THE desire to train Melanesians to lead their own people towards the Christian faith saw the establishment of a theological school now known as Bishop Patteson Theological College. It was through his visionary and mission strategy for Melanesian that Bishop Augustus Selwyn, first bishop of New Zealand, established the school.
The College is rightly so named after Bishop John Coleridge Patteson who became the first missionary bishop to Melanesia where he laid down his life as a martyr of Melanesia on the tiny Island of Nukapu in Temotu Province in 1871.The College was first established in a suburb of Auckland in New Zealand called Kohimarama.
The school proved to be unsuitable for the Melanesian as it was too cold for them and far away a place from home. This led Bishop Patteson to acquire land at Mission Bay to relocate the school. That move was also found to be unfavorable for the Melanesian. And so in 1867 the school was moved to Norfolk Island.For the Melanesians this was the famous St.Barnabas School as it was called. Many Melanesians attended this School and returned to the islands either as ordained priests or catechists. They joined those who were trained earlier to evangelize and to minister to their own folks.
In 1916, Bishop Cecil Wood, another missionary bishop to Melanesia, decided to move the School to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. It was then re-sited at Maravovo on Guadalcanal. The Journey continued and in 1920 it was relocated to Siota on the Islands of Gela in the Central Islands Province. In 1935 it was further relocated at Maka in South Malaita.From there it was further moved to Taroaniara, another site on Gela. Here it was called St. Andrew’s Catechist and St Peter’s college. It was established there from 1939-1946.The school moved to Siota again in 1947 and it’s been called St.Peter’s College. The final journey to its present site came in 1970 when Bishop John Wallace Chisholm, later to be first Archbishop of the Province of the Church of Melanesia, decided to move it to its present site on the main island of Guadalcanal.
Situated on a hill approximately 25km West of Honiara and 1km inland, the present site is again called Kohimarama. With a journey of many decades, Bishop Patteson Theological College now stands to the glory of God, serving the Anglican Church of Melanesian and the United Church of Solomon Islands. BPTC continues to be a place where men and women are trained for Ministry.
Information provided by: Mr. Hansford T.College Secretary