Chaplains at AUT
The team of faith leaders are experienced and approachable chaplains who take an active interest in their work with people. Most of them conduct regular activities (prayer, meditation, scripture study), or you can contact them to discuss your spiritual interests. They can also assist you with personal and spiritual growth, provide information on their faith’s beliefs and practices, conduct ceremonies, discuss the meaning or purpose of life, and attend to life passages (like births, marriages, deaths).
See the AuSM website for faith-based and cultural student-led groups.
Coordinating Chaplain- Reverend Linda T HopeContact details
Phone 921 8899 (City)
Available by appointment or by dropping in to WB114 on Wednesdays or Thursdays during semester.
Outside of these days please contact 921 9235 the Health, Counselling and Wellbeing reception desk ph 921 9992.
Linda is a Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa-New Zealand. She has been ordained for over 20 years and worked in: parishes, a F1-F7 integrated school, the military (Royal NZ Air Force), the Seafarers’ Centre, and in the community as well as private business. Since 2009, Linda has voluntarily worked at a national level for her Tokelauan ethnic group in Tokelau and Aotearoa-NZ. She has conducted research or facilitated workshops on: language preservation and retention, sexual violence prevention, access to palliative care and hospice services, overcoming domestic abuse, and suicide prevention.
Buddhist - Sensei Amala WrightsonContact details
Phone 550 4383
Priest Hanya Gallagher is available by appointment mainly Wednesdays in room WB112.
Meditation practice: Tuesdays 12pm-1pm, and drop-in class with Sensei on Wednesdays 12pm-1pm during semester, in room WB112.
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 Thomas
Phone 303 3852
Available by appointment.
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.
Mass is celebrated by Bernie every Tuesday and Friday at Newman Hall which is less than 10 minutes walk from AUT.
Please feel free to call in to the chaplaincy building, where many other students gather for fellowship, study and prayer. There is a lounge/kitchen; chapel and student study space as well as Bernie and three other young people who work also as chaplains at AUT, UoA, Unitec and Massey.
Bernie is a Roman Catholic Priest, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2002. Bernie received his Bachelor of Theology and Graduate Diploma in Theology from Auckland University. 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. This year he has also been asked to take on parish responsibilities of the Catholic Parish on Waiheke Island where he will be living during the year - and commuting each day to his base at Newman Hall for chaplaincy ministry.
Christian (Assistant Chaplain) – Dr Graeme SterneContact details
Phone 021 0242 3909
City Campus on Mondays between 12 noon and 1pm in WB112
North Campus on Thursdays between 2 and 3.30pm in AP102
Dr Graeme Sterne has studied at Waikato, Auckland, Massey and AUT universities. His interest in following Christ grew during his undergraduate study years when he was searching for meaning and purpose. His spiritual journey has included mentoring, study, meditation and ministry. He has worked at World Vision New Zealand and now teaches Communication at AUT University. He completed his PhD in Public Relations at AUT in 2012. He is currently City Leader for ISMNZ (International Student Ministry). His interest in working with people from different nations has grown from experiences in university teaching and meditation on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
International Student Ministry website
Interfaith/Interspiritual - Reverend Jean McElhaneyContact details
Phone 473 7344 or 022 192 3202
Available by appointment.
Meditation (Practices to support wellbeing)
North campus on Thursdays between 3.45 and 5pm in Room AP102
Jean is an interfaith minister, ordained by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in 2008. In 2012, she was initiated as a cheraga into the Sufi Order, which honours all the world's religious traditions. She came to New Zealand in 2012 from the United States, where she worked as a licensed clinical social worker and professional counsellor. Long-term interests include contemplative spiritual practices, spiritual activism, nonviolence/peace, conflict transformation, Dances of Universal Peace, and Compassionate Nonviolent Communication. She supports people in connecting with what matters to them, building strong relationships with themselves and others, and exploring spirituality in their lives.
Islamic (Muslim) - Sheikh Rafat Najm
Phone 021 134 0501 (no answers for text messages)
Available by appointment on Mondays in WB114.
Muslim Group Room in WT012
Jummah Friday Prayers – Islamic (all year)
Summer: Session one at 1.30pm Session two at 2.00pm
Session three at 2.30pm
Winter: Session one at 12.30pm Session two at 1.30pm
Open: Weekdays 5am -11pm. Weekends: 11am-5pm
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 eight 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.
Christian - Reverend Cate Thorn
Contact details:Phone 02102271048
Available by appointment at North Campus on Wednesdays, at a venue to be advised.
BiographyCate (Catherine) is a Priest in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Pacifica and has been ordained for over 12 years. Catherine received a Bachelor of Theology from Auckland University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Theology from Otago University and is a Leadership NZ Alumni. Since ordination Catherine has worked at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell, St John’s Northcote parish and had oversight of the Glenfield Mission district for a period of time. Prior to ordination Catherine worked in business providing management and accountancy services. Currently involved in community work in the Northcote area Catherine has also worked with people living with mental health challenges and intellectual disability.
Last updated: 18-Apr-2016 4.05pm
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.