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Project Update: Newton Theological College

Rebuilding work at Newton College in PNG.
Some of the construction work at Newton College. © Jeffrey Driver, 2020.

February, 2020

The Road to Government Registration and Accreditation

ABM has recently received news from Bishop Jeff Driver, Acting Principle of Newton Theological College in Papua New Guinea.

Bishop Jeff notes that whilst much progress has been made, the college still faces some significant challenges as it proceeds to make itself ready for the requirements of registration and accreditation with the Papua New Guinea government, as a higher education institution.

He notes, “In 2018 measures were implemented for the registration and accreditation of all higher learning providers in Papua New Guinea, including those offering vocational as well as universality level qualifications. The standards associated with this process are quite ambitious.

“Without registration and accreditation, Newton College will no longer be able to offer higher education awards (even at the certificate level).”

According to Bishop Jeff, applications for Registration and Accreditation are assessed against a range of requirements, including:

  • sufficient infrastructure to support a higher education award
  • adequate, appropriately trained staff
  • a cohesive, peer-reviewed curriculum in line with the educational standards and outcomes as specified by the Higher Education Board.

Bishop Jeff notes that the nearly completed revised curriculum has been designed to meet the standards of a modern tertiary system and can be adapted to meet the Board’s criteria for accreditation.

He adds, “While these challenges loom large over the year ahead, we also have progress to celebrate. We have started teaching the revised curriculum. The new diploma curriculum is for a two- year qualification that will be taught over three years to allow time for the other aspects of ministry formation.  Other subjects will be rolled out of this year and many of them have a much greater focus on PNG faith and culture.

Dr John Wright taught an intensive on “Torah” during November.
Dr John Wright taught an intensive on “Torah” during November.


“A highlight towards the end of last year was a visit by Dr John Wright (former Dean of St John’s Auckland) who taught a subject intensive on the Torah. Other visitors included Lynn Pryor, from Melbourne, who provided training for our new librarian, also Ivan Morrison, from Forbes NSW, who looked at several projects to enhance the physical facilities.

“The following progress has been made on physical aspects of the College:

  • Water reticulation pipes have been repaired and a new pump and tanks have been installed.
  • These have been supplemented by some household tanks (though the college still gets low on water during the dry season).
  • Some houses have been refurbished.
  • The Meeting Hall and kitchen has been rebuilt and a steel oven has been provided for the mothers.
  • The chapel vestry has been repaired as it was badly affected by white ants
  • New mowers have been donated and purchased and the grounds are looking much improved.
  • The single students’ housing has been repaired where it was damaged by a falling Palm Tree.

“Repairs and refurbishment that the College hopes to complete in 2020 include:

  • Connection to the power grid (about $8000 AUD).
  • The installation of more water tanks to supplement the supply.
  • Completing the refurbishment of the single students’ accommodation.
  • Continued refurbishment of housing.”


ABM thanks its generous donors for contributing to these improvements, and requests your continuing prayers for Newton College, its Council, staff, students, and their families, as they face the challenges ahead.

For more information, or to donate, please see Newton Theological College or contact Bishop Jeffrey Driver at 


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