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Leader sought for St John’s College

Search begins for a principal of St John's College, the oldest and largest Anglican theological college in the province.

 • Top job ad

Taonga News  |  10 Oct 2012  |

The search is on for a person to lead St John’s College.

Te Kotahitanga, which also serves as the college’s Board of Governors, has begun to advertise for a Manukura, or Principal, to be ready to start by the beginning of the 2013 academic year.

The new Principal/Manukura will pick up the reins of the college from Mrs Gail Thomson, whose two-year term as college commissioner comes to an end in December.

The successful appointee will be signing up to a five-year term – and the hirers are now keen to view the credentials of folk who’ve not only got top-notch leadership and managerial skills (such as Gail Thomson brought) but also have had experience of applying those skills to the running of a theological college.

We quote from the newly published job ad: “The position requires excellence in executive management skills, and a proven ability to provide leadership in a theological academic world…”

Further, the ad says the right person will, preferably, hold a PhD or doctorate in Ministry “in areas relevant to the theology and management of a theological college.”

It continues:

“The person will be expected to provide leadership, relationship management and strategic support and direction in the provision of quality academic programmes…"

The new principal will be charged with “providing inspirational managerial and operation leadership, clear academic direction and skilful implementation of the strategic requirements of Te Kotahitanga.”

The Rev Adrienne Bruce is a member of Te Kotahitanga, and she helped write that ad. She says that an Appointments Committee will be convened – and that will comprise of the chairperson of Te Kotahitanga (Bishop Kito Pikaahu) an educationalist, and a representative from each tikanga's ministry body.

Adrienne says the college “is in a much better place” than it was when the 2010 General Synod adopted the recommendations of the Reeves/Beck report.

“Gail’s role was definitely to be a change agent,” she says. “And there’s a need for ongoing change. But there also a need for balance, and we’re now looking for someone who can take us into the future, and set us up for the long term.”

She explains Te Kotahitanga’s thinking:

“The St John’s College Trust Deed talks about training people for ordination.

“But what’s that going to look like in the future? Because almost certainly it’s not going to look like it has for the last 20 years.”

Adrienne Bruce says the new principal/manukura will have to provide “visionary leadership” and “clear forward direction”.

While teaching theology won’t be the new principal’s first responsibility – that’s the job of the three deans – they must understand a theological college, “with its need for good academic rigour”, and they must be able to work with the deans and staff.

“It’s all about building relationships,” she says, “and understanding us as a three-tikanga church.

“Someone who’s good at that will pull the college together – and the college will then model ‘unity in diversity’ to the rest of the church.”

To read the job ad, click here.