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Otago  Tertiary Chaplaincy  Board

Chairperson of the Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board

Professor Paul Trebilco

Professor Paul Trebilco.

Paul Trebilco is Professor of Theology in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago.

He is an ordained Minister and has been Chairperson of the Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Board since 2006.



Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board

Ecumenical Chaplain, University of Otago
Half-time Permanent position
Job Description

The Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board (OTCTB) is seeking to appoint a half-time Chaplain to offer chaplaincy services primarily at the University of Otago, Dunedin.

The OTCTB, established in 1964, exists to provide chaplaincy services on an ecumenical basis to the University of Otago and to Otago Polytechnic. Our Vision for all students and staff of the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, and for the institutions themselves, is that they will increasingly express spiritual authenticity in their lives, work, learning, systems and cultures.

Our Mission: The Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board recognises and seeks to honour the Treaty of Waitangi and exists to provide Chaplaincy services which deliver quality pastoral care, spiritual support and educational resourcing to all University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic students and staff. We aim to be ever open to developing new and creative approaches in response to the changing needs of the campus communities we serve, as vital expressions of our Church’s mission to the world God loves.

The appointee will primarily work at the University of Otago. He or she will join the Ecumenical and Catholic team of Chaplains who work at the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, and will at times be called on to offer chaplaincy services at Otago Polytechnic.

For the Board’s Chaplaincy Charter see

Qualifications and Experience
• Theological training
• Pastoral training
• Proven communication skills
• Familiarity with the Tertiary environment
• Experience and skill in mental health support
• Ecumenical and inter-faith awareness
• Potential in Educational planning and teaching
• Familiarity with tikaka Māori and te reo Māori would be an advantage.
• Lay or Ordained

Duties and responsibilities

1. Pastoral Care
The chaplain is expected to provide effective encouragement, spiritual support and pastoral care to individuals and groups seeking this service or to those who are open to receiving such support, within the University of Otago community.
Pastoral Care Expectations to include:
1. visiting Residential Colleges in liaison with other Chaplains.
2. visiting University Departments, Schools and Colleges.
3. offering assistance and care for people seeking mental and spiritual health support.
4. being readily available, whenever possible for appointments with individuals or groups of students and staff.
5. assisting when required with providing an initial, compassionate response to those directly and indirectly affected by critical incidents, including the death of students or staff; and to provide ongoing support for those experiencing grief in the period following.
6. being available to arrange and /or conduct weddings, funerals and memorial services.
7. being aware of the prevalence of homesickness at the start of each year, especially for those living away from home for the first time and to help those affected by employing effective strategies and support resources such as the Homesickness booklet.
8. providing referrals for students to other University student support networks and for staff to the assistance programme for Staff.
9. being available to assist with the process of conflict resolution within the University.
10. ongoing contact with University of Otago Students Association leaders and support services.
11. assisting and facilitating the provision of opportunities for group and individual prayer, worship and spiritual exploration.

2. Educational and Resourcing
Educational and Resourcing Expectations to include:
1. being available as a resource person for all Christian groups on campus, and responding to invitations to speak at meetings, camps, educational forums etc.
2. assisting with residential assistant (RA)/Welfare Staff training for Residential Colleges.
3. developing appropriate educational material and comment on significant issues which confront students, and which have a spiritual/faith dimension.
4. updating and ensuring the availability of previously produced booklets where relevant such as homesickness, death and grieving.
5. being actively involved and available as a resource person for discussions or writing on topics where a chaplaincy perspective is sought i.e. theological, ethical and spiritual.
6. being available to assist with inter-faith dialogue (eg. Christian-Muslim, Christian-Jewish), and assisting in the resolution of any inter-faith conflicts or misunderstandings which might arise.
7. assisting students and staff (in Dunedin) to access an appropriate faith community they may wish to belong to. Also, appropriate prayer or spiritual space or services.

Staffing Expectations to include:
1. working cooperatively with all other authorized members of the Chaplaincy team, including the members of the Catholic Chaplaincy Team.
2. ensuring that if the OTCTB Chaplain is away or unavailable, that there is always a continuity of the chaplaincy service and that the Director, Student Services, is informed in advance of who will be the on-call Chaplain during holidays or periods of leave.
3. overseeing any part-time chaplaincy assistants the Chaplaincy Trust Board and Chaplaincy Consultative Body may authorise to share chaplaincy work on the University campus.
4. ensuring that adequate recovery time for Chaplains, following critical incidents, is provided and taken.

4.  Management and Communication
Management and Communication Expectations to include:
1. reporting monthly to both the OTCTB and to the University Director, Student Services.
2. meeting occasionally with the Director, Student Services, and attending Student Services meetings as able.
3. meeting regularly with leaders of Christian groups on campus to ensure communication channels are in place between all groups, and to encourage mutual respect and harmony.
4. responding to requests from the University for information concerning the aims and activities of all Christian and other faith groups.
5. “managing” religious diversity on campus, and fostering healthy relationships between the Chaplaincy, various Christian groups, and members of Other-than-Christian religions on campus.
6. maintaining the Chaplaincy website, enabling access to all Chaplaincy related activities and services.
7. communicating encouragement to all students by means of an appropriately worded message prior to mid-year and end of year exams/assessments/placements.
8. liaising with local Church leaders in Dunedin.
9. working with the University staff to raise the profile and awareness of the chaplaincy service on campus through effective publicity of the service and visits to Departments, Schools and Colleges, in particular.

5. Official University Occasions
Expectations to include:
1. effectively preparing (in co-operation with the chaplaincy team) and leading the University Graduation Services of Thanksgiving.
2. responding to invitations to attend significant official occasions arranged by or on behalf of the University.

The OTCTB has adopted the stipend scale of the Interchurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy. Appropriate allowances are also paid. A housing allowance will be paid.

Short listed candidates will be asked to provide a Police Check.

Date of Appointment
It is hoped that the appointee will begin on or near 9 July 2018.

Closing Date: 1 June 2018
Please send your CV and a covering letter to David Ojala, Secretary, Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board; Email:

Contact Person
Specific enquiries may be directed to Professor Paul Trebilco, Chair, OTCTB,, ph 03 4798 798.