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Brisbane School of Theology: their impact

This is a review of the charity Brisbane School of Theology (BST). It uses the information they have put on the charity regulator’s website (the ACNC Register)[1] and the information on their own website. (We also sent them a draft of this review – see their response below.)

 

The BST Register entry gives this under ‘Summary of activities’:

 

No evidence of another activity was found.

 

A charity’s activities should be chosen to advance the mission. No expression of this mission could be found.

 

As Christians, we are required to be good stewards of the resources God has provided us (e.g. 1 Corinthians 4:2)[2]. To do this, we need to have discernment (e.g. Proverbs 1:5[3]). Therefore, unless we are giving just to make ourselves feel better, we should have an interest in seeing that the money we are giving is likely to be used both properly and effectively.

 

Everything that BST is doing may be being done ‘properly’[4], but unless the money is producing the change in people that BST intends, that is, has an impact[5], the money[6] would be better used elsewhere. And the same applies if the impact is less than is being achieved by another charity.

 

Impact

 

Nowhere does BST acknowledge that the impact of its courses is a relevant question for donors. Consistent with this, there is no information on impact on the website. Nor is any offered. (There is an invitation to contact them, so you could see if they have any information on impact available.)

 

BST’s response

 

They did not respond to a draft of this review.

 

 

  1. Although BST says that it changed its name from Bible College of Queensland, this is not correct: the legal name is still the same. What it did was to register Brisbane School of Theology as a business name.
  2. And holds us accountable for their use (Luke 16:1-9).
  3. See also Proverbs 14:15 and Prov 19:2.
  4. The behaviour of its people, its use of money, and how it goes about its business. Here is our last review that addresses some important things in this area.
  5. The ACNC has previously – the Fact Sheet is no longer on the site – explained impact this way:“Every charity has a mission that is associated with producing a public benefit. As this mission is pursued, the changes produced in individuals and their communities can be referred to as the charity’s ‘impact.’ If you are donating to a charity, you may wish to make sure that your donation is creating the greatest impact possible.’There is no reason why this wouldn’t still be their view.
  6. BST’s annual financial report should be on the Register, but the link is dead. They have not published it on their website. The best we have got is a high-level summary in their Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2019 [the Register].
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