You might want to know, who is Student Soul for?
We believe that you are loved by God, made in God’s image, and that Jesus is inviting you to follow him and become all you’re called to be.
That’s how we start at Student Soul, and that’s how we conceive of belonging. We’re called to know and be known by God and to find our place in the new family of Jesus.
So come along, whoever you are & wherever you’re at. Our aim and intent is to accept you and include you to the best of our ability. If you have questions or doubts about faith, come along. If you are unsure about who you are or are struggling with life, come along. If you identify queer in your sexual identity or orientation, you are welcome here & we hope to become friends, to serve and grow alongside you. Come on in and see if this is a place you can call home as you seek to go deeper in the way of Christ.
Of course you can. Obvs since it’s in the name, Student Soul is for students. But also, you don’t have to be a student exactly to be a part of it. Student life can be rather complex after all. Some students pause their studies. You can still come. Some people leave school and work for a bit. You can still come if you do. Some people come to uni a bit later on, maybe having worked first. Come and check it out and see if it’s for you. There’s so many shapes and sizes. On the whole, we are aiming to serve young people in Dunedin who are in the 17-30 age bracket. We try to have a more diverse age range as part of our congregation while still keeping it student-centric.
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 to help to create.
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!
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!
Our mission is to help people realise their true worth in relationship with God.
We are becoming:
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).
In the course of a year, do we see growth in:
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 Steering Group, who directly provide staff support, an accountability channel, and strategic continuity.
“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.