Chaplains at AUT can help you with spiritual matters and development; life passages such as birth, marriage and death; ceremonies and worship, practical and welfare issues, and life crises such as bereavements or family crises.
At AUT, we believe that spirituality is fundamental to students’ lives. Some of the “big questions” that can preoccupy you are essentially spiritual questions, including:
- Who am I?
- Why am I in university?
- What are my most deeply felt values?
- Do I have a mission or purpose in my life?
- What kind of person do I want to become?
- What sort of world do I want to help create?
- What is my role and place in the universe?
Our Spirituality and Chaplaincy services support you to seek answers to such questions, and find a sense of direction in your life (in accordance with your own faith/tradition). How you deal with these questions can affect the decisions you make, including your choices of courses, majors, and careers; whether you opt to stay at university or not; and whether you decide to pursue postgraduate or other study. Seeking answers to these questions is also directly relevant to the development of personal qualities such as self-understanding, empathy, caring, and social responsibility.
Buddhist - Sensei Amala WrightsonContact details
Phone +64 9 550 4383 or 027 314 9440
Available by appointment during the semester.
Meditation practice (drop-in class): Wednesdays 12pm-1pm during semester, WB235, City Campus
Sensei Amala Wrightson was born and grew up in Auckland, worked in rock bands, and in various theatre projects with her husband Richard von Sturmer. She completed an MA in Italian at The University of Auckland before taking up full-time Zen training in 1989 at the Rochester Zen Center in upstate New York. She was ordained a Zen priest in 1999, and sanctioned to teach in 2004, and given Dharma Transmission in 2012 by her teacher Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.
Christian - Catholic – Father Bernie ThomasContact details
Phone +64 9 303 3852
Available by appointment.
Mass: Fridays during semester, 12.15pm-12.45pm in WB235, City Campus
Catholic fellowship: Fridays during semester, 11am-2pm, WB235, City Campus
Bernie is a Roman Catholic Franciscan Friar following in the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi. He joined the Franciscan community in 1995, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2002. Bernie received his Bachelor of Theology and Graduate Diploma in Theology from The University of Auckland. Over the last 20 years Bernie has been involved in adult and school student retreat ministry as well as 6 years in parish ministry (2 years in Mangere Bridge and 4 years in Brisbane). He has also in the past been a lay missionary in Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
Bernie is based at Newman Hall Chaplaincy office – 16 Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland Central from Tuesday to Friday and is available during those times for spiritual counselling, reconciliation or even just a chat and coffee.
Christian – Catholic Assistant ( non ordained) – Joseph Xulue
Phone +64 9 303 3852
Available by appointment.
Joseph works in a non-ordained, social and administrative role, assisting Fr Bernie. He is in his third year of a Law and Commerce degree at the University of Auckland. Joseph graduated from Sancta Maria College in 2010 and was involved with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society whilst at secondary school. He is a very keen Basketball fanatic and is very interested in matters pertaining to the Auckland Catholic Diocese.
Joseph is based at Newman Hall Chaplaincy office – 16 Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland Central from Monday – Friday.
Christian (Anglican) – City Campus – Irene Ayallo
Phone office 921.9992 x8899
Available at City Campus on Mondays and Thursdays during semester.
Irene is an ordained Anglican Priest with a strong sense of social justice. She was born and grew up in Kenya. Among her other interests (which include community development, youth and women empowerment, and social policy) is the role of faith in people’s lives – specifically the interface between faith and everyday activities. She enjoys working with individuals and groups from diverse cultural backgrounds, age groups, genders, and faith groups. She completed an MTh at the School of Theology – University of Auckland, and also holds a PhD from AUT University.
Christian (Baptist) - North Shore Campus - Dale CampbellContact details
Phone (church) +64 9 480 7064 or mobile 027 580 2510
Available on the North Shore Campus by appointment.
Dale is Associate Pastor at Northcote Baptist Church. He has a Bachelor of Applied Theology from Carey Baptist College and is studying towards a master's degree. He is married to Diane and they are parents of Thomas. He is a musician and also enjoys blogging about such things as faith/science, religion, the Bible, culture and more.
You can read Dale's blog here
Islamic (Muslim) - Sheikh Rafat NajmContact details
Phone 021 134 0501 (no answers for text messages)
Available by appointment on Tuesdays mainly in WB 234, City Campus, or elsewhere at other times.
Sheikh Rafat Najm is a Muslim Scholar who studied Islamic Studies at Al Azhar University, and has a BA in Law and Islamic Law (LLB.) Cairo - Egypt. He came to New Zealand in 1997 and worked as an Imam of Christchurch Mosque. He is involved in Muslim youth spirituality, and organising camps and trips for Muslim youth. He has been teaching Arabic and Islamic Studies for the previous 8 years. Rafat enjoys tramping, volleyball, soccer and reading. He is keen and will be very pleased to meet with Muslim students, and guide them spiritually. He is fluent in Arabic and English.