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PRESS RELEASE (11 February 2019):

From September 2019, Moorlands College and Wycliffe Bible Translators will be collaborating together to establish a new ‘School of Language and Scripture’ at Moorlands College.

The School will offer a new Masters programme, approved by the University of Gloucestershire (subject to final conditions). It will be aimed at UK and international students serving with Bible translation organisations around the world. By providing a strong foundation in healthy cross-cultural working, the training will also be relevant to anyone involved in mission or development work in multicultural contexts.

James Poole, Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, says: ‘We are very excited by this new collaboration. Both Wycliffe and Moorlands College are deeply committed to increasing access to and understanding of the Bible. We are both also committed to training people who will be equipped with the skills they need to do their work, and have the qualities and character to work alongside others for the common goal of spreading the gospel and helping people to engage with God’s word. The School of Language and Scripture will provide the training environment to fulfil those commitments.’

David Hilborn, recently installed as Principal of Moorlands, says: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that we’re entering into this partnership. There’s tremendous synergy between our and Wycliffe’s mission priorities, and I’m looking forward so much to our working together. I started my own academic life in linguistics before moving into theology, so this is exciting for me personally, as well as for the whole Moorlands community.’

Ian Kirby, Vice Principal (Quality) of Moorlands College, adds: ‘Moorlands College started to operate in the same decade that Wycliffe was founded, with the goal of equipping disciples of Jesus to make an impact in the church and the world. So, just like Wycliffe, we’ve been known for getting God’s word into the hearts and minds of people, and have had a major emphasis on the unreached. So, the School seems like a perfect, natural fit for both organisations. Moorlands is committed to delivering courses that are biblically-based, academically rigorous, culturally relevant, and grounded in practice. We believe those values are critical for enabling people involved in Bible translation ministries to be effective.’

Both organisations understand that preparation for ministry involves not just academic training, but spiritual and personal formation to shape attitudes and interpersonal skills.

‘We want to see people equipped to work healthily with and alongside others,’ says Phil King, a Wycliffe member and newly-appointed head of the School. ‘To do this they need to have knowledge and skills that are appropriate for the role, but also the right attitude and awareness.’

‘It is as much about how we live and work as it is about what we do. Through our training, we are committed to forming godly people who are adaptable, flexible and resilient, who are successful communicators and can work well within team settings, and who are informed about and prepared for the complexity and magnitude of the task facing them.’

The School builds on the shared, foundational place that Wycliffe Bible Translators and Moorlands College give to the Bible for evangelism and for equipping God’s people for discipleship, church growth and wider community transformation.

For more information about the new Masters programme, please visit https://www.moorlands.ac.uk/course/ma-language/.

Notes to editors:

1. For further information, call Jeremy Weightman on the Wycliffe Communications Team on 0300 303 1111.

2. Wycliffe Bible Translators seeks to enable all peoples to engage with the Bible in a language that speaks to them best. It does this through a range of activities, including Bible translation, literacy and Scripture use initiatives. Currently, Wycliffe has 363 people from the UK and Ireland serving 486 million people who speak 368 languages in 71 countries. Of the 7,000 languages spoken worldwide today, only about 700 have the Bible. Around 1.5 billion people (one in every five people) do not have the Bible in their language. As a result, translation of the Bible into people’s languages is one of the critical needs in world mission, to enable the growth of evangelism and discipleship ministries.

3.Images. You can download the following images to accompany the press release, by clicking on the ‘Image’ link:

Image 1 – The location: Moorlands College

Image 2 – The study: students in class, preparing for work in Bible translation

Image 3 – The application: helping with a literacy class in Cameroon