The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership forms ministers and leaders for service in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and partner churches.

We work in partnership with a variety of groups and networks, including Te Aka Puaho, the Pacific Island Synod, the Council of Asian Congregations, Presbyteries, United District Councils, and congregations.

In addition to training people for National Ordained Ministry, the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership also provides training for Local Ordained MinistersLocal Ministry Teams and other recognised ministries in the Church. We support presbyteries and congregations in their leadership development, and help resource continuing ministry formation among the Presbyterian Church’s ministers and elders.

News and Events

KCML Graduation - Wednesday 16th November 2016 at 7:00 pm

The KCML graduation service will take place this year on Wednesday 16th November at 7:00 pm in the St David’s Lecture Theatre at the University of Otago. The St David Theatre Complex is located in the north-west region of the University of Otago’s Dunedin campus, on the corner of St David and Cumberland Streets. Further details to follow.

Invitation to Wayne Te Kaawa lecture: “Ministry in an Indigenous Context”

We are delighted to invite you to attend a lecture by Rev Wayne Te Kaawa, entitled ” Ministry in an Indigenous Context”. Wayne has recently returned from the Conference of Indigenous Theologians, held at Nungalinya College in Darwin, where he presented a paper on this topic. Wayne is Moderator of Te Aka Puaho and Te Ahorangi of Te Wananga a Rangi. He holds a Master of Ministry from Otago University. The lecture will take place in the seminar room at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Hewitson Wing, Knox College on Wednesday 19th October at 7:30 pm. Light refreshments will be available from 7:10 pm. It will end with a short karakia at 8:45 pm.

LOM Gathering/Training Event at KCML

On 27-29 September, Local Ordained Ministers (LOMs) will be gathering at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership (KCML) in Dunedin.

LOMs from around New Zealand will engage with each other for three days of ministry development and strengthening of relationships. The KCML team will provide teaching and are hosting the event. For some of those gathering, this will be their first time at KCML and so they can be introduced to the resources available nationally such as the Hewitson Library and Research Centre. This is the first of what KCML hopes to be an annual event for LOMs.

LOMs have been contacted by KCML about attending this day, but if you are a LOM and haven’t yet received any information, please contact the Rev Geoff New, KCML Dean of Studies, for further details.

KCML News – June 2016

In the coming month our major event will be conducting the Winter block course in Silverstream (Upper Hutt) from 20-29 June. This will be the first time a ministry intern block course has been held outside of Dunedin or Auckland. We are really looking forward to engaging with presbytery members as part of our time there. In the lead-up to the block course, Steve Taylor (KCML Principal) is in Auckland (2 June) to attend the Northern Presbytery council and, with Mark Johnston, contribute to “Mission Possible” with the Korean churches. On 9-10 June, Steve will be speaking with Phil King at “Woven Together Christianity and Development between New Zealand and the Pacific” in Wellington. Then on 14 June, Steve will be with Kaimai Presbytery before returning to Dunedin for a Presbyterian Research Centre event on 16 June.

Malcolm Gordon (Music Worship and Arts Enabler) is putting the finishing touches on a collection of congregational music for small churches called, “Songs for the Saints”. He is preparing a team to lead worship at Connect through music, visual art and dance. His next trip away is to the Hawkes Bay for a weekend of workshops before the winter block course and a day of training with young people from Northern Presbytery in Auckland.

Geoff New has been working on creating a national gathering for Local Ordained Ministers.

KCML News – May 2016

This month, Steve Taylor, Malcolm Gordon and Geoff New are involved in running workshops and being resource people at the South Island Ministry Conference (East Taieri Presbyterian Church, Mosgiel).

Geoff is also running a preaching workshop at Calvin Community Church (Gore) on 14 May (RSVP to ken@calvin.org.nz).

Steve is keynote speaker at Alpine Presbytery on 29-30 April and Presbytery Central on 13-14 May, and will preach at St Alban’s church that Sunday. He is also the after-dinner speaker on “innovation and learning in mission” at the Salvation Army Learning and Development Conference 9 May. On 12 May, Steve attends the leadership sub-committee meeting, and he rounds out the month at the national assessment weekend on 20-23 May in Auckland.

Mark Johnston starts the month in the Bay of Plenty running a leadership colloquium with interns, and is later in Auckland with interns in a pastoral care colloquium. At the end of the month he will be holding online tutorials. Work has begun for our winter block course (21 – 29 June) for ministry interns which will be held at Silverstream (Wellington). This is to give expression to our commitments to theological education locally and nationally (and to save costs due to the rugby test against Wales at the time of block course!).

For those engaged in theological study at Otago University, Auckland University, Laidlaw College or Carey Baptist College, we are now accepting applications for theological study grants.

KCML News – April 2016

Kevin Ward left for nine weeks of study leave at Easter. He is spending time at Fuller Seminary in Los Angeles and Oxford and Cambridge in the UK. His first task is to complete a book he has been working on for some time on Murray Robertson and Spreydon Baptist Church. Following that, he will begin work on a multi-author book he is editing and contributing to on migration, cultural diversity and the church in Aotearoa New Zealand. Kevin will also be attending lectures, seminars and workshops as well as meeting with a variety of academics, mission and church leaders with similar interests to his own.

Malcolm Gordon has been leading retreats and delivering workshops in Christchurch, Whanganui, Wellington, Auckland and South Otago. When at home in Dunedin, he is working on recording a collection of congregational songs for small churches.

Mark Johnston and Steve Taylor are helping resource the Press Go mission planning workshop that is being held over two days in Wellington in April. Mark is currently working with Malcolm in coordinating a re-design of the KCML worship course. Also in April, Mark will lead new online tutorials with interns in missional leading skills.

Steve is also running a workshop on “Focus on Mission” for the Southern Presbytery’s Dunedin and North Otago resource group.

Geoff New will be running a preaching workshop in Dunedin (registrations to the Rev Anne Thomson). The workshop is especially for new and emerging preaching. Along with Steve, Geoff will be holding workshops at the Otago and Southland Synod’s 150th anniversary gathering. His second book on preaching is ready for publication once a title has been agreed upon.

KCML News – March 2016

We have just finished our summer block course here in Dunedin for ministry interns. The time was fruitful and engaging. Prof John Swinton commenced our programme with a seminar and then delivering the inaugural lecture. Six first year interns now begin their placements in various contexts around the country.

Our attention now turns to a variety of engagements.Geoff is running a one-day preaching workshop at St John’s Presbyterian Church in Arrowtown on 5 March. The workshop is especially for new and emerging preaching. (To register contact the Rev Ian Guy). He will also be speaking at St Matthews Anglican Church retreat on 19 March.

On Friday, 11-12 March, Kevin Ward is convening a “Cross-cultural gathering: ministry with 1.5 and 2nd generation migrants” at St John’s Presbyterian Church, Mt Roskill (the gathering starts at 7:30pm Friday and finishes 4pm Saturday). The event includes input from the Rev Drs Tokerau Joseph and Hyeeun Kim, plus conversations, storytelling and workshopping. This is a significant event on our journey toward being a “multicultural and crosscultural church with a bicultural commitment”. If you want further details contact Kevin Ward.

Kevin is also running a receptions course for eight ministers received into our Church. It will be held at KCML on 16-17 March. The KCML team will be having a staff retreat on 14–15 March to continue earlier work on curriculum design for the NOM training and honing our focus for training for the wider church.

KCML Events in February 2016

Creating Welcoming Churches”, a disability resource for faith communities, is being introduced to Dunedin during the course on Practical Theology of Disability and Mental Health taught by Professor John Swinton.  The book launch is on Thursday 4th February 2016, at Frank Nicol Room, Hewitson Wing Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, at 5.30 pm. All are welcome, but RSVPs by email only  to me would be great to assist us to estimate numbers for catering purposes.

The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership’s Inaugural Lecture for the 2016 academic year will take place in the Cameron Hall, Knox College, at 4:00 pm on Tuesday 9th February. The guest speaker with be Professor John Swinton, who will speak on the topic: ‘Friendship as witness: The body of Jesus as a place of belonging.’ John is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care in the School of Divinity, Religious Studies and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He is the founder and Director of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability at the University. This will be followed by an afternoon tea in the Junior Common Room at Knox College, when ministers who began their training at the Theological Hall in 1966 will be honoured.

All are cordially invited to attend the Service of Induction for the Rev Dr Steve Taylor, Principal of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. This will be held at Leith Valley-St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church; 267 Malvern St , Leith Valley, on Monday 15th February, beginning at 7pm.

KCML Graduation 2015

The video is now up on You Tube. To watch it, click on this link:

2015 Nov Book Launch

Latest round of Ministers’ Study Grants

The Senatus of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership meets every six months to review applications for Ministers’ Study Grants, and to decide on the awards.  After the most recent meeting in October 2015, we are pleased to announce that grants have been awarded as follows:

      • Andrew Callander, Simon Cornwall, Steve Jourdain and Sue Fenton – part course fees for Transitional Ministry Course
      • Johanna Warren – part course fees for Godly Play NZ course – Core Training
      • Young Jun You – part course fees for CHTH415 “Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology (Advanced)” – MMin Course at Otago University

As can be seen from the list above, ministers are encouraged to undertake a wide variety of accredited training courses, to enhance their ministry and effectiveness in their own congregations and in the wider church.  Applications are welcome any time, but the cut-off dates for applications to be considered are 31st March and 30th September each year. For more information, visit here. Many study leave reports and other interesting and useful resources are online here.

KCML Theology Study Grants awarded

The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership awarded a record number of theology study grants this year, to Presbyterians doing part-time or full-time theological studies through Otago University, Auckland University, Laidlaw College or Carey Baptist College.  The recipients, who are actively involved in their parishes, from all over New Zealand, are: Deena Benjamin, Jacques Botes, Michael Coutts, Adam Dawson, Eddy Davis-Rae, Lise Erika, Joanne Graves, Paula Levy, Hayden Luke, Anthony Macleod, Tom Mepham, Rory Nimmo, Charissa Nicol, Adair Oosterbroek, Filipo Pou, Maugapaia Ropeti-Iupeli, Zach Salisbury, Jeremy Selfe, Joseph Shin, George Sionetuato, Logan Skerrett, Stephen Talbot, Joshua Tepou and Jane Thomas. Congratulations to all our grant recipients.

2016 Feb – Summer School in Dunedin

Course on A Practical Theology of Disability and Mental Health by Professor John Swinton

From 1-5 Feb, 2016, Professor John Swinton of the University of Aberdeen will teach an intensive course in Dunedin entitled: A Practical Theology of Disability and Mental Health – What does it mean to be Human. The course is jointly offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago, and the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership.

John is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care in the School of Divinity, Religious Studies and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He is the founder and Director of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability at the University. In 2014 he also established the Centre for Ministry Studies there.

John has published extensively within the area of practical theology, pastoral care, mental health studies, disability theology and nursing. Some of his books include:

  • Dementia: Living in the Memories of God (2012);
  • Disability in the Christian Tradition: A Reader (2012), edited with Brian Brock;
  • Living Well and Dying Faithfully: Christian Practices for End-Of-Life Care (2009), edited with Richard Payne;
  • Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness (2008), with Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier;
  • Raging With Compassion: Pastoral responses to the problem of evil (2007);
  • Theology, Disability and the New Genetics: Why Science Needs the Church (2007), edited with Brian Brock;
  • Practical Theology and Qualitative Research (2006) with Dr. Harriet Mowat;
  • Critical Reflections on Stanley Hauerwas’ Essays on Disability: Disabling society, enabling theology (2005), edited with Stanley Hauerwas;
  • Spirituality in Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a “forgotten” dimension (2001);
  • Resurrecting the Person: Friendship and the care of people with severe mental health problems (2000);
  • The Spiritual Dimension of Pastoral Care: Practical theology in a multidisciplinary context (2000), edited with David Willows;
  • From Bedlam to Shalom: Towards a practical theology of human nature. Interpersonal relationships and mental health care (2000).

For further information about John go to:http://www.abdn.ac.uk/sdhp/profiles/j.swinton

The course will have six modules:

1) Introduction to Disability Theology

2) Disability in the Christian Tradition: Theologies of disability

3) Re-Thinking Discipleship: The vocation of people with profound intellectual disabilities.

4) Theology and mental health and illness: Understanding psychosis differently

5) Theology and mental health and illness: Depression

6) Forgetting whose we are: A practical theology of dementia.

The course can be undertaken in two ways:

• You can enrol with the Department of Theology and Religion, and take the course as either PAST 307 or MINS 405. The former can be credited to a BTheol or Diploma for Graduates, the latter for a Postgraduate Diploma of Ministry or a Master of Ministry, or for the new Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Chaplaincy or the Master of Chaplaincy (which are subject to final approval by the Committee on University Academic Programmes of the NZ Vice-Chancellors’ Committee); or the paper can be taken as a ‘Certificate of Proficiency’ and credited to a qualification at a later point. The cost is yet to be set, but the cost for PAST 307 in 2015 is $811 (+ sundry fees) and for MINS 405 is $1,225 (+ sundry fees) and fees will increase a little in 2016. Online enrolment for the course opens in July. To enrol go to www.otago.ac.nz and click on ‘Study at Otago Apply Online’.

For further details contact Paul Trebilco, Department of Theology and Religion paul.trebilco@otago.ac.nz or 03 4798 798


• You can attend the course as an audit student by contacting KCML. This will cost $500. Under this option, you would not do any assessment, and the paper would not be credited to a qualification, but it would count as ongoing professional development for PCANZ.

To register for this option, contact: Catherine van Dorp, Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership; registrar@knoxcollege.ac.nz; 03 473 0783

For ministers in the PCANZ, study grants amounting to 50% of course fees have already been approved.

New Principal for KCML is appointed

The Council of Assembly is pleased to announce that the Rev Dr Steve Taylor has been appointed to the role of Principal at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. Steve, an experienced church minister, theological educator and academic leader, will take up the role in late 2015, and the Rev Dr Kevin Ward will continue in the Acting Principal role in the interim. Steve has most recently served as the Principal of Uniting College for Leadership and Theology in South Australia. He brings a strong interest in missiology and in new and emerging forms of Christian practice, both within the church and within modern culture to his new role at Knox, says Rev Dr Colin Marshall, Council of Assembly Convener. “Steve will be an experienced addition to the Knox team. His passion for contemporary mission and leadership will ensure that the Knox Centre is equipping church leaders for today’s world,” he says. Steve says he is “deeply moved by the call of the Church to be Principal”. “I have a passion to grow leaders in mission. I have loved my time as Director of Missiology, then Principal of Uniting College in South Australia, innovating together toward a new mission future. But as a family we’ve all missed New Zealand and we hear in this call God’s church singing the chorus from that wonderful Dave Dobbyn song, ‘Welcome home’.” Steve completed a Masters degree exploring images of Christ in contemporary culture, and a PhD in contextual mission and new forms of church. He is also the author of The Out of Bounds Church? Learning to Create a Community of Faith in a Culture of Change, over 20 peer-reviewed book chapters or journal articles and 100 other published articles. His areas of research include gospel and culture, ecclesiology and sacraments. A New Zealander, Steve completed his ministry training at Carey Baptist College, and has lectured at both Carey and Laidlaw colleges during his 15 years in parish ministry. He and wife Lynne have two daughters. Steve succeeds the Very Rev Dr Graham Redding, who resigned as Principal in 2014 to take up the Master of Knox College role. Check out Steve’s blog here.

New Dean of Studies for KCML is appointed

It is with great joy that Council of Assembly announces the appointment of Rev Dr Geoff New to the position of Dean of Studies at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. Geoff will take up the position in mid-2015. Rev Dr Colin Marshall, Council of Assembly Convener, believes that Geoff will be a wonderful addition to the Knox teaching community, and foresees great days ahead for the ministry and leadership program under Geoff’s guidance. “Geoff’s appointment is good news for Knox Centre. He is a very experienced minister with a passion for preaching and doing things in a way that is relevant to today’s multicultural context. We are delighted that Geoff has accepted this new ministry role and will join the Knox Centre team.” Since his ordination in 1997, Geoff has served as the minister at Papakura East Presbyterian Church. During this time, he has also been a Police chaplain in the Counties-Manukau for five years. Geoff has lectured at the Bible College of New Zealand (now Laidlaw College) for several years, and since 2012 has also served as the director of Kiwimade Preaching, a forum to encourage preachers and biblical preaching in today’s environment. He lectures at Carey Baptist College on occasion and is also a trainer for Langham Preaching in south Asia. His doctorate from the Australian College of Theology was focused on preaching, which Geoff describes as “the DNA to my sense of call”. “When I first saw the Dean of Studies position advertised,” he says “it wasn’t so much me sensing God saying ‘Will you?’ as much as me asking ‘May I?’. I’m utterly overwhelmed that the answer was ‘yes’. “To now have the opportunity at KCML to play a part in the formation and exploration of people’s call to serve God is exhilarating. Right now, though, my joy is tempered by the sadness in parting with the people of Papakura East and Hunua Presbyterian Church who have nurtured my call over the past 17 years. They are amazing followers of Jesus!” “I’d like to pay tribute to my family, and especially my wife Ruth, for her vision and enduring support of my ministry. Ruth personifies her Biblical namesake and is an integral part of my ministry and her encouragement was the catalyst for me to apply for the role.” Before ordained ministry, Geoff worked for the Department of Labour and Housing Corporation in employment and human resources related roles.

Theology Study Grants

The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership plans to offer a limited number of scholarships in 2015, to Presbyterians doing part-time or full-time theological studies through Otago University, Auckland University, Laidlaw College or Carey Baptist College.  If you know of anyone who might benefit from such a grant, please encourage them to apply. They should send a letter of application detailing their course (and costs) of study, and what church they’re involved in. They should also include a brief letter of support from someone in their church (preferably their minister, so we can discuss their church involvement and the course of study).  The deadline for applications is 31 March 2015. Letters should be sent to the Acting Principal, Rev Dr Kevin Ward, at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin 9010 or emailed to principal@knoxcentre.ac.nz

2015 Inaugural Lecture

The 2015 Inaugural lecture, entitled “Contextual and Public Theology: Passing Fads or Theological Imperatives?”, was delivered by Dr Stephen Garner, Head of School: Theology, Mission and Ministry at Laidlaw College. Link to the lecture here and to the accompanying slides here.

Latest round of Ministers’ Study Grants

The Senatus of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership meets every six months to review applications for Ministers’ Study Grants, and to decide on the awards.  After the most recent meeting in October 2014, we are pleased to announce that grants have been awarded as follows:

  • Emma Keown who is completing her D Min through Laidlaw-Carey Graduate School. Her area of study is around Multi-culturalism and the Church.
  • James Lee who is studying towards his DMin through Fuller Theological Seminary.
  • Nathan Parry towards course fees for an M Min paper on the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
  • Peter MacKenzie who is undertaking research on Church Mergers for his doctorate through Massey University.
  • Phyll Harris towards course fees for University of the Holy Land course: “Historical Geography of the Bible”.
  • Robin Palmer for a Waikato University course on Conflict Resolution Restorative Practices.

As can be seen from the list above, ministers are encouraged to undertake a wide variety of accredited training courses, to enhance their ministry and effectiveness in their own congregations and in the wider church.  Applications are welcome any time, but the cut-off dates for applications to be considered are 31st March and 30th September each year. For more information, visit here.

Links for Music at GA14

Malcolm Gordon has been inundated with requests for music and recordings of the worship songs used at GA14, so he has provided this link to a collection of the worship resources from Assembly Week.

Christian Perspectives on MarriageChristian Perspectives on Marriage

In 2013, the Council of Assembly asked the Doctrine Core Group to provide the Church with a discussion paper on marriage. A similar request had been received from Presbyterian Youth Ministries. These requests seemed to indicate a high level of interest in the subject of marriage from a Christian perspective, and how it relates to current debates and legislative trends in New Zealand society.

The Doctrine Core Group considered a variety of approaches. Rather than taking on the task of writing a paper themselves, they decided to ask a small number of people to write a statement on the question: “What do you believe lies at the heart of a Christian doctrine of marriage, and what are the key biblical and theological considerations that inform your position?”

In order to provoke discussion across the diversity of our Church they selected contributors who represent a range of theological and cultural perspectives. This does not mean that all possible viewpoints or cultural perspective are included – that would be an impossible task.

This resource is now available for download here. It is hoped that the statements in this resource will provoke all of us to engage more deeply with the issues as we read them alongside one another.

Thank you to the Doctrine Core Group,  the Rev Dr Bruce Hamill (Convenor), the Rev Wayne Te Kaawa, Professor Murray Rae and the Very Rev Dr Graham Redding, for providing this valuable resource to our Church.