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About Us

A Church for Students in Dunedin, NZ

Kia ora & welcome

We’re a church community that’s built for students and young adults. For the past 21 years, we’ve been dedicated to growing authentic, faith-filled, transformed followers of Jesus. Our amazing crew comes from all across Aotearoa and even the four corners of the earth (so to speak), joining us for a few fast-paced, fantastic years of study in Dunedin before moving on to the next stage of their lives.

We’re super excited about what we do and can’t wait to meet you and your people! Our mission is to nurture faith, create connections across the PCANZ tribe and the wider church, and become a life-giving refuge for those seeking spiritual strength and support on their journey following Jesus.

We also believe we have a special calling to be an incubator of leaders, cultivating deep, creative individuals with a vision built on Jesus. We welcome you to join us on this journey and contribute to the conversation, whoever you are and wherever you’re at in life.


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 LGBTQ+ 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.

I’m not a student, can I come?

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.

Our Minister/Pastor

Tom Mepham

Tom Mepham

Tēnā koe, my name is Tom Mepham. I’ve been with Student Soul for 7 years. My journey here has included time studying theology at Otago Uni, doing an internship through the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, and four years since then.

My official role title is “Minister of Word and Sacrament.” How’s that for a mouthful! Sometimes I write it on official forms just for a laugh 😁 But I suppose it is a thoughtful title for servant leadership. The idea behind the role is that the church is called to be a community of light & life which is a blessing to the world around us. I’m here to help enable that.

I’ve spent most of my adult life involved in music and working with young people (by which I mean, folks younger than myself and especially these days in the young adult 18-30 range), and I suppose that will keep 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! Feel free to reach out and connect, it would be great to hear from you.

What are we about?



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.”


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



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:

  • 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 just had 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.




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.


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.


“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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