About Us

A Church for Students in Dunedin, NZ

Staff

Tom Mepham

Tom Mepham

Tēnā koe, my name is Tom Mepham. I’ve been with Student Soul for 6 years. My journey here has included time studying theology at Otago Uni, doing an internship through the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, and three years (so far) of covid craziness. My role is Minister of Word and Sacrament which I suppose is a fancy title for servant leadership. The idea is that the church is called to be a community of light which is a blessing to the world. Our life together ought to/gets to arise out of biblically-infused worship and a creative & compassionate missionary stance with culture. So that’s what I’m here for.

I’ve spent most of my adult life involved in music and working with young people, and I expect that will keep on going. The drive behind my work is that I want to see people awakened to the call of Christ and equipped for the resulting adventure. If you’re reading this then maybe you’re interested in that too & I hope we might get to meet!

thomasmepham.com

Tiana Hill

Tiana Hill

Kia ora, I’m Tiana.  I’ve been part of the Student Soul Community for a year and a half now, some of which has been in the role of “worship enabler”. I’ve added “pastoral and administrative assistant” to my titles this year, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of me! I’m a local of Dunedin, having spent the last 12 years here, and absolutely love it – you can often find me up one of the various hills surrounding the city, checking out the latest walking track. I graduated in 2021 after studying Public Health at Otago University, and have moved on to further study at the Polytech where I have just started my Midwifery Degree. 

I’ve grew up in a community of youth workers and student churches, so I’m stoked that I finally get to be a part of it myself! I am passionate about seeing young people build their relationship with Jesus, through creativity, creation, and connection with others. I’m so looking forward to the adventure this year will bring, and would love for you to be a part of it!

What are we about?

What

Mission

Our mission is to help people realise their true worth in relationship with God.

realise (verb): 

  1. Become fully aware of something as a fact; understand clearly. 
    • “She realised how precious she was.”
  2. To achieve something desired or anticipated. 
    • “His potential was realised.”

Why

DNA (or Values)

We are becoming:

  • Confident in who we are and who God is
  • Equipped and empowered for all of life
  • Passionate in our commitment to God and God’s mission
  • Healthy in our relationships
  • Mature in our faith

How

Strategy

Inviting God to transform us (including through our Sunday gatherings); by growing deep relationships with each other (including through small groups); and by creative missional engagement (including experimentation).

When

Health

In the course of a year, do we see growth in:

  • Imaginative & risk-taking service?
  • Passionate worship? Creative activism?
  • Fresh and courageous expressions of the gospel?
  • Generous giving on behalf of others?
  • Trusting obedience in God? 

The Story So Far

Student Soul is a part of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ). We are proud of our tribe.

It began way back in 2002 with the aim of forming a church community specifically for students.

(You know what that means? Student Soul is about to have it’s 21st birthday! Welcome to adulthood, Student Soul.)

Why did it start, what was the need? There was simply the awareness and conviction that this thing we call “church” really does matter. And that the life, the message, the promise of Jesus MATTERS. And we wanted to make sure that we played out part in making that real for each new generation.

Our vision is to see students and young adults become fully alive in Christ.

Come and join us on the journey.

 

Structures

Governance

Student Soul is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ). We sit formally under the governing authority of the Leith Valley Presbyterian Church Session (eldership) via the Student Soul Oversight Team, who directly provide staff support, an accountability channel, and strategic continuity.

Finance

We are funded as a Southern Presbytery mission project. Our operating budget comes largely in the form of an annual grant from the Synod of Otago and Southland. Tax-deductible donations from our supporters contribute to the sustainability of this ministry.

Beliefs

“True Trinitarian orthodoxy … flourishes more naturally at the boundaries of ‘established’ forms of Christianity than under its protective guardianship.” (Sarah Coakley)

We’ve inherited our Presbyterian family/tribal identity from Christianity’s Reformed Protestant tradition, and hold to orthodox Confessions of faith, both ancient and contemporary.

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