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.
Buddhist - Sensei Amala WrightsonContact details
Phone +64 9 550 4383 or 027 314 9440
Available by appointment during the semester, mainly Wednesdays in room WB234.
Meditation practice: Tuesdays 12-1pm, and drop-in class with Sensei on Wednesdays 12pm-1pm during semester, in room WB235.
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.
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: conducted by Father monthly on Fridays 4-5pm (the second Friday in the month) during semester, in room WB325; followed by ‘Theology on Tap’ discussion at Vesbar.
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 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.
Christian (Anglican) – City Campus – Irene AyalloContact details
Phone office 921.9992 x8899
Available by appointment at City Campus (room WB324) on Mondays and Thursdays during semester.
Leads Bible discussion group Thursday mornings 8.30-9.30am Room WB235.
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 Auckland University of Technology.
Christian (Baptist) - North Shore Campus - Dale CampbellContact details
Phone (church) +64 9 480 7064 or mobile 021 407 205
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 toward a Masters. 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
Interfaith - Jean McElhaneyContact details
Phone 64 9 473 7344 or 022 192 3202
Available by appointment.
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 NajmContact details
Phone 021 134 0501 (no answers for text messages)
Available by appointment on Tuesdays mainly in WB234, or elsewhere at other times.
Jummah (Friday Prayers): Conducted by Sheikh; during summer - session one at 1.30pm and session two at 2.30pm; during winter - session one at 12.30pm and session two at 1.30pm; in room WW102.
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.