Medical doctor replaces theologian at Catholic Theological College

The first Dean of New Zealand’s new Catholic Theological College is a medical doctor.

Dr John Evangelista (pictured with his wife, Tina)  is described as an active Catholic who has had a strong involvement in the Church both locally and overseas.

He was educated as a medical doctor and has 25 years’ experience in senior management roles in the healthcare sector.

Evangelista will take up his new position at the College next month.

The New Zealand Bishops’ Conference, which unanimously approved the appointment, says as Dean, Evangelista will lead the College.

The College is one of the three agencies within Te Kupenga-Catholic Leadership Institute.

It has replaced Good Shepherd College and The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand providing courses for seminarians,  and anyone who wants to study theological disciplines at a tertiary level.

“I am very excited that a person of Dr Evangelista’s calibre has agreed to take on this position and look forward to his contributions to our mahi, especially in casting the net – te kupenga – far and wide so that we connect to communites across Aotearoa”, Te Kupenga Chief Executive Dr Areti Metuamate says.

“We have some outstanding staff and students in the college, and Dr Evangelista is well positioned to support them and bring his own expertise and experience, taking the college to the next level.”

While the Catholic Theological College has staff across New Zealand, Evangelista will be based at the Auckland campus. He will be supported in his role directly by the two Heads of Program, Rev Dr Merv Duffy SM (Level 7), and Ms Susan Wilson (Levels 5 and 6).

Until now, Duffy – one of New Zealand’s preeminent Catholic theologians – has been the College’s Interim Dean.

Metuamate says Duffy was “an outstanding interim Dean [who] …made a significant contribution to theological education in Aotearoa, and he continues to be an outstanding scholar and wildly popular teacher in the College. We are very fortunate that we will continue to have Pa Merv playing a key role in the College.”


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