Vision of the Otago tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board

By Greg Hughson in Articles

the vision of the chaplaincy can be the vision of us all

The Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board, exists to provide chaplaincy services on an ecumenical basis to the University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic. A few years ago the Board revised its Vision, Mission and Purpose
Statement for Chaplaincy to Otago University (OU) and Otago Polytechnic (OP). The vision of the Board for all students and staff of OU and OP, and for the institutions themselves, is that they will increasingly express spiritual authenticity in their lives, work, learning, systems and cultures.
The Board's current mission statement states that "the Board recognises and seeks to honour the Treaty of Waitangi and exists to provide Chaplaincy services which deliver quality pastoral care, spiritual support and educational resourcing to all Otago University and Otago Polytechnic students and staff. We aim to be ever open to developing new and creative approaches in response to the changing needs of the campus communities we serve, as vital expressions of our Church's mission to the world God loves."
As Christians, our four Purposes and their associated goals are:
Purpose 1. To affirm and encourage the spiritual dimension in the educational endeavour. Goals : • To support and affirm all those encountered in the context of tertiary
education. • To facilitate the expression and affirmation of spirituality in OU and OP
communities. • To conduct services of worship, and other religious/spiritual events as
required. • To engage OU and OP with important contemporary ethical, moral,
spiritual and religious issues. • On request, to participate in formal and informal tertiary teaching in the
fields of religion and spirituality. • To represent the Christian churches to OU and OP.
Purpose 2. To encourage and contribute to the wise use of knowledge. Goals: • To be faithful to the Christian prophetic tradition in dealing with structures,
policies and cultures of OU and OP communities. • To arrange for and participate in forums and discussion groups. • To make available on request chaplains' personal teaching, facilitation
and lecturing skills.

• Where appropriate, to conduct research in cooperation with OU and OP staff and students.
• Where appropriate, to provide supervision and/or spiritual direction for students and staff.
Purpose 3. To foster community within, and promote links between OU and OP, and local and national Christian and other-than-Christian faith communities. Goals : • To provide a model of unity by developing a team approach among all
chaplains working on all the OU and OP campuses. • To be alert to the aspirations, needs and struggles of all staff and students
of OU and OP. • To form links with Christian groups and other faith communities within the
institutions, and encourage interaction among all groups with religious
and/or spiritual concerns. • To maintain connections with Ecumenical Bodies in New Zealand, and
participate in national conferences organised by the Aotearoa-NZ Tertiary
Chaplains' Assn. • To inform churches and other faith communities about the nature and life
of OU and OP by such means as reports, addresses and participation in
local services of worship. • To transmit national and local church concerns and views to OU and OP. • When requested to by OU and OP, to accept a representative role on
behalf of the institutions • To maintain up-to-date sources of information
Purpose 4. To participate in the provision of quality pastoral care. Goals: • To offer quality pastoral counselling and spiritual support • To address personal, group and societal religious/spiritual questions and
challenges. • To lead or provide resources for religious/spiritual celebrations and rites of
passage , such as weddings and funerals. • To work for the improvement of the well-being of all members of the
communities in association with other care providers.
The Board seeks to fulfil these purposes primarily through employing Chaplains and through supporting the work of Volunteer Assistant Chaplains.
Greg Hughson
Ecumenical Chaplain, Otago University. February 2013