Alumni Down Under

August 19, 2013

Dr. Timothy Rott (M.Div. '79), Rev. Kim Dale (M.Div. '80), and Dr. and Mrs. David and Patricia Jackson (M.Div. '77, Th.M. '78; M.A.R. '75, Th.M. '78)

Westminster alumni serve around the globe, and recently we received updates from four alumni serving in Australia and New Zealand. Timothy Rott serves in the Reformed Churches of New Zealand, Kim Dale serves the Presbyterian Churches in Australia, and David and Patricia Jackson serve William Carey Christian School in Australia.

See below to read about their ministries and how Westminster has helped them.

Tim RottDr. Timothy Rott (M.Div. '79)

I graduated in May 1979 and was ordained in the PCA in June 1979. Upon ordination, I served Gethsemane Presbyterian Church in West Grove, PA, where I had served as student supply from 1977-1979. I resigned from the church in December 1982, and was commissioned as a US Navy chaplain in January 1983. I served in the Navy from 1983 to 1997, when I retired from the Navy. After retirement from the Navy, I served the Faggs Manor Presbyterian (Manor Presbyterian), in Cochranville, PA. I resigned from the church in 2000 and moved to Gulf Breeze, FL. I served as a teacher and chaplain at Trinitas Christian School, Pensacola, FL., from 2003-2009. I now serve as the Pastor of the Reformed Church of Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand. I have also served in New Orleans, LA and Key West, FL.

The Lord poured His grace upon me in 1970, and the Spirit opened my eyes to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I had lived in the Roman Catholic church until my conversion, and was a very devout Roman Catholic. At one time, I felt a call to the priesthood.

After my conversion I became involved with the Inverness Presbyterian Church and connected with the pastor, Rev. William Jones. I grew in the Reformed Faith and began to sense a call to the ministry once again. Because I was young in the Reformed Faith, I knew I needed training in the doctrines of grace and the Reformed confessions. I attended Covenant College, where I received my initial training in Reformed doctrine.

Westminster introduced me to men who obviously loved the Lord and provided instruction that helped me grow further in the Reformed Faith. Men like Dr. O. Palmer Robertson, Dr. Ray Dillard and Dr. Edmund Clowney gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation of the doctrines of grace as expressed in the Reformed confessions. In particular, Westminster assisted my understanding of the doctrine of predestination and the sovereignty of God. My time at Westminster was very challenging but rewarding in my own spiritual and academic maturity.

Kim DaleRev. Kim Dale (M.A.R. '80)

It is difficult to overestimate the way God has used the teaching of Westminster Seminary professors in the ongoing encouragement of my faith and in pastoral ministry over the last 30 years. A variety of challenges to the gospel have presented themselves in my time as a pastor, both from within the church and from our surrounding culture. The breadth and depth of hermeneutics, biblical theology, systematics, apologetics, and a seminal exposure to biblical counseling have provided the grist for a lifetime of ministry of the Word in both the church and the world.

Just over twenty years ago I moved from the PC America to the PC Australia. Australia is a long way from the 'green pastures' of Westminster, Philadelphia. However, I have been able through the years to continue to be fed by its professors through print and audio/visual media. This has helped me over the long haul of pastoral ministry in a second culture.

It has also been a privilege to have had a number of Westminster professors visit us in Australia providing excellent biblical teaching for our annual biblical worldview conference.

I am grateful to God for his provision for the seminary over the years, and I am also thankful to those individuals who have given much of their lives to this crucial ministry.

David and Patricia JacksonDavid and Patricia Jackson

Mrs. Patricia Jackson (M.A.R. '75, Th.M. '78)

I am currently the assistant principal at William Carey Christian School, where I have been teaching since 1986. I have taught Biblical Studies to high school students for the past twenty years (having started as a math teacher), as well as run Bible studies/conferences for our staff and other Christian schoolteachers on books of the Bible or Christian worldview and related issues. I have written biblical bases for many of the policies we have at school. I am the human resources person at the school as well.

We currently attend an evangelical church, St Albans Multicultural Bible Ministry, and I am involved in prayer ministries, growth groups, bookstall ministry, and I occasionally speak for women’s groups, etc.

I have also been a pastor’s wife and taught women’s Bible studies and counselled women, as well as raising our four children, all of whom are believers and all teach high school (and two are married to school teachers as well); and now we have seven grandchildren to help shape as well. When I hesitated about signing up for a ThM at WTS, my husband encouraged me, saying that, if I only ever used it to raise my children, it would be a great benefit to them – we are thankful to God for the encouragement they are to us.

After Westminster I moved to Australia with my (Australian) husband and we have been here ever since—I was originally from Canada.

Westminster has had a positive effect in many ways. The skills to be able to exegete Scripture well has been the most important thing I have taken from Westminster – even though my Hebrew and Greek are a bit rusty, they still work. A well-rounded view of how the Bible fits together has been important. A broad understanding of a myriad of biblical studies issues has been invaluable in the classroom where students are curious about so many random things. I have always loved reading, but Westminster gave me a love of reading theology and a reading list that continues to the present time.

Dr. David R Jackson (M.Div. '77, Th.M. '78)

I am the head of Biblical Studies at William Carey Christian School, a co-ed school of around 1,500 students, and have been here for 25 years. I teach the Bible for 22 periods a week to high school students and answer their questions.

I am the author of Enochic Judaism: Three Paradigm Exemplars (T&T Clark 2004) and Crying out for Vindication: The Gospel According to Job (P&R’s GAOT series 2007) plus articles in books, and the forthcoming Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary, The IVP Black Dictionary on Wisdom Literature, Westminster Theological Journal, Journal of Christian Education, etc. My research interests include the relationship between the Epistle of Jude and the Enochic literature; the Lord’s Supper; and Christian schooling, especially the teaching of biblical studies and special education. I am also editing a war diary kept by a Christian family friend who served in Gallipoli and the first Battle of the Somme, 1916.

In our church I am the leader of the prayer ministry team, I lead a Growth Group, and often speak at men’s breakfasts or other meetings/conferences to do with church or within the wider schooling context.

I have presented papers at SBL International Congresses and the Enoch Seminar; I will be presenting at the Conference on the Theology of Disability coming up in Auckland two papers, one co-authored with one of my sons in a book on Christian schooling in Australia and one on ‘Dualling Canons’ in a set of conference papers from the European Association for Biblical Studies held in Amsterdam in 2012, etc.

In the past I have also been a pastor and church planter (for 15 years), and have worked in education as a special education teacher/head teacher/consultant. I have done several mission trips to Myanmar where I lectured to Bible colleges in Rangoon. I have continued to study (adding degrees in special education and a doctorate in Enochic Judaism).

I have mainly worked in Australia since graduating from WTS, as was my long term plan when I went to WTS to study.

In terms of how Westminster has benefitted me long-term:

  • Skills in exegesis, developing greater fluency in my Greek and Hebrew
  • A lifelong “hobby” coming out of Phillip E. Hughes’ Th,M. class on ‘red dragons’ [most difficult texts of the New Testament] – i.e., why does Jude quote 1 Enoch?
  • An understanding that the flock will gather where the food is put out for them
  • Skills in collecting a good theological library for myself and another for our school in a land where they are scarce
  • Preparation to be a husband, father and grandfather with input academic and through personal encounters with faculty and students now part of the heritage of our third generation
  • A constantly growing amazement at the grace that has followed me these past 50 years since I first believed