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The 1930s marked a change in leadership with the death of Joseph Kemp in 1933. Mr J. O. Sanders took on administrative responsibilities as Superintendent, and Mr Henry Yolland, the Dean and senior Bible lecturer, led the teaching programme. Mr William Mains, a widely known evangelist, was appointed Honorary, non-residential, Principal in 1935, and made weekly visits to encourage the student body. 


The evangelistic commitment of the College saw the establishment of the Kemp Memorial caravan, the formation of the United Māori Mission, and a fruitful decade of campaigns by the Institute’s evangelist, Mr Andrew Johnston. The Queen Street building remained at its capacity of 60 students throughout the decade. The 100th missionary from the student body sailed days after Kemp’s death.


Second campus: 411 Queen Street


  • Rev. Joseph Kemp dies on 4 September 1933. J. Oswald Sanders takes on administrative responsibilities as Superintendent.

  • The 100th student departs for the overseas mission field days after Kemp’s death.


  • Presbyterian evangelist, William J. Mains, is appointed Honorary Principal.

  • The Kemp Memorial Caravan and its first workers (Rev. Kemp’s daughter Mary and husband John Miller) begin evangelistic work in the Taranaki area. The caravan is staffed by a succession of NZBTI graduates.


23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23


 NZBTI embroidered crest 

1939 Basket Ball practice.jpg

1939 Basketball practise.


  • NZBTI Board of Directors resolve on 16 June 1936 to form The United Māori Mission, an interdenominational mission to evangelise Māori in areas not catered for by existing missions. The first missionaries are all graduates of NZBTI.

  • Les Rushbrook appointed as Asst Secretary; 1938 appnted Secretary-Treasurer; 1946-1961 manager of BTI Bookroom; joint Editor of Reaper for 25 years

  • "Men's side" becomes hostel for servicemen (from 1943-1944) Graduate sets up The Armed Forces Christian Association (AFCA) - looked after the hostel (1943 hosted 10,000 servicemen)

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