Welcome to MBI/BCV/MST Alumni
Welcome to the brand-new MST alumni page! Whether you walked the halls of Melbourne Bible Institute, Bible College of Victoria, or Melbourne School of Theology, this space is just for you! MBI, BCV, MST—it’s been a rich heritage of graduates who have committed their lives to “bearing fruit that lasts” (John 15:16).
We hope you’ll take a look at what’s offered here to find ways that you might reconnect with not only your alma mater but, hopefully, some of the friends who were a significant part of your MBI/BCV/MST experience.
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Alumni Profile: Ryan's Story
With a sense of calling to ministry firmly fixed in his heart, alumnus Ryan Smith (MDiv, 2001) was convinced there was only one college for him: the Bible College of Victoria (now Melbourne School of Theology). While the school’s local proximity was a compelling influence, Ryan says that the school’s reputation was the ultimate draw. In fact, Ryan explains, “I never even questioned where we would go. For me, it was when more than if we go to BCV.”
The College’s commitment to ministry was a significant part of that reputation. While offering academics of the highest caliber, BCV also offered a culture of training people for service, and that resonated deeply with Ryan. He notes, “There was a dedication to approaching the Scriptures with academic integrity, but it was also very much a college that prepared people in rigorous ways for mission.” BCV’s emphasis on relationship and strong community was also important to him.
Reflecting on how his spiritual life grew and developed during his years at BCV, Ryan notes that he gained a sense of freedom in his faith and spiritual experience. After growing up with what he describes as a “fairly rigid idea of what it meant to follow Jesus,” BCV brought him in contact with people who came from different backgrounds, both spiritually and culturally. This expanded exposure to the Body of Christ resulted in his “feeling more open to exploring more ways of following Jesus and being the Church.”
That expanded view of the Christian life has served him well in the roles he has filled since graduation. After a year of church planting internship in Tasmania, Ryan moved into a bi-vocational situation in Ringwood, Victoria, working as a physiotherapist while also serving as an associate pastor of a new church. He was in that role for four years before entering fulltime ministry at Kyneton Baptist Church in central Victoria, where he was pastor for eight years.
For the past three years, Ryan has served as state director for Global Interaction, the global mission agency for the Baptist denomination in Australia. As they seek to fulfill their mission statement, “empowering communities to develop their own distinctive ways of following Jesus,” the focus of the organization is reaching nine of the least-reached people groups in Asia and Africa. Ryan’s heart for ministry is readily apparent as he says, “Many people within those cultures would live their whole life without hearing about Jesus, and this burdens me.”
While BCV played a significant role in developing Ryan’s heart and passion for ministry, the college impacted the entire Smith family, as well. Ryan’s wife, Suzie, earned a Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies in 2000—and their first daughter, Matilda, was born while they were both students. They spent their first two years of marriage in a married unit at the Lilydale campus, then transitioned to a family unit when Matilda was born—a true BCV family! The Smiths have two other children as well, Joshua and Jesse.