For those of you who have been following progress, here's the latest newletter from Noh Boh village in Thailand...
Saturday 13th May 2017 is a milestone graduation event for BTI. Three disciplined students who, whilst working in their chosen fields of practice, are the first cohort to graduate with BTI's Master of Professional Practice degree. "They should be very proud indeed", says BTI's Dean, Dr Andrew Smith.
One of the graduating Master's students is Sue Baker. Commencing her life-long learning journey with Bethlehem Tertiary Institute (BTI) almost two decades ago, Sue's passion was, and has remained, transforming and enriching the lives of the children in her care.
After finishing her Diploma of Teaching (Primary) with BTI in the late 1990's, Sue's love of teaching found her upskilling and graduating with the Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree in 2012. "I've been teaching in the classroom for sixteen years. Right from the start, I knew that I had found my place and then sixteen years on I started to ask myself again, "Why am I here?" BTI's Master of Professional Practice couldn't have been a better fit. As a Christian professional, I just knew from my previous study experience that, not only was this qualification right for me, it was also the right place to study!"
The Master of Professional Practice degree is accredited by NZQA and their approval to teach this qualification has been given to just five tertiary providers nationally. As one of those five accredited providers, BTI offers the only faith-informed option for Christian professionals who include teachers, social workers, counsellors, principals, managers, leaders and lawyers as well as other professionals in people-helping roles. Christian professionals, who wish to focus on human flourishing and both strategically and intentionally align their current practice with the biblical narrative, should contact BTI about the Master of Professional Practice degree.
Dr Bev Norsworthy, the Postgraduate Programme Coordinator and BTI's Head of Teaching & Learning explains, "So many Christians find themselves living a life where their Christian lives are vibrant but where their professional practice is 'added on' or 'on the side'. One of the most important things that happens for students in BTI's Master of Professional Practice programme is that they get a much deeper understanding of who they are, how God has made them and how He has equipped them with the passion, skills and personality that are perfect for His work here on earth".
Study is by distance and available throughout New Zealand. Whilst attendance at half yearly 'intensives' is strongly recommended in order to build relationships with others in the programme, only one 3-day onsite 'intensive' is compulsory.
More information about the Master of Professional Practice degree and other BTI qualifications is available at www.bti.ac.nz
Downtown Tauranga shoppers paused to acknowledge a procession of 96 Bethlehem Tertiary Institute (BTI) graduates on Saturday as they made their celebratory march from Red Square up to Holy Trinity Church for their graduation ceremony.
Onlookers may have spotted five graduates wearing green academic regalia amongst a sea of blue and gold. Those graduating from BTI’s teaching and counselling degree and diploma programmes wear blue and gold regalia. The new colour represents the very first cohort of students to graduate from BTI’s Bachelor of Social Work degree programme, which began in 2012.
The Ministry of Immigration includes social work on the long-term skills shortage list for New Zealand, so social work graduates are in a good position to find employment in a variety of social work roles nationally.
Each of the five BTI social work graduates found employment as a social worker immediately after completing their study, most of them with the organisations they did their practicum placements with. Tauranga local, Maylene Jennings, has been employed as a Care and Protection Social Worker at the Open Home Foundation in Tauranga and says she finds the work rewarding. “I had set a goal of one day working for a statutory agency that works with the most at-risk families,” says Maylene. “It is such an awesome privilege to be working alongside families, especially those who may have never felt heard before.”
The BTI social work degree programme is unique in New Zealand in that it includes a spiritual dimension, and encourages students to deeply consider how their own beliefs and values impact on their practice as a social worker.
Programme Co-ordinator, Heidi Crawford, says that many people come into social work thinking that they are going to learn how to tell people what to do. “At BTI we continually say that it must start with self,” she says. “Many of our students talk about not only a journey of becoming a social worker, but a journey of personal transformation.”
Maylene Jennings agrees. “I really believe that the social work journey has changed me to be a better version of myself from four years ago,” she says. “I am more empathetic, non-judgmental and inclusive. BTI allows you to be yourself, challenges you and provides a safe place to be honest about your values and beliefs.”
Congratulations to the BTI - Bethlehem College Scholarship recipients for 2016.
BTI Dean, Dr Andrew Smith, presented four awards at last night's Senior Prize Giving ceremony:
Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary scholarship awarded to:
Jasmine Marie Turnbull
Emma Joy Lee
Bachelor of Education (Teaching) ECE scholarship awarded to:
Kaya Van de Meer
Each scholarship covers the recipients full student fees for their 3-year undergraduate programme. We wish them all well with their study and look forward to welcoming them on to campus early in 2016.
In this issue of Christian Life, BTI shares some exciting trends and developments ...
Meet another one of the BTI students who received a TeachNZ KUPE scholarship this year. Former Southland rugby star, Richard Apanui, is in the final stages of completing his Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) qualification with BTI... read more
Thirty 2015 TeachNZ Kupe Scholarships have been announced and BTI students were awarded two of them!
One of the recipients, Nikola Patrik, who is studying the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary programme at BTI shares her story with Sunlive.
Photo: Bruce Barnard, Sun Media
On Thursday and Friday last week BTI hosted our inaugural Research Symposium. The symposium was dedicated to fostering collegial sharing and discussion about the nature and place of research within Christian higher education and by Christian educators. There were a total of 21 presentations and the feedback from those present has been very positive, certainly meeting our hopes of providing an inspiring time together, in which we appreciated one another’s research and scholarship, gained new and helpful insights relative to our work, and developed partnerships for undertaking collaborative research together in the future.
Our own Bev Norsworthy and Andrew Smith presented the keynote addresses, complimented by other presenters from: Christian Heritage College (Brisbane), Laidlaw College (Auckland), the Māori Synod of the Presbyterian Church, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, St Johns Presbyterian Church, and other members of BTI staff. Broadly speaking, the topics covered were: the rationale for research within Christian Higher Education, Māori church history, second generation leadership in Christian schools, utilising Appreciative Inquiry for research development and organisational reflection, supporting and enabling Pasifika students and families, Christian discipleship within tertiary education, digital confidence within teacher education, maximising teacher education practicum, narrative research and practice as evoking of Biblical priorities, spiritual formation within pastoral care and teaching practice, power and ethics within research. The presentations were all of a very high quality and of value to those who attended, which for the most part was those working in higher education but not exclusively so, school teachers, board members, ministers, and tertiary students were also among those who attended.