Ridley Faculty


Dr Brian Rosner

Brian is a New Testament scholar of international reputation. He lectures in New Testament and Ethics, and has published a commentary on 1 Corinthians. He studied and worked overseas for 16 years before returning Australia in 2000. He lectured at Moore College before taking up his current role in 2012. Brian is the author or editor of a dozen books, and is also a commentator on faith and public affairs in popular media. Brian is married to Natalie and has four children and one grandchild. As one known and loved by God, Brian seeks to find his adequacy in God as he serves as the Principal of Ridley College.

Subjects: 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians for Small Groups

Lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament

Dr Jill Firth

Jill was born in Melbourne and completed some of her school years in Sydney. She graduated with a BA at the University of Western Australia and ministered with her husband Len in Perth and the WA wheat-belt. Jill and Len spent a year on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory with CMS, learning from and supporting Aboriginal leaders, then had ten years in Hong Kong leading an international church and participating in marriage ministry and city wide evangelism in preparation for the 1997 return to Chinese sovereignty.

Jill studied theology at Ridley and concurrently trained as a spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition. She was ordained in 2008 and is a Canon at St Paul’s Cathedral. In 2016, Jill completed her PhD on lament psalms, ‘The Re-presentation of David in Psalms 140-143.’ Jill has lectured at Ridley since 2005. She was appointed to faculty in 2016 and lectures in Hebrew and Old Testament.

Subjects: Journey Through the Psalms, Journey Through the Psalms for Small Groups

Former Ridley Faculty

Dr Tim Foster

Tim lectures in Ministry Foundations, Evangelism and New Testament at Ridley College. He studied at Moore College, and completed a Doctor of Ministry at Fuller Seminary. Tim founded Youthworks College, and has extensive experience in parish ministry. He is married to Alison, and they have three children (Caitlyn, Harry and Lucy). Tim is interested in developing theology for everyday life, in better understanding the dynamics of evangelism and in giving ministers the skills to lead their churches in mission in our post-Christian context. He lists his heroes as Homer Simpson, Barack Obama and Eugene Peterson.

Subjects: Ministry Skills, Revelation Unwrapped, Revelation Unwrapped for Small Groups,

Deputy Principal, Academic

Dr Mike Bird

Mike Bird is a popular presenter and prolific author (written or edited over 30 books). He has lectured in New Testament and Theology at the Highland Theological College (Scotland) and Crossway College (Brisbane) before joining Ridley College in 2013. Michael describes himself as a ‘biblical theologian’ who endeavours to bring together biblical studies and systematic theology. He believes that the purpose of the church is to ‘gospelize,’ that is to preach, promote, and practise the Gospel-story of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remembered by students for his mix of outlandish humour and intellectual rigor, he makes theology both entertaining and challenging. He is author of the popular textbook Evangelical Theology and the Romans commentary in Zondervan Academic's Story of God series.

Subjects: Knowing God, Romans

Dean, Anglican Institute, Senior Lecturer

Dr Rhys Bezzant

Rhys lectures in Church History, Theology and Christian Worship at Ridley College. He studied at Ridley and has served as an Anglican Chaplain among tertiary students at Latrobe University and the University of Melbourne. He joined the Ridley Faculty in 2004. His doctoral thesis investigated the ecclesiology of Jonathan Edwards, and this led to Rhys establishing the Jonathan Edwards Center at Ridley as a satellite of the JEC at Yale. Rhys describes himself as a seriously serious coffee drinker. He enjoys hiking in Tasmania. In addition to Edwards, Rhys’ other heroes are Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Billy Graham.

Subjects: Ministry Skills; Reformation Revisited

Australian and international experts

Director, Centre for Biblical Preaching

Mike Raiter

A popular and esteemed Bible teacher, Mike is the Director of the new Centre for Biblical Preaching in Melbourne, a partnership between the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and St Jame’s Old Cathedral, West Melbourne. Previously he was the Head of the Department of Mission at Moore College and, more recently, Principal of Melbourne School of Theology. Mike spent 11 years working in Pakistan, largely in theological education. He is married to Sarah and they have 4 children (Joel, Nate, Pippa and Lauren). To keep fit Mike likes to wrap his mind around cryptic crosswords, sudokus, and Scandinavian crime novels. He is the author of the 2004 Australian Christian Book of the Year, Stirrings of the Soul.

Subjects: Bible Overview

Principal, The Evangelical Theological College of Asia

Dr Andrew Reid

Andrew formerly lectured at Ridley College in Old Testament, Hebrew, and Hermeneutics and is now the principal of the Evangelical Theological College Asia. His ministry experience has included working as a student worker and then National Director of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students, being the lead pastor of two Anglican churches (St Matthews Shenton Park in Perth and Holy Trinity Doncaster in Melbourne), and church planting an independent church at Curtin University in Perth. Andrew has written commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, 1 and 2 Samuel, and Daniel in the Reading the Bible Today series as well as a book on introductory hermeneutics (Postcard From Palestine). Andrew is married to Heather and they are the parents to two sons and have six grandchildren.

Subjects: Understanding Your Bible

Rector of Warragul Anglican Church

Tracy Lauersen

Tracy came to faith in Christ as a young adult and studied at Sydney Missionary and Bible College, completing a two year diploma and then a Bachelor of Theology. Formerly from the corporate training field, she has worked in school chaplaincy and parish ministry since being ordained. She is the author of The Final Farewell, Bible studies in John 13-17 . Tracy is the recipient of the Victorian Premiers award for excellence in multicultural affairs for her work in developing a Sudanese refugee tutoring program. She is married to Sven and they have two teenage daughters: Abbey and Freya. Tracy loves seeing people grow in their understanding of Christ – a joy she first discovered by teaching RE in Sydney. Tracy was previously Director of the Peter Corney Training Centre and Minister at St Hilary’s Anglican Church, North Balwyn.

Subjects: Gospel and Life

Justin Denholm

Justin is a physician and ethicist, working mainly in the area of infectious diseases and public health. He has degrees in medicine, public health and bioethics, with his doctoral studies focusing on developing ethical and effective public health programs for tuberculosis elimination in Australia. He was the director of Ridley’s Centre for Applied Christian Ethics from 2008 to 2012, and is the author of ‘Talking about Ethics’ (Acorn Press, 2012). Justin lives in Brunswick West, Victoria, with his wife Gina, three children and a number of chickens.

Subjects: Talking About Ethics

Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College, US

Dr Andy Abernethy

After a season of rebellion in his late teens, Andy Abernethy experienced God’s mercy in Christ in a radical way and transferred to Bethel College where he discovered a love for reading the Bible. This developed into a calling to teach God’s word. After studying at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Andy lectured in Old Testament at Ridley College for three years, before becoming Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, Chicago. His PhD was on Isaiah and he has edited several compendiums as well as working on two books: Eating in Isaiah: Approaching Food and Drink in Isaiah’s Structure and Message and Your Kingdom Come in Isaiah: A Theological-Thematic Approach to the Book of Isaiah. Andy’s wife Katie is a professional violinist, and they have two small daughters. Andy plays basketball for relaxation, making good use of his outstanding height!

Subjects: Isaiah