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 Ministers, Local 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.
Events and Notices
KCML Bubble Courses Evaluation
KCML ran 6 Bubble courses during lockdown, covering preaching, change, and building an online community. Each course attracted between 30 to 45 participants. Of the potential 90 participants, 20 responded to a request for feedback. These were de-identified, collated, and organised thematically. What follows is a summary of over 4 pages of comments.
Those who provided feedback occupied a range of leadership roles, primarily ordained but including paid workers and laypeople. The average age of those who responded was 59 years old. Some 75% were women. The best mode of advertising was through Presbytery mailouts, with KCML channels (apart from the Principal’s personal Facebook) having no impact.
The courses were overwhelming received as positive. They were experienced as significant in decreasing isolation and providing a strong sense of connectivity and inclusion. Specific comments noted the sense of being valued and being able to learn alongside other recognised leaders in the church.
The courses were experienced as professional and of high quality. Particular strengths of the Bubble courses appreciated by participants included the fact that KCML had a go in the first place, the interactive nature of the courses and the quality of the resourcing. Some spoke of being willing to pay.
Within a week of completion of the Bubble courses, 80% of respondents indicated they had made changes, with many expressing confidence to try new things, particularly online. There is a sense that as they saw risk-taking in the offering of the Bubble courses, they felt empowered to take risks. This encouragement to take risks is worth further reflection in terms of how leadership is experienced within church organisations.
The main suggestions from respondents for improvement included requests for longer sessions. More time would allow for more interaction and reflection. The breakout room experience was variable. Some found them very helpful, others not. It was clear that good moderation would be beneficial, for example through appointing a “moderator”.
There was overwhelming (100%) support for more Bubble Courses. While this is only from those who responded (20 of the 90), it is still very encouraging. The reasons for wanting more Bubble Courses included the valuing of accessibility, along with the positive experiences of being individually resourced and being more connected to the wider church. The most requested topics include pastoral care, public theology, mission and innovation, worship and mental health.
KCML Faculty reflection
KCML Faculty had a wide-ranging and helpful discussion about the data. They noted
- The affirmations of being able to create a hospitable and accessible experience, both through technology and in how we used technology.
- The values of fresh, relevant, bite-sized, participatory
- Given the age range of those how responded, how might Bubble courses (or equivalent) engage more widely?
- We can work at “moderators” of break out rooms. We could also look at “capping” numbers to enhance the interactive experience.
- We can see two formats, a Content format (as was offered) and a Panel format. The Panel format could involve 3-4 recognised experts to begin a conversation.
- KCML faculty would like to offer more Bubble courses (or equivalent), with a longer advertising lead time, seeking to connect through Presbyteries. Given the no new initiatives restrictions placed on KCML, this will need to be discerned with our governance groups.
Steve Taylor, 31/7/2020
Rev Dr Fei Taule’ale’ausumai Davis has been appointed as a part-time ministry formation co-ordinator at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership.
Fei takes up the part-time role of ministry formation co-ordinator in March. The role is shared with Rev Nikki Watkin who began in February 2020.
Fei is an Aotearoa-born Samoan. Her father Taule’ale’ausumai Fa’asiu came from the village of Faletagaloa in Safune, Savaii and her mother Viola Sooialo is from the villages of Vailima and Alamagoto in Upolu.
Fei brings considerable experience of Christian ministry to the task of forming ministers and resourcing leaders, and we are very excited to have her on board, says Knox Centre principal, Steve Taylor who headed the recruitment panel.
Fei has been a chaplain at Maclaurin Chapel, a national youth-coordinator for the PCANZ and a parish minister at St Andrews Presbyterian. Fei is currently the minister at Pt Chevalier Presbyterian, and will continue in this role alongside her new responsibilities as ministry formation co-ordinator.
Fei has also served internationally as a lecturer at St Andrews College and Selly Oak School of Mission and World Christianity in England and regionally, as Pacific Regional Secretary for the Council of World Mission.
Steve observed that Fei impressed during the interview with her depth of spirituality, her passion for forming leaders and her inter-cultural academic capacity.
“Fei’s PhD research focused on migration and faith across three generations. It offers an exciting approach to church history and the Presbyterian commitment to being reformed and reforming, by holding together respect for those who have gone before, while discerning changing contexts,” says Steve.
Fei is excited about the opportunity to be at the coal face of ministry formation.
“I have always felt called to teaching and engaging with people by accompanying them on their ministry journey. KCML is about enabling and empowering our students to be culturally and contextually relevant and ready for Christian ministry within our churches and communities and in society as a whole. It is a privilege to be called to be part of this journey.”
Fei’s appointment is for a fixed term out of respect for the ongoing review being conducted by Council of Assembly.
Fractional applications from different geographic locations around New Zealand were welcomed in the hope of enhancing the diversity of the Knox Centre faculty, explains Steve.
In the process of making appointments to the ministry formation roles, he says new partnerships between Knox Centre, the local parishes of Kohimarama Presbyterian and Pt Chevalier Co-operating and Northern Presbytery have been forged.
New Ministry Formation Co-ordinator for KCML
Nikki is a highly experienced parish minister, serving first at Knox Presbyterian Church in Feilding and for the last 20 years at Kohimarama Presbyterian Church. Her Master of Ministry was in Christian education and was shaped by a strong sense of call to form leaders.
On behalf of the recruitment team, Steve Taylor, KMCL Principal observed how Nikki impressed during the interview with her passion for church and for leaders, her indepth knowledge of PCANZ and her desire to bring clarity and grace to leaders. “Nikki will be a wonderful addition to the life of KCML and the wider PCANZ. She presented as a highly effective adult educator, with skills and experience that would translate wonderfully into the intern environment. She has experience already with KCML internship process through being a Mentoring Minister.”
Nikki comments “I am really excited about this opportunity to be part of the KCML team, to share my love for ministry and be challenged to keep growing in Christ, as I join the journey of those training for ministry and leadership.”
Staffing gaps had emerged at KCML with the retirement of Kevin Ward. The role was advertised as fixed term, out of respect for the ongoing reviews being conducted by Council of Assembly. Fractional appointments and from different geographic locations around New Zealand were encouraged.
Nikki will be placed 0.3, continuing her ministry at Kohimarama. This partnership between parish, Presbytery and national church is exciting.
This is half of the appointment process and KCML expect to make a further announcement shortly.
Mission Action Experimenting
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership invites ministry leaders and practitioners to join in an action experimenting course in local mission. This builds on listening work done in your local community.
An online webinar
You can find details here Mission Action Experimenting Course Poster