Reuben Capill graduated from RTC as part of the Graduating Class of 2020, receiving his qualification as a Master of Divinity. Reuben was also awarded two prestigious prizes from the Australian College of Theology (ACT)—the Janet West Prize for topping the list of ACT Master of Divinity/Master of Ministry students and the John Foster Memorial Prize for his achievement in advanced Greek Exegesis units. This phenomenal achievement places him first out of 110 ACT students who completed their degrees in 2020.
Read on to hear more about Reuben’s time studying at RTC helped prepare him for life and ministry.
How would you describe your experience as an RTC student?
From the outside, RTC students probably look a lot like other Uni students. They go to lectures, sit in the library, write essays, and graduate with a degree. But on the inside, RTC is so much more. I found RTC to be a profoundly spiritual place. It is a place of learning, but learning is not the end goal. In almost every class, our subject matter was the living Word of God and the lecturers constantly reminded us that the goal was to let this Word transform our hearts (not just our minds). Looking back, I don’t primarily think of RTC as a place of academic study. I think of it as the place where I glimpsed the glory and beauty of Jesus in Scripture more clearly than ever before, a place where I forged deep relationships with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and a place where I was wonderfully equipped to serve Jesus in my life and ministry.
What aspects of study at RTC did you find the most beneficial?
For me, RTC was most beneficial in teaching me (a) how to accurately read the Bible, and (b) how to preach. Instead of offering a huge range of subjects, RTC primarily focuses on training people to ‘correctly handle the word of truth’ (2 Tim 2:15). And really, I think that’s the most important thing. I now feel like I have the theological foundation and practical skills that I need to be a lifelong student of God’s Word.
Did you have any idea you were in the running for these awards?
Prior to the day of my graduation, I had no idea I was receiving any awards. In fact, I didn’t know these awards even existed! So it was a big surprise for me when Phillip Scheepers made the announcement partway through the graduation service… I was probably in a bit of a daze as I stood up the front to receive the awards.
Why the RTC? Why would you recommend it to prospective students?
I would definitely recommend the RTC. The classes are academically robust, but also very spiritual and practical. The theology taught is strongly Reformed, but there is also freedom to challenge ideas and disagree. The lecturers know their stuff, but they’re also friendly and authentic believers. And the community is quite small and intimate, meaning you can make friendships and really get to know the staff and students.
Why did you decide to study On Campus at RTC?
I was blessed to already be living near the RTC campus, and so there was no need for me to consider studying by distance. I loved my time on campus: great conversations in between lectures, plying a lecturer with questions over lunch, library facilities at my fingertips, and of course, Melbourne’s best cafes. Having said this, I also think it’s a wonderful blessing to be connected to your local church while you study so that your ministry training can be practical and applied. For those who don’t live near Melbourne, I think the ‘campus vs distance’ question has pros and cons both ways.
What's next for you?
I’m currently doing a one-year apprenticeship (called a ‘vicariate’) at Riverbank Christian Church in Launceston, Tasmania. Lord willing, I’ll be ordained as a minister in the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia at the end of 2021. It’s an exciting/scary adventure for me and my family because we don’t know where we’ll be living and working next year. But we’re learning to trust God and follow his lead. We’re in good hands!