Rev. Dr Katy Smith Appointed New Principal for Mary Andrews College
Because of her passion for theological education, her commitment to and vision for Gospel-centred ministry, and her exemplary Christian leadership and scholarship, Rev. Dr Katy Smith has been appointed the eleventh principal of Mary Andrews College (MAC) in Sydney.
Unique as the only Bible college in Australia founded to equip women for ministry, a mission begun in 1891, Mary Andrews College welcomes Dr Smith’s contributions to its rich tradition of training students for Christian service in a changing world. Anglican Deaconess Ministries, under which MAC resides, appointed Dr Smith to the leadership role, which will begin in March 2020.
Dr Smith comes to MAC from the Church Missionary Society in South Australia and the Northern Territory, where she has served as the Executive Officer/Branch Director for the past two years, working with the local church to raise up, equip, and send out long-term cross-cultural workers for the sake of the world’s gospel poor. Prior to her leadership role at CMS, she served for seven years as the Old Testament Lecturer and Director of Postgraduate Studies at Bible College of South Australia (ACT). During that time, she completed her PhD through Trinity College Bristol at the University of Bristol on “The Persuasive Intent of the Book of Leviticus” and had the privilege of writing within the research community of Tyndale House in Cambridge. Her research master’s degree—which she earned from Ridley College while also teaching—explored a theology of God’s grace in the Psalter. During this time, Dr Smith was ordained in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne and served as an Assistant Curate in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. She also earned from Ridley College a Bachelor of Theology with First Class Honours and an Advanced Diploma of Ministry.
“While I was training for vocational Gospel ministry, my lecturers invested time and energy shaping and mentoring me for a lifetime of ministry,” said Dr Smith. “Because of that, I was convicted of the responsibility to invest in the next generation to teach and preach the whole counsel of God with faithfulness and with the wisdom of the cross. That conviction redirected my steps.”
As a Lecturer first at Ridley and then at Bible College of South Australia (BCSA), she loved training and equipping students to understand and use the Old Testament in their ministry and mission contexts. Alongside her teaching at BCSA, she established and built the postgraduate coursework and research pathways, which offered further vocational development for Gospel workers in South Australia, and she has spoken at a variety of conferences for women in academia and in ministry.
“I am truly grateful to God for his provision of Rev. Dr Katy Smith as our next Principal of Mary Andrews College,” said Dr Kate Harrison Brennan, ADM’s CEO. “Katy brings personal experience of the significance of a Diploma of Theology, deep biblical understanding and demonstrated passion for mission and pastoral concern. I have every confidence in Katy to lead Mary Andrews College into the next season, continuing and building on its significant and distinctive mission.”
That leadership includes a vision for MAC where every woman can be equipped to serve Christ faithfully, Dr Smith said. She believes wholistic formation is key to theological education, not just building knowledge and practical skill, but a deep learning that shapes and forms women’s identities in Christ.
“As followers of Jesus, we are called to take up our cross and follow him, which includes how we manage and lead the organisations entrusted to us and also how we teach, train, and coach others,” Dr Smith said. “Gospel-shaped leadership and service always seeks the interests of others before one’s self, leads in gentleness and kindness, and displays generosity and restorative grace as we flourish together in Christ.”
During her years as Principal, Mary Andrews was devoted to helping women flourish with their gifts, and in their ministry contexts, that God had given them. It is this characteristic that deeply resonated with Dr Smith. “That’s what makes me tick too,” she said. “So often women just survive in ministry, but flourishing is vital too for long-term faithful service.”
Dr Smith grew up in a British family in apartheid South Africa, later in the UK and then in Australia. Her parents provided every opportunity for her to hear about Jesus, but it wasn’t until years later through a physical injury that her faith in Jesus was solidified, and her biblical study began. When not teaching or writing for publication, Dr Smith enjoys baking, walking in national parks, reading spy thriller novels, and gathering friends and family around the table with good food and conversation.
“I am passionate to see Gospel work multiplied and mobilised both locally and globally, around many tables,” she said. “This has motivated each step in a decade of experience in theological education. It is a great privilege to continue to use my skills both organisationally and academically to enable Mary Andrews College to continue moving forward, confidently focused on its purpose, mission, and vision to God’s glory.”
That enthusiasm and vision as well as Dr. Smith’s astute and engaging Bible teaching were what first encouraged Rev. Jenni Stoddart, Chair of the ADM Board, about MAC’s next Principal. “Katy’s faithfulness to God’s word is matched exactly with an infectious joy and passion, inviting others to come and discover the Lord Jesus whom she serves. My prayer is that God will use Katy and Mary Andrews College to grow its students in joyous faithful service!”
Mary Andrews College offers courses in biblical study, theology and practical ministry designed to help women of all ages and in all life stages deepen their relationship with God and develop their skills. In whatever contexts they serve, flexible course options for Diplomas, Certificates, Auditing or Pathways to Pastoral Care Ministry and Chaplaincy are available and taught by qualified, caring lecturers.
For more information, please visit www.mac.edu.au.