Please visit our parent website for more information. BCWA is one of the leading and credible Christian Vocational and Educational not-for-profit organisations in Western Australia... Cross-cultural, deeply Biblical, highly practical and contextually relevant. Email: admin@bcwa.wa.edu.au


"If God called us to a task, He will then qualify us for the job" - Jack Hyles


"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" - Galatians 2:20

ExpandingYourWorld.com is a blogsite of the Bible College of Western Australia Inc. (BCWA). www.bcwa.wa.edu.au

At BCWA (EYW) we offer Bible Studies, Devotionals, Sermons and Testimonies as well as Current Affairs for discussion (a case for relevance) that would stir your understanding about life, death, humanity and divinity. Christ Jesus is at the centre of all that we are and propagate.

BCWA (EYW) is a learning environment that will keep you updated with post-modern trends in religiosity and Christianity, challenging you to think outside the box if indeed you have set up one for yourself. We would also engage and facilitate your thinking about your ‘problems’ that stop you from being who you should be.

BCWA (EYW) will actively engage you with the story of our triune God, the stories of people in the Bible, the stories of people in our world and we want to hear your story too…so that we at BCWA (EYW) may serve you in expanding your world!

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” – (Philippians 4:8-9).

Yours in the service of Christ.


Rev. Dr Dawson Elliott, Principal/CEO & Mentor

PhD, MTh, BTh, BA (credits), Cert.IV TAA, Cert.IV TESOL

Dawson has been in ministry for 26 years with 17 of those years in ministry in Perth, Western Australia. Ordained in the Church of the Nazarene (Wesleyan/Methodist tradition), Dawson initially served as the Pastor at the Maddington Church of the Nazarene for four and half years; then served as the interim Pastor at the Dianella Church of the Nazarene for a year. His ministry then transitioned to the Baptist Family of Churches in Western Australia with him serving as the Senior Pastor at the Foothills Christian Centre (2004-2010). The merger of the Foothills Christian Centre with Carey Community Baptist Church, saw Dawson serving as the Pastor for cross-cultural ministries at Carey Community Baptist Church (2010/2012). Presently, he is also planting a Filipino church in Perth, namely Grace Community Church. In view of his marketplace ministry, Dawson has since January 2015 transferred his ministerial credentials from the Baptist Union of Western Australia to the Southern Cross Association of Churches.

Since 2003, he has also served at BCWA initially as the Director of Administrative and Business Services, then in 2005 as the Deputy Principal. Since July 2007, Dawson has served as the Principal. A gifted preacher, teacher, theologian, writer, Christian educator, motivational speaker, administrator and pastor, -Dawson has a heart after God’s own heart and leads BCWA with a blessed sense of “Lord, Your Kingdom come!” He is highly missional, both locally and abroad with mission trips to Cambodia, Indonesia, India and South Africa.

His doctoral research has been in the field of systematic theology with an exploration of ecclesiology (Church). He has explored the hermeneutics of Schillebeeckx (a Roman Catholic theologian) with a particular focus on the sacramentality of the church. Dawson has renewed this model of the church by using the ecclesiology of Schillebeeckx as a kind of ‘foil’ against which to develop an alternative ecclesiology, more amenable to Evangelical Protestants. As his point of departure, Dawson has explored through intensive analysis, the Roman Catholic ecclesiological perspectives via Lumen Gentium. Dawson has written two books, namely,

  • What on Earth is Sanctification?
  • Blessed Are You – The Spirit-Filled Life.

Dawson is ‘blessedly’ married to Cheryl-lee and they have two blessed children, Tersia and Callion.


Rev. Dr. David Shalley, Founding Principal, Chairman & Mentor

Dip & PostGrad. Power Engineering, Master of Engineering Science, DipTh, MA (Apologetics), Doctor of Biblical Studies

*David facilitates the Spiritual Formation unit.

David served in the following positions:

Engineering Positions in UK Power industry (1955-1967); Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering – Curtin University WA (1968-77); Bible College of Western Australian (1978-1992); Foundation Principal of the College and Associate Pastor of Gosnells Baptist Church (Latter position resigned in 1981 due to growth in College); Senior minister Kalamunda Church of Christ (1993-1999); 1999 to date “Retired” but still serves the college in a voluntary capacity. He also serves on the College Board as the Chairman.

David sees the purpose of the church as being to fulfil Christ’s mission on earth, that is, to make disciples through whom Christ can be seen in the world. His conviction is that fruitfulness and growth in the local church stem from the application of acceptance and love in Christ. As we realise that God loves us too much to leave us as we are and we begin to respond to His call for change, mistakes will inevitably occur. The church that can learn to accept and forgive genuine mistakes will be greatly enriched.

Over his 40 years of Christian experience, David has been exposed to many models of ministry -all of which have contributed to the enrichment of his views on Christianity in general and church life in particular. David believes that this has given him the ability to accept Christians from a wide spectrum of theological persuasions. His ministry gifts are mainly in the area of teaching, preaching and pastoral care. His approach to the Scriptures is to first submit himself to what they are saying before making the Word of God relevant to others. David has a friendly and caring disposition. His listening ear is an asset in small groups and one-on-one situations. As Team Leader he seeks to develop good relationships based on clear and open communications with all. One of his major passions is the need to disciple people for the work of the ministry. He is convinced that essentially our faith is about relationships with God and one another. Over the past 20 years or so David has become increasingly convinced of the need for stillness and listening in the presence of the Lord. One outcome of this is the development of the Spiritual Formation course which has been offered at the College for many years and is still a favourite course among students now.

David became a Christian at the age of 16. His early Christian life was nurtured in an Evangelical Church where he subsequently became Youth Leader and Deacon. It was at this church that he married Audrey in 1959. In 1963 they and their two sons moved to South Wales where David gained lay-preaching experience. They then emigrated to Western Australia in 1967, with the addition of a baby girl. For the first five years, David was Church Secretary in the Bentley Baptist Church. In 1973 he moved to Gosnells Baptist Church under the ministry of Rev Dr Max Wells – a man of vision and a pastor with a balanced view of spiritual gifts and related issues. It was under his ministry and that of Michael Green that David came to accept the gifts for today with Biblical qualifications for their proper use, namely, for the service of others in the Body of Christ.

At the end of 1977 David was appointed foundation Principal of the West Australian Bible College (Now Bible College of WA). By God’s gracious enabling over a period of 15 years the College grew from an idea to an organisation with an ever widening degree of acceptance in the Christian community with a reputation for nurturing people of spiritual maturity, able to both understand and apply the Word of God. In 1992 the College and its courses were Accredited and Registered with the State Skills Development Authority and the Ministry of Education respectively, thus confirming the academic credibility its awards. Courses matured over the years to embrace a four-year Bachelors degree and post- graduate awards via the Pacific College of Graduate Studies.

David has served the College faithfully and excellently. He continues to be an inspirational mentor to the present Principal, Dawson Elliott. David is a gifted teacher and preacher and a wise counsellor to the College.


Other Board Members

Barry Waldeck, Deputy Chairman & Mentor

Barry has served a lecturer/trainer at the college for many years and presently facilitates the “Step by Step” Discipleship program. He has a wealth of experience as a missionary and Christian counsellor. He presently facilitates the “Step by Step” discipleship series.

Barry served in the following Roles/Activities/Positions:Missionary in PNG and Philippines; Mission Society Representative – Promotion/Recruitment; Lecturer WABC/BCWA; Chairperson -Missions Interlink; Chaplain -Aged Care Facility; AFES WA Committee – Missions Promotion at Uni’s; Trainer/Organiser of Mission Candidates Courses; Couple and Family Counsellor with Relationship Australia and Baptistcare (Pathways).

Tania Truman, Secretary

Tania is a graduate of BCWA and is presently serving as a Chaplain at Alta 1.

Ros Smith, Treasurer

Ros has been teaching ESL at BCWA for many years.

David Bardsley

David is a graduate of BCWA.


1.         BRIEF HISTORY

The vision for a college to bridge the gap between church based education programmes and those of the traditional theological college was formed in the mind of Rev. Dr M. A. Wells, a man who during 40 years as a minister, exercised a unique church planting role in the foothills of Perth’s southern suburbs.  In 1978 the vision was realised with the establishment of the West Australian Bible College (WABC), initially operating from the Gosnells Baptist Church.  At first the response was small – three full-time and seven part-time students.  As the college gained wider acceptance these numbers grew.  Enquiries from country students for residential courses and the need to establish the independence of the college led to the purchase of and relocation to the present 1.1 hectare site in Wattle Grove in mid-1981.

A significant milestone along the way was the appointment of the foundation Principal, Rev. Dr David Shalley. Formerly a professional engineer, Dr Shalley spent ten years as a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Curtin University of Technology. He had been involved for many years in church-centred ministries including preaching, teaching and youth work.

In 1983 the growth of both the programme and enrolments necessitated the expansion of the educational facilities on campus.  By the end of that year two large transportable units had been positioned on site.  Volunteer help and student work parties had the project completed and open by March 1984.  The college then had lecture, library and office space to meet its needs for some years to come.

Continuing growth and the development of a wider range of courses, plus increasing administration pressures, made it clear that an additional academic lecturer was required.  Accordingly Mr Geoff Wager, already a visiting tutor, was appointed as Deputy Principal, on half time from 1990 then full time from 1992.

An important stage in the development of the college occurred in 1993 when the Graduate Diploma, Diploma, Certificate and Advanced Certificate courses were accredited, allowing students access to Austudy and Abstudy.

In 1994 Rev. Geoff Fewster was appointed as Principal of the college.  The college branched out in 1997 to develop new courses in the areas of Children’s Ministry and Teaching of English to Non-English speakers.

In 2005, Haydn Nelson was appointed as Principal.  Haydn had been appointed as a part-time lecturer in 2002 whist studying for his PhD and took over the leadership of the college when Geoff Fewster retired in February 2005. Dawson Elliott who was the Director of Administrative Services and Business Manager since 2003 was appointed as the Deputy Principal in February 2005. Haydn Nelson resigned at the end of December 2006 to take up a position at Riverview church in Perth where he presently serves as the Senior Pastor.

David Shalley was then appointed as Interim Principal for the first semester of 2007 after which Dawson Elliott was appointed as Principal from 1 July 2007. Prior commitments had prevented Dawson from taking on the position from the beginning of 2007.

Over the years of the life of Bible College of Western Australia, a steady stream of graduates have found employment as Pastors, Missionaries and para-church workers along with many others who have taken an enriched Christian faith back into their own communities.

Voluntary visiting trainers have come from a wide spectrum of evangelical denominations and have enriched the students’ appreciation of their faith.  Whilst some changes in the voluntary faculty have occurred with the passing of the years, the college currently enjoys the services of a team of well-qualified and experienced visiting trainers.

Academically the BCWA has sought to stretch students beyond their starting point with the college.  Flexibility of courses and availability of a personalised approach to the provision of Bible – based education for Christian life and service remain distinctive traits of the college.

And so the ministry at BCWA continues…


The BIBLE COLLEGE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA Inc. uses the Statement of Faith of The Australian Evangelical Alliance:

We worship the only God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whose creative, outgoing love overflowed from the divine community to create the universe and who calls us to share in eternal life and love and to participate in the fulfillment of divine purposes.

In grace and humility, Jesus, the only Son of the Father, shared our humanity and became our example of service and sacrifice. Out of love for the world he suffered the consequences of our sin and died in order to overcome the power of the evil one; to release humanity from alienation from God and from being captive to self-centered sinfulness; and to restore a disordered creation. The power of the Father defeated death and brought new life to Jesus who now reigns as Lord of all and who, through the active presence of the Spirit, calls for repentance, brings the possibility of forgiveness and gives new life to all those who live in union with him.

Christians live in love by the power of the Spirit, who is the Spirit of Jesus, as a single community of God’s people. We are filled with the Spirit who transforms lives and characters according to the example of the Lord Jesus, and the church is built up by the gifts of ministry and service which the Spirit brings. The life of the church is guided by God through the Scriptures which are uniquely inspired and the final authority for Christian faith and practice.

As a community of those who worship God and live in fellowship we are called to bring everyone the good news of the salvation which can only be found in life with the Lord Jesus Christ. We are committed to work for justice in every society and to protect and enhance God’s creation. While working for the kingdom in the present we also look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus, bringing justice to all and the glorious, perfect kingdomof God.’

Note: This statement of faith should not be regarded as implying that the truths expressed in it constitute the only important truths of the faith. It is understood by theAllianceas being consistent with the historic statements of faith such as the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and also with the Statement of Faith of the World Evangelical Alliance.





“Equipping people for life

From the Word to the world







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