Meet the Education for Ministry Working Group Members

Chairperson

Professor Kaye Roberts-Thomson is a retired professor in dentistry at the University of Adelaide. She now holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the University. Kaye has had a long association with the Uniting Church. She formerly chaired the MEB in Melbourne. After moving to Adelaide she was a member of the Parkin Wesley College, the Ministerial Education Council and chaired the Education for Ministries Commission. Kaye currently chairs the Adelaide College of Divinity Council.

Members

Rev Dr Jenny Byrnes is an ordained minister and has served the uniting Church in both congregational ministry placements and educational leadership.Jenny is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Theology & Ministry in the synod of Vic-Tas.A strong participant in the educational ministry within the Assembly and synod, Jenny brings a passion for lay education and leadership development and formation for the whole people of God.

Emeritus Professor Ross Chambers retired from Charles Sturt University in 2012 after serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) from 2002 to 2012 and Dean, Faculty of Arts, 1992 -2001. He attends the Port Macquarie UC, where he is a member of the Church Council. From 2002 to 2015 he was chair of the Board of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture and from 2013 to 2015 was chair of the Council of United Theological College. He is currently chair of the Board of the Centre for Ecumenical Studies and a member of the Board of the Affinity Intercultural Foundation. His academic field is Russian history, including the history of the Russian church and religious thought in Russia. As DVC at CSU his special interests included rural and remote education and indigenous education, including language recovery, and police education. He oversaw the establishment of the School of Theology at CSU in 1994.

Rev Dr John Squires is Southern Zone Minister in the Mid North Coast Presbytery in the Synod of NSW and the ACT, and minister to the Wauchope Congregation. He is a member of the Board of Uniting Mission and Education and Convenor of the Reference Group for the Uniting Learning Network. John has long experience as an adult educator, having taught in settings ranging from congregations and presbyteries, to theological college and university contexts. He has a PhD from Yale University in Religious Studies (New Testament and Early Christianity). For two decades, John was a teaching member of the Faculty of United Theological College, where he served for some years as Academic Dean and Vice-Principal. John has a passion for exploring the biblical texts with an awareness of their historical, social and political contexts, and a commitment to valuing them as scripture for people of faith. He enjoys exploring family history as well as playing and listening to a range of music; and he has a strong commitment to living out his faith in a way that is sustainable and ecologically responsible.

Rev Dr Chris Budden is married to Wendy (6 children and 4 grandchildren). He serves as Interim National Coordinator for UAICC, while being an adjunct member of the faculty at UTC (Sydney) – Theological Ethics, and Reconciliation and Politics, and Associate Researcher with the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre (CSU). He has a long commitment to First People and Congress, and to developing a contextual theology for Second Peoples in Australia. He is the author of Following Jesus in Invaded Space: Doing Theology on Aboriginal Land. He has been Chair of the NSW-ACT Synod’s MEB and UTC Council, and Chair of the Doctrine Working Group. He has been a congregational Minister, Presbytery Minister, Synod General Secretary, and national staff person for social justice.

Rev Bev Fabb is a retired Deacon of the UCA with 40 years of ministry experience in youth and children’s ministry, inner city and suburban congregations, prison chaplaincy, theological education, UnitingCare agencies, multicultural and indigenous communities and Frontier Services. She is currently Chair of the Commission on Education for Discipleship and Leadership which serves as the Ministerial Education Board in WA.

Rev Dr L Lee Levett-Olson has been a Uniting Church minister for over thirty years. Currently a Theology Teacher at Nungalinya College, he has been involved in the church’s education work throughout his career at both Synod and Assembly levels. Training Indigenous Christian leaders at Nungalinya has renewed Lee’s passion for ministry education and formation. He is keen to bring VET sector training and especially respectful two-ways learning with First Nations people into the national conversation. Lee is keen to discern with others, in particular multicultural network leaders, not only how best to teach and form their leaders in culturally appropriate ways, but also how they can teach and form the wider church as well.

Rev Professor Andrew Dutney, BA (Qld), Dip Ecum St (St Andrews), PhD (St Andrews), Grad Cert Ter Ed (Flinders), EdD (Flinders) Served as President of the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia from 2012 until 2015, and will continue to serve on the Assembly Standing Committee as the immediate Ex-President until 2018. Currently the Principal of Uniting College for Leadership & Theology in South Australia and is a Professor in Theology for Flinders University and the Adelaide College of Divinity. Published widely in theology and ethics including author or editor of ten books, most recent one being People, Places and Planes: Presidential Field Notes and Reflections (Unley, SA: MediaCom Education Inc, 2015).

Rev Dr Amelia Koh-Butler (b.1965), married to Terry. Amelia, a former Paris Opera singer and Sydney cabbie, is an Accredited Youth Worker and Minister of the Word who recently completed her Doctorate in Intercultural Studies (Missiology) exploring stories, songs and new fresh Eucharistic expressions of church. She lives in the heart of Adelaide and loves the multiculturalism of the city, riding around on a pedal tricycle. Amelia has an extensive background in music, creative arts, youth work and lay ministry. She has previously served in several congregations and planted new faith communities and at the ELM Centre (VET Adult Education) of the NSW-ACT UC Synod from 2003-2011. Amelia is currently the Executive Officer, Mission Resourcing – Uniting Church SA. Amelia has served on the following National Committees and Networks: Adult Fellowships, Mission and Evangelism, Multi and Cross-cultural, NCYCs, ChYnC, Lay Educators Nat, Ministerial Education Commission and Education for Ministry Working Group. Favourite challenge - being a funky Nana.

Rev Jeff Savage currently in ministry with Hobart North UCA.  Brings a passion for young people in the life of the church as an Accredited Youth Worker and now Minister of the Word.  Has served in Congregational ministry in Bundaberg, as a regional Youth Worker for the Synod of Qld, Presbytery of Central Queensland and South Rockhampton Parish.  Worked with First Third Ministry for the Presbytery / Synod of WA and across Carine/Duncraig/Greenwood (Trinity North UCA), and served as Coordinator of Anglican Children and Youth Ministries for the Perth Diocese.  Has a wife (Denise) and four girls in school.  His passions are ministry, motorbike riding, boating, fishing and music.  

Gewa Au

Sharon Hollis

Diane Torrens

Rev. Dr. Christine Sorensen

Staff

Mr Craig Mitchell commenced a five year appointment in January 2014 as National Director, Formation, Education and Discipleship. Craig has worked for the Uniting Church for over 25 years in youth and children's ministry, Christian education, mission planning and leadership development. He was formerly on the faculty of Uniting College for Leadership and Theology and Flinders University. He has qualifications in economics, youth and children's ministry, religious education, communication and vocational education. He is currently working on a PhD through Flinders University. Craig is based in Adelaide, South Australia.

Anna Catliffe