New national college named after much-loved leader
18 October 2017
BY ANNE HALLIDAY
The new national college of The Salvation Army has been named after the much-loved Australian officer, the late General Eva Burrows.
The Eva Burrows College, which was inaugurated on 13 September 2017, ushers in a new chapter in Salvationist theological, ministry and leadership training in Australia, uniting the students and faculties of Booth College in Sydney and Catherine Booth College in Melbourne into a single entity.
National Commander, Commissioner Floyd Tidd, and National Chief Secretary, Colonel Mark Campbell, officially ratified the new college, signing a collegiate agreement with the University of Divinity’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sherlock at Territorial Headquarters in Sydney.
Colonel Campbell said naming the college after Eva Burrows reflected her legacy in education, as well as her passion for The Salvation Army’s mission.
“During her officership, Eva Burrows taught for years in Africa and spent time as the Principal of the International College for Officers – education was one of the marks of her leadership. She also represents both territories, spending many of her growing up years in Queensland and having served as territorial leader in the Southern Territory,” he said.
National Director of the School for Christian Studies, Lieutenant-Colonel Terry Grey, said while many of the details of the new college were still to be worked out, the announcement was a significant milestone in the journey towards a national college.
“Up to this point we have had two colleges under two different accrediting bodies,” he said.
“Becoming a national college gives us a common standard of training right across the nation. It gives us significantly more capacity than operating as two separate institutions and that will enable us to expand our course offerings and develop new and engaging units of study across disciplines such as social policy and social justice which are strengths of The Salvation Army.”
The University of Divinity is Australia’s only specialist university in theology and ministry. The University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Sherlock, said he was excited by the opportunities presented by the partnership with The Salvation Army.
“We have been working with the Salvation Army since 2006, but this takes our relationship to a whole new level – we are excited byboth the wellspring of its Wesleyan theological background and its record in social justice. These are unique aspects that The Salvation Army brings to us,” he said.
In early 2017, Ringwood in Melbourne was announced as the location of the national School for Officer Training. Since then, the design and structural work required to create a national Higher Education provider has been the responsibility of a Higher Education Taskforce comprising staff from the two existing colleges, in consultation with the Australia One Steering Committee.
“A national college resonates with why we are becoming one territory,” said Colonel Campbell. “It will bring greater impact, an aligned vision, stronger partnerships, better stewardship, a united voice and increased innovation. I think Eva Burrows would be pleased it has been named in her honour.”
“A national college will provide The Salvation Army with an incredibly strengthened capacity, a stronger faculty and student body, increased capacity for research and the full range of educational levels from diploma to doctorate level,” said Professor Sherlock.
“That means it will continue to not only meet the needs of forming and developing officers, it will also meet the wider needs of The Salvation Army.”
Eva Burrows was appointed in 1986 as The Salvation Army’s youngest general (at age 56). It was the highest ecclesial office held by any woman worldwide. Her seven-year term as General was marked by her characteristic energy and a passion for reigniting evangelism through The Salvation Army world.
She was recognised by numerous Australian and international honours throughout her life – from both The Salvation Army as well as the Australian and International communities. She was awarded a number of honorary doctorates, including the Doctor of Sacred Theology (Honoris Causa) in 2000 from the University of Divinity.
This article was written by Anne Halliday on 19 September 2017 for Others, the online Salvation Army news magazine.