What does a McVitie’s digestive biscuit have in common with Scottish School of Christian Mission?
Both were birthed 125 years ago.
125 years ago.
That’s before the World Wars, the internet, jet travel, TV, and of course, the mobile
phone. In 1892 the Bible Training Institute (BTI) was established in Bothwell Street in Glasgow with the premise of equipping men and women for mission. The original Vision Statement says:
It is not intended to compete with the various theological halls where students are trained for the ministry, but for the practical instruction of Christian Workers both men and women, so as to qualify them for efficient service in the home or foreign field….especially in the knowledge and use of the word of God.1
BTI, as it became affectionately known, shares its birth year with McVities, GEC and Coca Cola – all companies which have had to reinvent themselves on multiple occasions to survive and thrive.
From 1892 it was BTI; in 1990 it became Glasgow Bible College (GBC); in 1998 following a merger with Northumbria Bible College, the combined colleges were known as International Christian College (ICC), until 2015, when its current incarnation as the Scottish School of Christian Mission (SSCM) started.
Weathering 125 years of service by changing courses, names and locations indicates a resilience and willingness to stay relevant. There is much to be thankful for and SSCM continues the legacy of BTI, equipping people for mission for the 21st century.
According to the Journal of Entrepreneurship, innovation, rebranding and marketing are key in adapting to staying current2. Whilst the God of the Bible, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are unchanging, over these past 125 years societal norms and prevailing culture have dramatically altered. Our innovative approaches, with practise-based, reflective learning, ensures that our courses are relevant to contemporary life and culture.
We work collaboratively with people, projects and ministries in equipping individuals and churches to fulfil their purpose/mission in bringing God’s loving transformation to our world, whether that’s in the workplace, neighbourhood or Church.
A 125th Anniversary Celebration Event is being held on Tuesday 21st November at the Òran Mór, the college’s former building on Byres Road. It would be lovely see you there and to connect afresh, to hear your stories, memories of BTI, GBC or ICC and to engage with the future in equipping the next generations for mission. Hope to see you in November.
Rev Judy White
Director of Development
Scottish School of Christian Mission
Former GBC student
1 BTI launch programme, 1892
2 Journal of Entrepreneurship January 2017