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Our people in the Centre for Theology and Public Issues

David Tombs - Director

Photo of David TombsDavid Tombs took up the Director role at the Centre and the Howard Paterson Chair of Theology and Public Issues in January 2015. He has a longstanding interest in contextual and liberation theologies and is author of Latin American Liberation Theologies (Brill, 2002). His current research focusses on religion, violence, and public theology, and especially on Christian responses to gender-based violence, sexual abuse and torture. He especially welcomes proposals for Ph.D. projects in these areas. Previously David was a Lecturer in Theology at the University of Roehampton London (1992-2001). From 2001-2014 he lived and worked in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation for the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin.

Find out more about David’s teaching and research.  

Click this link to listen to David's inaugural lecture.

Email: Phone: 03 479 8450

Derek Woodard-Lehman - Lecturer

Derek Woodard-LehmanDerek Woodard-Lehman studied theology, philosophy, ethics, and politics at Duke University and Princeton Theological Seminary. He has taught at Princeton University and the Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia. He has been a fellow of the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the Louisville Institute. And he published over a dozen articles and chapters.

Find out more about Derek's teaching and research.  

Click this link to read Derek's inaugural lecture.

Derek is based at St John's in the City Presbyterian Church, Wellington
Email: Phone: 04 385 7400

Administrative Assistant

Room 4C13, Arts Building

Telephone: 03 479 8639


Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8 am - 1 pm

CTPI Research Affiliates 2017-2019

Photo of Mercy Ah Siu-MalikoDr Mercy Ah Siu-Maliko

Dr Mercy Ah Siu-Maliko is a Lecturer at Piula Theological College and a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Theology and Public Issues. She is currently lead researcher for the Fola le ta’ui a le Atua: Rolling Out the Mat of Scripture project (August 2017-October 2018) funded by the New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research.

Find out more about Mercy and her project

Alistair Reese photoDr Alistair Reese

Dr Alistair Reese is a public theologian as well as a farmer and historian. Alistair’s research focusses on Te Tiriti/Treaty of Waitangi as a doorway to reconciliation in Aotearoa New Zealand. His writing includes a particular emphasis on Pākehā identity and how we can live in a colonised land. He holds postgraduate degrees in History and Tikanga Māori including a PhD in Theology from University of Auckland. He lives near Te Puke in the district of Tapuika/Waitaha.

Find out more about Alistair and his project

Andrew Shepherd photoDr Andrew Shepherd

Dr Andrew Shepherd is a former Research & Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago. He is is the Co-Director of Christian conservation organisation, A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand, and also teaches theology and ethics for a range of NZ and US tertiary institutions. In 2017-19 he will be involved in projects on Creation and Hope and Face to Face Encounters: Theological and Ethical Reflections.

Find out more about Andrew and his Creation and Hope project or Face to Face Encounters project.

CTPI Advisory Board

Professor Jonathan Boston (Professor of Public Policy, Victoria University of Wellington)

Glyn Carpenter (Director, New Zealand Christian Network)

Dr Greg Coyle (Principal Adviser, National Social Programmes, Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory)

Professor Elaine Graham (Grosvenor Research Professor, University of Chester, UK)

Julianne Hickey (Director, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand)

Professor Gareth Jones (University of Otago Bioethics Centre)

Rev Dr Tokerau Joseph (First Church of Otago)

Rev Dr Peter Matheson (Emeritus Professor, Knox Theological College, Dunedin)

Rev Professor Murray Rae (Professor of Theology, Department of Theology & Religion, University of Otago)

Rt Rev Dr Graham Redding (Master, Knox College, University of Otago)

Rt Rev Dr Eleanor Sanderson (Assistant Bishop of Wellington)

Rev Professor Will Storrar (Director, Center for Theological Inquiry, Princeton University, USA)

Rev Professor Paul Trebilco (Department of Theology & Religion, University of Otago)