1 October 2020 | The Trans-European Division (TED) announced today that Berkshire, England-based Newbold College will focus its future efforts exclusively on training pastors and church leaders.
“With effect from September 2021 we will be pausing intake in our English Language Centre (including our Summer School in English), our Business and Humanities courses, and our Study Abroad programmes,” Newbold stated in a Q&A piece.
“Now more than ever, in these challenging and fast-changing times, we are considering how best to remain relevant to the needs of the 14 TED constituency units we serve,” said Newbold Principal, Dr. John Baildam in the TED announcement.
According to the TED, the Newbold Board of Governors “met for an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday, 30 September to best determine how the College can urgently adapt and restructure.”
“Most notable in our conversation”, said TED president Rafat Kamal, “was the consensus that Newbold exists first and foremost to train pastors and other Church leaders to serve TED members – and now is the time to urgently renew this focus.”
The TED reported the Newbold Board of Governors voted a new ten-point ‘Framework for Operation’ on September 30th that “commits to a new Centre for Ministry and Mission, giving sole focus and strategic direction to the education and preparation of ministers, evangelists, frontline church planters, leaders, and theologians.”
The pivot will take place by September 2021, in time for the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.
‘The significance of this action cannot be overstated’, says Pastor Ian Sweeney, the board’s vice chair and president of the British Union Conference as quoted by the TED. He continues, ‘The decision to have Newbold concentrate its focus on its original purpose of ministerial education and equipping is an exciting one. The intent is that students who pass through Newbold’s doors will leave better able to fulfil the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, with well-rounded, mission-focused, well-educated pastors and workers.’
The new plan is based on an initial enrolment of 80-100 students, featuring a blend of on-campus intensives and remote-access online classes.
‘With the UK so far away from our field’, said Pastor Ivo Käsk, President of the Baltic Union Conference, ‘the plan to concentrate on offering online and intensive classes changes everything for us. It brings ministerial education closer to home, it is less expensive, and, best of all, the educational focus is towards front-line mission. I know our youth will be energised by this action.’
The TED reported that “use of campus land and buildings will be reconfigured, including the development of an investment masterplan.”
The TED IS designating Sabbath, 10 October as a Day of Prayer for Newbold. ‘We are inviting all TED members’, said Kamal, ‘and the wider world-Church family to lift up Newbold in prayer on this day because we believe the leading of the Holy Spirit on this action is critical.’