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Victorian Baptist Historical Society Essay Competition

Calling all budding historical writers!

Contribute to knowledge and understanding about Victorian Baptist identities, personalities and events – do some research, write a report, win a prize, and be considered for publication!

Prize for winning entrant: $250

The winning essay will also be considered for ‘Our Yesterdays’, the annual publication of the Victorian Baptist Historical Society.

Closing date: 1 August 2020

For a copy of the rules, please contact Richard Thwaites.

For more information about the competition and the Victorian Baptist Historical Society, contact Rev Dr Marita Munro (VBHS President).

Download the A4 Poster

Download the A5 Flyer

Congratulations to Reverend Professor René Erwich, appointed a Professor of the University of Divinity by the University Council on 31 October 2019. Professor Erwich is noted for his outstanding contribution to Research, Leadership in the Academy and Engagement with the Churches and Community.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Sherlock, said that:

“Professor Erwich’s contributions to theological scholarship, research and leadership are great gifts to the University of Divinity, Whitley College, and the societies we serve. This professorial appointment recognises his sustained commitment to engagement with the issues of the contemporary world, and as such exemplifies the University’s Vision. I look forward to the continued leadership Professor Erwich will provide in and beyond the University, especially in applied and collaborative research.”

The citation for the appointment is:

Professor René Erwich is an internationally recognised expert in Christian theology and ministry and its application to contemporary society. His research involves a hopeful articulation of Christian faith in engagement with the needs and challenges of secular society. He has been the recipient of several major grants for applied and collaborative research, including projects on spiritual leadership in a post-Christian society and Christian identity in health care. Professor Erwich is also widely recognised for his teaching in pastoral theology and missiology. Scholarly appreciation of his work has led to numerous guest lectureships and conference presentations in many parts of the world. He has rendered significant leadership to the church and academy as Research Professor in Theology at the Ede Christian University in the Netherlands and since 2017 as Principal of Whitley College.

(This article originally appeared in Vox on 1 November 2019)

A symposium on Mark Brett’s new book, ‘Locations of God: Political Theology in the Hebrew Bible’ (Oxford University Press, 2019)

The symposium will discuss Mark Brett’s new book on political theology in the Hebrew Bible, reflecting on key issues from a range of perspectives – including New Testament theology and the history of the Bible’s reception.


11:00am – 11:30am       Garry Deverell, Adjunct Researcher, Trinity College Theological School
11:30am – 12:00pm       Monica Melanchthon, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Pilgrim Theological College
12:00pm – 12:30pm       Merryl Blair, Adjunct Lecturer, Stirling College
12:30pm – 1:00pm          (Lunch)
1:00pm – 1:30pm             Keith Dyer, Associate Professor of New Testament, Whitley College
1:30pm – 2:00pm             Geoff Thompson, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Pilgrim Theological College

After the symposium there will be an informal reception, allowing for further conversation around themes raised by the book and the five presenters.

Event Details

Date: Thursday 12 December 2019
Time: 11:00am – 2:00pm
Cost: $10 per person, $5 for students and unwaged (Plus an additional fee of 50c per ticket at checkout)
Venue: Whitley College, 50 The Avenue, Parkville
Parking: Available along The Avenue or Leonard Street
Enquiries: | 03 9340 8100


Join Whitley’s Principal, Dr René Erwich, and Dr Almatine Leene, lecturer from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, as they lead an evening considering the important questions around gender and sexuality that shape our pastoral practice. Refreshments from 6:30pm, with formal presentations, responses and audience Q & A. We intend to create a respectful environment to consider this important issue. Please RSVP by Friday 8 November 2019.

Event Details

Date: Monday 11 November 2019
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm (Refreshments served from 6:30pm)
Cost: Free
RSVP: Friday 8 November 2019
Venue: Whitley College, 50 The Avenue, Parkville
Parking: Available along The Avenue or Leonard Street
Enquiries: | 03 9340 8100


You are warmly invited to the next meeting of the Victorian Baptist Historical Society.

Dr Rosalind Gooden will reflect on her life and service with Global Interaction (ABMS) as a missionary in Pakistan/Bangladesh, former director of Personnel and training, and mission historian, particularly women’s history.

Event Details

Date: Saturday 9 November
Time: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm (morning tea at 10:30am)
Venue: Ashburton Baptist Church, 8 Y Street Ashburton VIC
Parking: Available in adjacent shopping centre carpark (off Marquis St). Easy walk from carpark into café area at back of church.
Enquiries: Marita Munro (President),

Victorian Baptist Historical Society

The VBHS was formed on 15 July 1982 and promotes interest in and research of the history of Baptists in Victoria. Regular meetings are held to discuss aspects of Baptist history in this state.


Victorian Baptist Historical Society website