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Judy Bedford

1976-1978 / BCNZ 3 year Diploma (Hons) (Henderson Campus)
1978-1981 (part-time) Bachelor of Theology (ACT)

I studied at Henderson, 1976-78, and sat outside exams for the Melbourne College of Divinity Diploma of Theology. During 1978 I was also able to begin studies for the Bachelor of Theology from the Australian College of Theology (ACT), and continued with that part time after leaving College and beginning church work. I now live in Feilding.

My time as a residential student at BCNZ was a very rich part of life, especially in terms of meeting and developing long-term friendships, learning and strengthening faith, and widening horizons with many new opportunities that opened up, e.g. in drama, in mixing with people from other denominations and theological emphases, and working in small teams for various projects.

I was fortunate to be in the first group of people preparing for the Bachelor of Theology from ACT before BCNZ/Laidlaw was teaching for its own degrees. That BTh was challenging but much valued, and has opened a few doors for me over the years.

Some specific memories include the wealth of music, with some wonderful musicians amongst the students, choirs, and mass singing at chapel services.

I have much respect and appreciation for the scholarship and wisdom of many of the lecturers. I recall David Stewart reflecting on the occurrence of groups of forty throughout scripture, and his own service of over forty years at that stage. I was thirty-five at the time, and was nudged to accept a call to Christian service for at least forty years. That has happened now, and I still love to offer what I can, and have been able to as a Presbyterian minister around New Zealand.

I found BCNZ to be a place where initiative and ideas for change were encouraged – a place of personal growth, and a place where the cost of leadership was sometimes obvious in the heavy loads that some people carried.

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