Press Release – St Paul’s Theological Centre Auckland
It is only in recent years that theological education has been seen as the domain of universities or seminaries. A unique initiative, hosted by St Paul’s Symonds Street, is bringing theological education back to where it has historically belonged — within the church.
St Paul’s Theological Centre Auckland, will be officially opened by Dr Jane Williams (wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury) on Monday, 29 October.
St Paul’s Theological Centre is hosted by St Paul’s Symonds St and is one of a number of satellites of St Paul’s Theological Centre London. It offers an opportunity for ordinary people to learn more about the rich theology that is a part of the history and life of the church. It also allows people to listen to some of the best thinkers and communicators of Christian faith from New Zealand and around the world. The Centre offers short courses in a vast range of subjects including: how to understand particular books of scripture, Christian doctrine, spiritual disciplines, and the theology and practice of worship.
Says Rev. Dr. Graham Tomlin, Principal of St Paul’s Theological Centre and Dean of St Mellitus College, London, “We are delighted to see the launch of St Paul’s Theological Centre (SPTC) in Auckland. Our vision is to see good, high quality theological teaching available in local churches. SPTC Auckland will be an invaluable resource not just for St Paul’s church, but for many other churches in the Auckland and beyond.”
Director of the initiative in Auckland, Rev Mathew Newton explains the impetus for the new Centre. “Theological education has historically been a central element of Christian faith and activity of the church through the ages. And although this has not been a major feature of the western church currently, there has been a growing appetite from people searching for more from their faith.”
“Many Christians long to understand their faith more deeply. Christianity has a long history that a lot of people feel disconnected from. However, most people aren’t about to spend years studying at a college or seminary, and unfortunately these days, local church often doesn’t have the resources to help them. The St Paul’s Theological Centre has been established to help meet this need,” says Rev Newton.
“In 2012 we have been piloting the St Paul’s Theological Centre and we have been overwhelmed by the response it has received. We have had over 400 people through the programs, and they have come from a range of churches and denominations including Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, Vineyard and independent churches,” according to Rev Newton.
Opening lecture by Dr Jane Williams and official opening event for St Paul’s Theological Centre will take place on Monday, 29 October at 7:30pm, at St Paul’s Symonds Street.
If you would like to attend please contact Rev Mathew Newton on 027 201 4005.