St John's College, Auckland

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St Johns Theological College
Hoani Tapu te Kaikauwhau i te Rongopai
Te Whakamana i ngā Kairui
Motto in English
"Enabling Missional Leaders"
Type Anglican Seminary
Established1843 (1843)
Religious affiliation
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Endowment NZ$470 million
Principal Rev. Canon Tony Gerritson
Complete Abraham, Caroline Harriet 1809-1877 Panorama of St John's college.png
Panorama of St John's college Tamaki Auckland St John's College 1862 by Caroline Harriet Abraham [1]

The College of St John the Evangelist or St Johns Theological College, is the residential theological college of the Anglican Church in the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.


The site at Meadowbank in Auckland is the base for theological education for the three Tikanga of the Province with ministry formation onsite as well as diploma level teaching in the regions across New Zealand and Polynesia.  The College has partnerships with various other tertiary providers of degrees in theology.  The College celebrates our diversity as a people of faith honouring varied histories, traditions, and links with Anglican communities both within this Province and beyond. St Johns is proud to have faculty and alumni of the College working around the globe.

The College was established in 1843 by George Augustus Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand, initially at Te Waimate mission. [2]

A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Te Waimate mission

Te Waimate Mission was the fourth mission station established in New Zealand and the first settlement inland from the Bay of Islands. The members of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) appointed to establish Te (the) Waimate Mission at Waimate North were the Rev. William Yate and lay members Richard Davis, George Clarke and James Hamlin.

The College, through the St John's College Trust Board, is one of the best endowed theological colleges in the Anglican Communion, with assets in 2014 of NZ$293m. [3] [4] It was subject to a critical review of its financial sustainability in 2014. [5]

Anglican Communion International association of churches

The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million members within the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion. The traditional origins of Anglican doctrines are summarised in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571). The Archbishop of Canterbury in England acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares, but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside of the Church of England.

Relationships with other organisations

St John's College Chapel, ca 1900 St John's College Chapel, ca 1900.jpg
St John's College Chapel, ca 1900

It previously had an on-site ecumenical partnership with Trinity Methodist Theological College, the theological college of the Methodist Church of New Zealand. However, St John's College now only has Anglican students.

The Methodist Church of New Zealand is a Methodist denomination headquartered in Christchurch, New Zealand. It is a member of the World Methodist Council.

It is now affiliated with the School of Theology of the University of Auckland, and academic theology degree and diploma courses are taught in partnership with the School of Theology.

University of Auckland university in New Zealand

The University of Auckland is the largest university in New Zealand, located in the country's largest city, Auckland. It is the highest-ranked university in the country, being ranked 85th worldwide in the 2018/19 QS World University Rankings. Established in 1883 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, the university is made up of eight faculties; these are spread over six campuses. It has more than 40,000 students, and more than 30,000 "equivalent full-time" students.

Academic study

It taught the Licentiate in Theology (LTh) for the Joint Board of Theological Studies from 1968. Later it offered Melbourne College of Divinity degrees, primarily the BD. From 1993 it offered the University of Auckland BTheol. Now ordinands undergo a 3-year residential course, normally with scholarship and allowance, including Otago BTheol study.

In Western universities, a Bachelor of Divinity or Baccalaureate in Divinity is an undergraduate or postgraduate academic degree awarded for a course taken in the study of divinity or related disciplines, such as theology or, rarely, religious studies. In most modern universities, the BD as a first degree is essentially equivalent to a Bachelor of Arts degree with a speciality in divinity. Relatively few institutions award undergraduate Bachelor of Divinity degrees today, and the distinction between institutions that do award such degrees and those that award BA degrees for theological subjects is usually one of bureaucracy rather than curriculum.

Recently an Anglican Studies Programme has been introduced. This includes a Diploma in Anglican Studies, Diploma in Anglican Studies (Advanced), Diploma in Anglican Studies (Applied), and Certificate in Anglican Studies. These are College, rather than University of Auckland, awards.


The John Kinder Theological Library is the library and archives for the college as well as for the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia. Although based on the St John's College site, it also has responsibilities to the whole Church and all its theological educational enterprises. It is named after John Kinder, a former principal of the college. [6]

Notable alumni and alumnae

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Archbishop of New Zealand

The Archbishop of New Zealand is the primate, or head, of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Since Whakahuihui Vercoe stepped down at the end of his two-year term as archbishop in 2006, the church has decided that three bishops shall share the position and style of archbishop, each representing one of the three tikanga, or cultural streams of the church: Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa, the Dioceses in New Zealand and the Diocese of Polynesia.

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion serving New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands. Since 1992 the church has consisted of three tikanga or cultural streams: Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. The church's constitution says that, among other things, it is required to "maintain the right of every person to choose any particular cultural expression of the faith". As a result, the church's General Synod has agreed upon the development of the three-person primacy based on this three tikanga system. It has three primates (leaders), each representing a tikanga, who share authority.

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St Johns, New Zealand human settlement in New Zealand

St Johns is a suburb in Auckland, New Zealand.

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  1. Panorama,, retrieved 29 June 2014
  2. Limbrick, Warren E. (1990). "Selwyn, George Augustus". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  3. The St John's College Trust Board report to Synod, "The church faces many challenges", 14 May 2014. In 2012 Princeton Theological Seminary had endowments of US$867m and the next richest American seminary, the University of Denver (Colorado Seminary), had US$373m. The next richest, the Columbia Theological Seminary had US$165m
  4. "Almanach of Higher Education 2013".
  5. The St John's College Trust Board report to Synod, "The church faces many challenges", 14 May 2014
  6. "The John Kinder Theological Library". St John's College, Auckland. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  7. "Obituary". The New Zealand Herald . LII (16114). 31 December 1915. p. 7. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  8. "An Open Secret". Poverty Bay Herald . XLVII (15266). 14 July 1920. p. 5. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  9. "Education Department". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]. 1897. p. 168.
  10. "Dr. Wallaston". The Week. Brisbane, Queensland. 18 February 1912. p. 13.

Coordinates: 36°52′25″S174°50′27″E / 36.8735°S 174.8408°E / -36.8735; 174.8408