Thursday 26 September 2019 9:28pm
At a special function in the University Council Chamber earlier in this week, seed funding for a new lectureship in Chaplaincy Studies was celebrated. Fund raising for the lectureship has been given a great start via the generous funding of the Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Southland.
Celebrating the new lectureship earlier this week were (from left) Reverend Nyalle Paris, Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne, Associate Professor Christopher Holmes and Chancellor Dr Royden Somerville QC.
Synod Education Fund Convenor Reverend Nyalle Paris, of Invercargill, says the total grant of $300,000 for the new lectureship is to be funded at a rate of $60,000 a year.
"I see this as a win-win, not only for the church to support a new form of ministry, but it further consolidates Otago’s position as the premier provider of theological education and pastoral care in New Zealand."
“I see this as a win-win, not only for the church to support a new form of ministry, but it further consolidates Otago’s position as the premier provider of theological education and pastoral care in New Zealand.
“In a moment of crisis people need spiritual support and chaplaincy helps people in their walk. I would like to salute the University’s vision of establishing a new lectureship in chaplaincy,” Reverend Paris says.
University Director of Development and Alumni Relations Shelagh Murray says the synod has recently joined the University’s Court of Benefactors as recognition of its ongoing contribution to the University.
“The Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Southland has an amazing history of giving support to the University and this latest grant helps mark its contribution to our 150th celebrations.”
Theology Programme Head, Reverend Associate Professor Christopher Holmes, says Otago had three relatively new chaplaincy programmes and needed to establish a lectureship to run them.
University Chancellor Dr Royden Somerville QC says the pastoral care work carried out by University chaplains for our students and staff is greatly appreciated.
"The Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Southland has an amazing history of giving support to the University and this latest grant helps mark its contribution to our 150th celebrations."
“From 1869 to 1945 four professorial chairs were established at the University, which adjusted for inflation in today’s money would be worth $11 million. In 1945 the government took over the funding of professorial positions. Since 1946 the synod has continued to fund projects such as the Bioethics Centre, the establishment of new chaplaincy positions, the Albert Moore Memorial lectures, and the Burns lectures to mention just a few.
“This total support over the years has been valued at $15 million in today’s money.
“The synod has helped fund Salmond, Knox, Arana, and St Margaret’s residential colleges.
“We appreciate the invaluable work of chaplains today as we face uncertainty and complexity. We need to equip our students with the knowledge to help promote human wellbeing, and these courses will assist with this,” Dr Somerville concluded.
Otago’s Postgraduate Certificate in Chaplaincy, Postgraduate Diploma in Chaplaincy and Master of Chaplaincy are the only professional programmes in chaplaincy offered by any university in New Zealand. Over the past two years, interest in these qualifications has grown considerably.