Tinsley Institute - Mission and Evangelism

Founded in 1999 by Dr Michael Frost, the Tinsley Institute is a mission study centre located on campus at Morling College, Sydney. In effect, the Tinsley Institute is the missions department of Morling, and our staff work in close conjunction with Morling College staff and students.

Morling has a long tradition and an enviable reputation as a college that takes seriously the need to equip the whole believer for the task of taking the whole gospel to the whole world. Morling graduates are currently serving all over the world in places such as Malawi, Cambodia, Thailand, Central Asia, the United Kingdom, and beyond.

The partnership between the Tinsley Institute and Morling College makes us one of the largest providers of missional subject choices in Australia. The Tinsley faculty has expertise in cross-cultural mission, evangelism, church planting, and missional church thinking and practice. In recognition of this, members of our faculty serve the Lausanne movement, Interserve, Missions Interlink, the World Evangelical Alliance Missions Commission, and the Forge mission training program, as well as speaking regularly at international conferences.

Our Current Vision: Putting the Gospel at the Centre of Morling College

Evangelism and the gospel have always been at the heart of what we do at Morling. Indeed, a previous vision statement for the college was “Equipping the whole believer to take the whole gospel to the whole world.” Nonetheless, one of the convictions of the Tinsley Institute staff is the need for Morling to put gospel ministry and evangelism more explicitly at the centre of the life of the college community.

We don’t want a single student to graduate from Morling College without firstly embracing a personal commitment to evangelism, and secondly, seriously considering and praying about serving God in overseas cross-cultural mission.

Read more about our history, the Evangelism and Mission units available at Morling College and our SENT - Church Planting Certificate below.

The Tinsley Institute was established in 1999 as the Centre for Evangelism and Global Mission with thanks to a significant bequest from Mrs Joy Tinsley, who bequeathed the funds to Morling College for the purpose of equipping evangelists and missionaries.

Joy Tinsley’s father was the founder of the very successful Franklins supermarket chain, Frank Lindstrom. A member of the Newcastle Baptist Tabernacle during and after World War II, Lindstrom financially supported many Baptist initiatives, including the overseas students’ scholarship fund of the Baptist Theological College of New South Wales (now Morling College).

In 1945, Joy married Allan Tinsley, the son of well-known Baptist pastor and evangelist, C.J.Tinsley. Joy and Allan entered Baptist ministry, serving together at Campsie Baptist Church (1946-53) and Unley Park Baptist Church, South Australia (1953-69). Later, Allan Tinsley would become the chair of both the SA Baptist Union Overseas Missions Department and the Australian Baptist Missionary Society (now Global Interaction). Joy Tinsley enthusiastically shared her husband’s commitment to evangelism and overseas mission.

Frank Lindstrom died in 1982, leaving his considerable estate to his two daughters. Allan Tinsley passed away in 1988, and by the mid-1990s, Joy Tinsley became the last member of Frank Lindstrom’s direct family. When she passed away in 1999, ten remaining properties of the Lindstrom estate were sold and her will bequeathed a sum of around $3 million to a number of Baptist agencies, including Morling College.

In 2010, the Centre for Evangelism and Global Mission changed its name to honour the memory of Mrs Tinsley, without whom the institute would not exist in its current form.

Since 1999, the Tinsley Institute has had different emphases at different stages of its history, all focused on the fields of evangelism and mission. Over those years, we have utilised the following initiatives:

  • The Annual Tinsley Lecture – a public lecture focused on topics related to mission and culture. Presentations are posted on the Tinsley Institute website. Past presenters have included Vinoth Ramachandra, Stuart Murray, Charles Kraft, John Dickson, Alan Hirsch, Dave Benson, Professor Cathy Ross, Ms Brooke Prentis, Dr Meredith Lake, and Steve Chong;
  • Annual Partnership Mission – student teams placed in churches around NSW for five days of outreach ministry;
  • Internships – Morling students were placed in ministry settings to be coached by practitioners. These included an internship in cross-cultural in partnership with GiA, in aid and development with BWA/Micah, in urban ministry with Hopestreet, in church planting in a variety of church plants, and in evangelistic preaching;
  • Masters of Missional Leadership – a two-year postgraduate course for equipping missional leaders.
  • SENT – a one-year introductory course for church planters, run in partnership with the Baptist Association.
  • Short Term Mission Trips – up to two a year, including central Australia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Zambia, and Peru;
  • Better Conversations – occasional seminars on contentious issues (Aboriginal reconciliation, climate change, Palestine, etc.);
  • Listen & Learn – lunchtime presentations by people with no faith or a faith other than Christianity (Wiccan, Jewish, Muslim, astrology, etc.);
  • Evangelism Roundtables – pastors coming together to discuss challenges and strategies for outreach and evangelism;
  • Public Seminars – featuring presenters such as Erwin McManus, Alan Roxburgh, Ed Stetzer, Ann Morisy, Brian Walsh, and others; 
  • Transform – a weekly mission awareness program for Morling students.

One of the constants throughout the past 22 years of service has been the delivery of all of Morling’s EM units (and some PC units as part of the MML). Currently those units are:

  • Principles of Evangelism
  • Theology of Mission
  • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Missional Hermeneutics
  • Cultural Exegesis
  • Living Faiths
  • History of Christian Mission
  • Ministry in Culturally Diverse Contexts
  • Missional Spirituality
  • Cults and Sects
  • Alternative Religious Movements
  • Church Planting
  • Mission in the Urban Context
  • Spiritual Warfare
  • Ministry in Culturally Diverse Contexts

See our yearly Unit Offerings guide for which units are on offer each year. 

SENT | Church Planting Certificate

From 2021, our church planting course, Sent, is being offered as an undergraduate certificate. Students complete four units (48 credit points) at AQF level 5 and above, include Church Planting, and can then graduate with the certificate or continue with further studies.

To complete the Undergraduate Certificate of Ministry (Church Planting) students would need to complete:

  • EM026 Church Planting
  • EM024 Principles of Evangelism
  • PC035 Principles of Leadership and Management
  • One specified unit from Old/New Testament, Biblical Overviews, Christian Thought and History

Course Info

Tinsley Annual Lecture

The Tinsley Annual Lecture has been presented every year since 1999. Up until 2011, the lectures were published as booklets by Global Interaction.

Watch previous Tinsley Annual Lectures

The Tinsley Scholarship for Mission or Evangelism

Those students with a commitment to be equipped as either an overseas-based cross-cultural worker, or an evangelist, church planter or apologist can apply for the Tinsley Scholarship for Mission or Evangelism. Successful applicants would need to meet a series of requirements for eligibility, such as being willing to:

  • commit to cross-cultural mission service or evangelistic ministry on graduation;
  • accept coaching/mentoring from TI staff;
  • submit to input from Tinsley Institute staff about their subject selection;
  • work with TI staff on placements with suitable agencies, ministries or churches.