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“I actually don’t think the College has been in better shape.”

Learning the Christian life Story {Ben McEachen}

“I’M ACTUALLY, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, RATHER POSITIVE ABOUT MOORE COLLEGE,” CHUCKLES JOHN WOODHOUSE, IN HIS STUDY, AT THE START OF 2013. THE RETIRING PRINCIPAL MAKES THIS SEEMINGLY OBVIOUS PRONOUNCEMENT TOWARDS THE END OF A DISCUSSION ABOUT HIS TEN-YEAR TENURE IN THE TOP JOB. He sincerely adds: “I actually don’t think the College has been in better shape.” Careful to qualify this, by acknowledging Moore’s robust past and that it’s not due to him, Woodhouse is convinced he’s signing off when the theological training centre is firing across all departments. He points to the administration and marketing teams, and lecturers: “I don’t know of another College in the world that has a faculty like this. And the student body is just terrific. The people God is sending to us are just an astonishing group.” Still, it’s time for him to go. Energy and capacity have ebbed somewhat, but Woodhouse is convinced Moore has no such issues. Woodhouse has witnessed no shift in the message being preached at the institution he has been part of since his 1970s student days. “The doctrine being taught, I sincerely hope it hasn’t changed.... The gospel lies behind everything we are trying to do.” The kinds of things which did change during his decade as principal were the type and number of students attending

2 building on strong foundations

Moore, including the addition of the parttime first-year option. Notably, Woodhouse affirms that Moore continues to be founded upon relationship learning, driven by the teaching staff. “What are the essential ingredients that make it work? “First and foremost, the College is the faculty. A fellowship of pastor-teacherscholars, who themselves are growing in the knowledge of God and invite a group of students to join them in that journey.” The students who do are being equipped as Christian leaders. Woodhouse says that, contrary to caricatures of arrogant and uncaring graduates, what the Moore education experience provides is a proven crop of heart-and-mind Christians. “You’re growing in a relational knowledge; growing in the experience of being God’s people,” says Woodhouse of the Moore student’s privilege. “And when you go somewhere, wherever it is – in an established church context, or you a plant a church – you will bring the gospel that creates community. A gospel

that brings people together and creates a fellowship in which, together, you grow as the body of Christ.” The college itself is a close Christian community, through its emphasis on shared learning, support and nurture. Woodhouse champions this; he’s still disappointed that the weekly “invite your spouse to dine at Moore” night had to be cancelled. Woodhouse also wants Moore to remain “philosophically resistant” to the flexibility which dilutes godly instruction. Rather than “pander to the individualism of our culture”, Woodhouse exhorts the Moore model of providing a curriculum and learning environment developed over decades, which is assured about its ability to equip Christian leaders. Woodhouse is looking forward to moving on to a new phase of life which involves the completion of more Samuel commentaries. He is grateful about how he has grown amid Moore’s fellowship, “under the word of God, with brothers and sisters who are in profound agreement in our love for the Lord, His Word and longing to see others coming to Him.” n

Societas 2013  

The annual magazine published by the students at Moore Theological College. You can download a PDF copy at