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Archived: Reformed Theological College: charity review

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.  Use the ‘Search charity names’ box to see if there is a later review.  If the latest review has a message like this, you are welcome to make your case for an updated review via email to ted@businessbythebook.com.au.

Mini charity review of Reformed Theological College (RTC) as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it.

The previous review is used as a base, with comment only if the situation has changed or extra information would be helpful.

  • 2018 review: RTC was, and still is, an associate member of Missions Interlink.
  • Such members have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.
  • 2018 review: They did not respond to a draft of this review.

Is RTC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • 2018 review:
    • The registration of Pigdons Road Pty Ltd was voluntarily revoked in December 2017 because the charity was no longer operating.
    • A further charity, a company wholly owned by by RTC, has been registered: RTC Support Services.
    • RTC does not explain why it does not include its subsidiaries when reporting.
  • Other registrations:
    • ITA is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • Its name: It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end.
    • It operates, per the ACNC Register, in all states. No fundraising licences are held[1].
    • 2018 review: RTC does not explain why it has no licences.

What does RTC do?

  • It is a “reformed, evangelical theological college”.
  • Or as they say in the Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015):
    • The Reformed Theological College is committed to training people to serve God in the whole of life.
    • 2018 review: ‘Reformed Theological College provides Christ-centered education for life and ministry.’

Do they share the Gospel?

  • NA – students would have already heard it.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is not mentioned.
  • 2018 review: the site is not secure. And if there is information about credit card security, it is well into the giving process.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • None

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (five and a half months after year end).
  • 2018 review: Five months

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No
    • A number of the financial figures do not match those in the Income Statement.
    • No outcomes reported.
  • 2018 review: AIS 2017: No. Same errors.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • Why not consolidated reports? Both Pigdons Road Pty Ltd and The Trustee for the Reformed Theological College Foundation are subsidiaries.
    • Other comprehensive income is not shown.
    • The item ‘Other expenses…’ is 35% of expenses, yet there is no breakup.
    • There is no related parties’ disclosure.
    • RTC says that the financial statement are general purpose; the auditor says they are special purpose.
    • Why are the two ‘Non-Operating Activities’ any less part of the College’s operations than the ones under ‘Operating Activities’? (This is not a distinction used by the ACNC.)
    • Buildings and the library are not depreciated. (The surplus is therefore overstated.)
    • $116,966 in Note 2 is not ‘Net cash provided by from (sic) investing activities’.
    • The land and buildings valuation is long out-of-date.
    • How does an ‘Overseas student assist (sic) fund’ meet the definition of a liability? Likewise, the ‘Other’ provisions?
  • 2018 review: Financial Report 2017: No. Apart from the fifth and last items, the above issues remain. Plus
    • the directors do not say why they have produced special purpose financial statements.
    • The auditor’s ‘Management Letter’ has been, inappropriately, included.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • With the knowledge that
    • the Report, because it omits RTC’s two subsidiaries, shows an incomplete picture, and
    • adjustments to the figures and disclosures are needed (see just above) –
      • The deficit was again approximately 1% of revenue.
      • Current assets are 1.8 times current liabilities.
      • Longer term financial structure is sound.
  • 2018 review:
    • From 8% last year, the deficit is now 29%.
    • From 6.1 times last year, current assets are now 3.8 times current liabilities.
    • From 1.6 times last year, long-term assets have declined to 1.3 times long-term liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2].
    • However, he says he audited ‘a special purpose financial report’ when Note 1 to the accounts says that the report is a general purpose financial report.
  • The inclusion of an Auditor’s Compilation Report implies that he also produced the financial statements.
  • 2018 review: Instead of the above:
    • The auditor, David John Scott, has agreed with the directors’ assessment that there are no users dependent on general purpose financial statements. (Most likely then, if you are reading this, you are the type of person they imply do not exist.)
    • He has omitted an obligatory paragraph, required because the statements are special purpose statements.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • No
    • One business name is missing
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.
  • 2018 review: Neither a phone number nor a website address are compulsory. (The business name, ‘Geelong Bible College’, is still missing.)

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The composition of the board is given on the website, but no names.
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • John Barkley
    • Johannes Berends
    • John Bylsma
    • Anthony Deenick
    • John Hoogenhout
    • Peter Van Der Schoor
    • Cornelis Van Garderen
    • Dirk Van Garderen
    • Dawid Van Vuuren
    • Harry Westendorp
  • 2018 review:
    • John H, Peter V, Dirk V, and Harry W have been replaced with Ben Murphy and William Gadsby.
    • This has resulted in the board dropping two below the number said to be required.

To whom is RTC accountable?



  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.