2 Position Statement at the PTC website
  3. Robert Sutherland, The History of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria: From the foundation of the colony down to the abolition of state aid in 1875, 1877, p. 406.
  4. History section on the PTC website
  5. 1 2 A. Donald Macleod, W. Stanford Reid: An Evangelical Calvinist in the Academy, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-7735-2818-0, p. 283.
  6. Faculty section ont the PTC website
  7. Summary of Awards on the PTC website
  8. Presbyterian Ministry Candidates at the PTC website
  9. MA Intensives at the PTC website
  10. Ministry Conference at the PTC website
  11. Accommodation at the PTC website
  12. PTCMedia at the PTC website

Coordinates: 37°47′51″S 145°07′10″E / 37.7974°S 145.1194°E / -37.7974; 145.1194

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