Dr Jennifer Louise Te Paa Daniel (Te Rarawa) is an internationally accomplished public theologian and professional consultant in higher education
Always a pioneer among indigenous women, she was the first Maori in the world to gain an academic degree in Theology (University of Auckland 1992). In 1995 she completed a masters degree in Education also at the University of Auckland; and in 2001, writing on Race Politics and Theological Education, she was awarded a Ph.D. degree from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
Te Paa Daniel was the first indigenous Anglican lay woman appointed to lead an Anglican theological college in the worldwide Anglican Communion. She served for three years as a lecturer and was then appointed Ahorangi or Dean of Te Rau Kahikatea at St. John’s Theological College in Auckland for 22 years from 1992 until 2013. During her time at St. John’s, both her scholarship and her academic leadership were internationally recognized. She was appointed to lead or participate in a number of international delegations and commissions by both the Anglican Communion and the World Council of Churches. Notable among these was her leadership of the international Anglican Peace and Justice network. This work saw her head delegations into parts of the world where peace continues to be globally yearned for, but where justice for all remains an elusive reality, such as Palestine/Israel, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo.
Te Paa Daniel has demonstrated an unceasing commitment to advancing women’s leadership, not only in the Church but in society generally. Her globally-based work mentoring young women, particularly those from the third world and indigenous communities, is well-recognized, and she was an NGO representative for five years to the annual working sessions of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
In 2003 she was awarded the first of three honorary doctorates and, in 2010, she was recognized as Alumna of the Year by her Ph.D. alma mater, the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Later that year, Te Paa Daniel was awarded a Distinguished Alumna Award by the University of Auckland.
Te Paa Daniel has written and researched extensively on gender and social justice, theological education and race politics. She has taught students in New Zealand, Australia, throughout the South Pacific, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, and United States and in various parts of Asia. She is popularly sought after–nationally and internationally–as guest speaker, lecturer, facilitator, media commentator, preacher and panelist, on a wide range of political and theological issues particularly those concerning social justice, indigenous rights, race politics, feminist politics and theological education.
In 2014 she served as the inaugural St. Margaret’s Visiting Professor to the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. Although technically semi-retired, through this year alone she will have worked in Aotearoa, New Zealand, Cuba, Fiji, Kenya and the United States on various projects dear to her heart.
Te Paa Daniel is married to medical specialist Dr. Roro Mana Daniel.