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Project Update: Newton Theological College (June)

Bishop Driver teaches a class face-to-face at the College in pre-COVID-19 times. © Bishop Jeffrey Driver, 2020

Bishop Driver teaches a class face-to-face at the College in pre-COVID-19 times. © Bishop Jeffrey Driver, 2020.

June News from Newton Theological College

ABM has received an update about Newton Theological College from Bishop Jeffrey Driver. ABM has been supporting Bishop Driver to work with the College staff and Board to provide practical and teaching support.

Bishop Driver writes:

“Newton College continues to prepare candidates for ordination, despite the restrictions of a COVID-19 State of Emergency in Papua New Guinea.  For a time all travel in PNG, including local public transport, and even supermarkets were closed down. At Newton, lecture notes were provided to students as social distancing was followed.  In due course, lectures were resumed, and the State of Emergency has just been ended.”

Bishop Driver adds that continuing restrictions on travel (both within PNG and internationally) have meant his planned visit to the College to provide face-to-face teaching support during the second half of this year, as well as the planned arrival of a new PNG staff member, have been postponed.

Fr Giles Motisi is currently the only lecturer on campus.  

However, Bishop Driver will be providing class lecture notes for a course on ‘Mark among the Synoptics’. These notes will be sent to the College by email, then printed out for students.

To meet new Papua New Guinea government requirements, the College is providing a ‘bridging course’ for students who have not completed Year 12 or equivalent.   

“The first of these courses will go ahead in second semester, assisted by committed Anglican teachers from Popondetta Secondary School. It looks like there will be about 20 students in this course”, Bishop Jeffrey notes.

 “While the whole of Papua New Guinea has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the Anglican Church of PNG has also been facing great financial difficulty”, notes Bishop Driver.  

This means there are scant resources available from the church to support Newton College.  

Some of the ongoing needs of the college include:

  • Copies of the set text books for the library
  • Internet booster
  • Student support
  • Support with staff salaries

ABM wishes to express our grateful thanks to those who have donated already this year. If you would like to donate to ABM’s Newton Theological College Project, please go to https://www.abmission.org/pages/png-donate-online-to-newton-theological-college.html

Finally, Bishop Driver urges supporters of Newton College to remember in your prayers our Newton College brothers and sisters at this time of COVID-19, for whom healthcare provisions are basic and income support is non-existent.