Dr Rhys Bezzant

Dr Rhys Bezzant

Rhys joined the Faculty at Ridley in 2004, after working in both parish and student ministry. He was ordained priest in the Diocese of Melbourne in 1997, and has served on the ministry teams of both small and large Melbourne Anglican parishes, including Heidelberg and Carlton, as well as Prahran and Brimbank. While at Ridley he has also served as locum at West Melbourne and Rowville/Ferntree Gully, and loves to preach for friends who are on holidays! After working for some years as an Anglican Chaplain amongst tertiary students at Latrobe University and then at the University of Melbourne, he decided to begin work at Ridley, training leaders for gospel ministry.

Rhys studied German at the Universities of Melbourne and Cologne, taking out an MA, before commencing theological studies at Ridley where he gained his MTh on Austrian revivals of the eighteenth century.

His chief responsibilities at Ridley are to teach Church History, Theology and Christian Worship, to lead a cohort of students in the Missional Leadership learning community, and to oversee our daily Chapel services. Rhys leads a study tour to the sites of the German and Swiss Reformations every couple of years. He would one day like to write a book entitled “The Best Book in the History of the World on Mentoring.”

Rhys’s doctoral thesis investigated the ecclesiology of Jonathan Edwards. He has been on several occasions a Visiting Fellow in the Yale Divinity School, and leads the Jonathan Edwards Center for Australia, housed at Ridley, which sponsors the study of evangelical history, and the texts and thought of Edwards. Rhys counts amongst his other heroes Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Billy Graham. He also serves on the General Synod Liturgy Commission, and was a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue for Australia.

More About Rhys's Session - The Spiritual Vision of Jonathan Edwards

Though Edwards might be known as a hell and brimstone preacher, which assumes that reality encourages oppositional thinking, in fact he is rather more likely to speak in terms of integration and deep unities in our experience of the world. His approach to spirituality reflects his desire to defiantly resist the absence of God from the world cultivated by his Enlightenment contemporaries, and instead to nurture integration in individuals. This presentation will look at several different ways that Edwards resists fragmentation and espouses integration, thereby offering a model of spirituality well-suited to the modern world and applied most effectively in a ministry of mentoring.