BESWICK, David George MA (Melb), PhD (Harvard), FACE, Professor Emeritus (Melbourne)
Queen's College 1953-55 Theological Hall course, with BA; 56-57 Part BD while tutor a U. Melbourne and doing MA
Harvard University 1958-61: Some theology with PhD in psychology
Methodist Church Ordination final year 1961-62 while in parish
Short Continuing Ed programs at Otira and guided private study
Presbytery Minister, Gippsland, since 1989-
Minister in Association, North Balwyn 1976-78, 81-89
East Doncaster (George St.) 1978-80 [Honourary part time settlement]
Associate at Methodist National Memorial Church, Canberra, while in 'approved appointment' at ANU, 1967-76
Mornington Circuit 1963-66 (superintendent)
Wesley-South Geelong 1961-62 (assistant)
Professor and Director, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, U. of Melb., 1976-88 [incl. PT hon. settlement]
Lecturer\Senior Lect in Psychology, Fellow in Education .Research Unit, ANU 1967-76
[Senior Research Scientist, A.I.R., Palo Alto, Calif. USA 1969-71, while on leave]
Teaching Fellow and Research Assistant., Harvard PT 1959-60, Graduate Student, 58-61
Tutor/Senior Tutor in Psychology, Univ. of Melbourne, 1956-58
Farm worker 1951-53.
Statement of belief
If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [Romans 10:9]
Both the confession of faith and belief in the heart are important to me.
Sharing the faith, prayer, reflective Bible study and Holy Communion are essential.
Thanksgiving for the grace of God, especially in Jesus Christ, and dependence upon him as he continues to work in the world are the foundation of my devotion to him.
Work as Presbytery Minister, Gippsland
The core of this ministry is the pastoral care of ministers and their families, and of lay workers employed within the Presbytery. This extends to their education and professional development, and to guidance on all aspects of ministry including movement to a new settlement and retirement. My role is also one of general leadership in the Presbytery, especially in regard to mission strategy. I assist parishes as a consultant when called upon, by taking an active part in the preparation of parish profiles and by helping them in the selection of ministers through advice and membership of the JPSAC Executive. I have oversight of vacant parishes. I visit parishes and lead services of worship nearly every Sunday. The role of Presbytery Minister is essentially a role of pastoral care and leadership through service rather than being an administrative position although it involves me in some aspects of Presbytery administration and the work of the Synod.
My performance in the this role has recently been reviewed by the Presbytery and the report of the review with a strong affirmation and recommendation for extension would be available if it is relevant to a position for which I was being considered. I have greatly enjoyed the work. I care very much about ministers, both men and women, and regard it a great privilege to have their confidence and to do what I can to support and encourage them. This has led me to be active in matters concerning ministry in the Assembly.
Previous work as Professor, Univ. of Melbourne
A detailed account of my academic record is available. It includes extensive experience in policy research and administration, as head of a research and service department which was an international leader in its field. I spent more than twenty years in academic work, seen in the Methodist Church as `an approved appointment' in which I continued to be in active service as a minister in that situation while being an associate in parishes. It was part of the exploration of alternative forms of ministry, attempting to cross institutional barriers with the support and encouragement of the Church. It was not fully recognized after union when I was `without settlement' except when I served for a time in a part time honorary settlement. I was always active in ministry and was responsible for major reports on `ministers without settlement' (see Minutes of Synod 1979, and the Standing Committee in 1987. As convener of the Methodist Conference Faith and Order Committee I had been responsible for an earlier report on the ordained ministry Conf. Mins. 1965.)
Wider church and community involvements
Currently Member of the Assembly, Chairperson of Otira College Council (formerly the Commission for Continuing Education for Ministry) and member of the Commission on Education for Ministry (formerly the Board of Ministerial Education), member of the JPSAC Executive, major committees of the Presbytery, the Ethics Committee of the Latrobe Regional Hospital and Monash University (Gippsland) Chaplaincy Committee. I have served previously as a member of the Synod Standing Committee, other Synod bodies, the Victorian Council of Churches, the councils of Wesley College, St.Hilda's College, Melbourne State College, the Gippsland Institute of Adv. Ed., and other educational bodies.
I was made Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne in 1988 and keep in touch to a limited extent. I supervised some PhD students until recently.
Bush walking and camping; photographing and growing native plants; and classical music: these have been my principal recreations. My wife and I find it difficult but important to find time to do these things which are common interests for us apart from church work. We like walking in Gippsland and have camped in places like the Flinders Ranges in the last year or so. With season tickets for the Melbourne Symphony we travel to Melbourne for concerts.
My wife Joan is a great help and support in my ministry. She often travels with me and shares the driving on visits to parishes and to Melbourne. She is active in UCF and represented the Gippsland region on the UCF State Council for three years. However she also needs to have her own social network. Being able to keep in touch with our adult sons in Melbourne and daughter and grandchildren at Port Fairy will be a consideration.
Personal goals in ministry
My principal desire is to serve God in the Church and I have doubts about the wisdom of being too concerned with setting personal goals. I believe God is active in the world ahead of us. I try to listen for what God has to say in what the Church says about my ministry, while I remember Wesley's admonition, `Go not to those who need you, but to those who need you most!' Having been many years out `on the frontier' I would prefer now to be in the mainstream.
I have been engaged in study and research in Psychology, Education and Theology most of my life. I feel an obligation to continue this work within practical limits given the needs of my settlement. In a part time settlement I would give the remainder of my time to research and writing.
In recent years while in my present position I have given attention to the theology of ministry and the foundations of doctrinal authority in the Church, especially the meaning of ordination and related matters which have arisen from initiatives on ministry taken in the Assembly, the Assembly Standing Committee and the Commissions on Doctrine and Liturgy for whom I have written several papers.
Style of ministry and leadership
I like to work along side of people, to guide, encourage and share, so that our lives are enriched by a fellowship of personal relationships with God which promise eternal life with him. To this end I emphasise pastoral care that includes counselling and teaching at depth about things of importance, simple direct Biblically based preaching about the central core of the Gospel, and worship that is well balanced and sacramental whatever its form or style.
Leadership is important, but authoritarian leadership is inappropriate and a denial of the Gospel. All members should be encouraged to exercise their gifts and should have opportunities for training and development.
I seek to share a living faith and to express it in teaching that is theologically sound and, while being clearly related to the circumstances in which we live today, I believe it must be teaching which has power to transform rather than conform to the dominant culture of our society. I see a serious danger of conformity today. It is not something to be resisted by setting up conservative barriers against progress. It calls for change in a different direction. My doctrinal standards are those of the Basis of Union, which I regard as a great forward looking covenant. My theology is reformed, catholic and evangelical, with a strong emphasis on faithful witness to the apostolic teaching that we share with all Christians. The peace and unity of the whole Church of God are of paramount importance and flow from a living relationship with the Word who is the risen Lord.
The first priority should be evangelism and sound teaching - an unashamed presentation of the Gospel. I see a particular need today for the Church to prepare for transition to a new generation of leaders who need to learn how to let the Church to be the Church, and to learn how to include many new believers from an unchurched background who are now ready to hear the Gospel.
Some of my concerns and priorities can be seen in the article Unity, Diversity and Catholicity which was published in Crosslight Extra, September 1992.
The Rev. Andrew Hope, the Rev. Dr. Hugh Eadie, the Rev. Professor Norman Young
Any of the Presbytery Ministers in Victoria could be consulted.
Professor Grant Harman, University of New England
Professor Hedley Beare, University of Melbourne
23 July 1993
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