We encourage deep thinking and academic excellence. Our students come from Australia and overseas to study critical issues connecting Christian theology mission and ministry with contemporary life, in innovative classes taught by a faculty whose collective knowledge creates a rich and rewarding learning environment. Expert teaching is delivered by a flexible blend of face-to-face, distance and online learning that enables us to reach students across Australia and internationally.
Rev Prof Andrew Dutney
Principal of Uniting College, Professor, Flinders University School of Theology, Adjunct Lecturer in Historical and Systematic Theology at Uniting College
A (Qld), Dip Ecum St (St Andrews), PhD (St Andrews), Grad Cert Ter Ed (Flinders), EdD (Flinders)
A Queenslander by birth, I came to Adelaide from Sydney where I'd been the Uniting Church's chaplain to Sydney University and the minister of the Wesley College Chapel Parish. I moved to to take up an appointment as lecturer in systematic theology at Parkin-Wesley College before being appointed as Principal 2001. For several years before that I had lived and worked in Scotland where I was a postgraduate student at the University of St Andrews and the assistant minister in a Church of Scotland parish in Leven, Fife where I was ordained.
I was the founding Director of the Centre for Theology, Science and Culture from 1999 until 2005. I was the chairperson of the SA Council on Reproductive Technology from 1996 until 2005. I'm a member of the Advisory Board of the Ethics Centre of South Australia, a guest on ABC Local Radio and I write a regular column in Australian Leadership, focussing on questions of public and practical theology that emerge through my involvement with the wider South Australian community.
In July 2009 I was chosen to be the next President of the national Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia. I was installed in that position in July 2012 and served full-time for three years. In 2016, I returned to the role of Principal, Uniting College. The extraordinary experiences of my term as President have changed me. But I’ve found that Uniting College has changed while I’ve been away too. So it feels like a fresh start. That’s exciting and energising for me. I’m really enjoying getting to know my new team and the communities we serve, and I’m looking forward to discerning with them what we can do to help the UCA in SA be the kind of church that God is calling us to be
Director of Leadership
DipT [Sturt] BEd [Hartley], BTH (Hons) [Flinders], Cert IV in Training and Assessment
As a leader I am a learner. My first profession was that of teacher and eleven years of experience in rural and city, public and private schools provided a foundation for leadership in the Church.
Six years as a Children, Youth and Young Adults Consultant for the Uniting Church Synod in South Australia further broadened my learning, as I was required to establish youth leader and youthworker networks as well as provide oversight of events such as Kairos (UCA youth gatherings), Kids Camp Out and the National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC1995).
From 1995 to 2009 I served as a pastor and in the latter years as Senior Pastor at Aberfoyle Uniting Church.
I have a huge respect for volunteer leaders. As with many who find themselves in minister and pastor roles, much of my learning was forged through years of leading youth groups in a number of churches, small and large. I have also exercise a preaching ministry primarily in my local Church and on several occasions interstate and overseas – all wonderful learning experiences.
I discover most about who I am in the context of my own family: my wife Kay, two sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren.
Along with other faculty at the Uniting College for Leadership and Theology, I am committed to doing whatever I can to assist in the formation of ministers and leaders for a Church that is a called upon to take seriously God's mission to reach out to others with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As I do so, I expect I will be learning a whole lot more!
Rev Dr Vicky Balabanski
Director of Biblical Studies
BA(Hons)[Melb], BD(Hons) [MCD], PhD [Melb]
I am the Director of Biblical Studies and teach across a range of topics, which includes introductory to advanced study of New Testament writings, biblical hermeneutics and Greek. I am also an ordained Uniting Church Minister of the Word.
Quite a bit of my energy is devoted to supervising students who are doing their own research for Masters and Doctoral degrees, either through Flinders University or through the ACD Masters and Doctor of Ministry programs. I really enjoy doing research myself. I have been working on research on John's Gospel, Colossians and ecological matters and Ignatius of Antioch. Quite a diverse range!
One of the things I've enjoyed in the last couple of years is teaching an intensive in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to the Masters students at McGilvary College of Divinity. I have also been a visiting scholar in the Indian Church of South India Diocese of Madras. I am involved in fostering ecumenical thinking and acting, and have a commitment to helping the church to be open to receiving and using spiritual gifts.
I care about the creation and living sustainably in kinship with the earth. I am married to Peter, an Anglican minister, and we have two adult daughters.
Dr Liz Boase
Head of Department of Theology, Flinders University and Lecturer in Biblical Studies: Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
BAppSc (Speech and Hearing) [WAIT], BDiv(Hons First Class), PhD [Murdoch]
I began studying theology in my twenties and found that I resonated deeply with the books of the Old Testament. People often ask me what it is about the Old Testament which grabbed my attention and my usual response is that in these ancient writings we are able to find out a great deal about ourselves and what it means to be truly authentic human beings before God. In these ancient writings we find people struggling with the same sorts of questions that we ask today: What is life about? Where do I find hope? Why do people suffer? How do we function well as a society? How do we relate to others? In exploring these sorts of questions, we encounter some deep and robust conversations– conversations between different voices in the writings of the Hebrew Scriptures, always spoken in the presence of God. The place where we find our fullest humanity is, for me, in those writings which deal with deep questions about pain and suffering. It is there that I find the courage to name and acknowledge the tough stuff of life. It is there that I find the language to bring all of who I am to God, in pain, in anger, and in hope.
Much of my research has focused on the book of Lamentations and on lament literature in general. Recently, I have been working with these texts from different hermeneutical (interpretive) perspectives. One project involves reading Lamentations from an ecological perspective. The other reading lens is that of trauma theory and trauma studies. I enjoy the challenge of engaging with familiar texts from different perspectives. It opens up new ways of seeing the bible and challenges me to engage biblically with some significant issues facing contemporary society.
Refereed journal articles
Rev Sean Gilbert
Lecturer in Ministry Practice
BTh [Flin], DipPC [ACD], MA(Hons) [ANTS]
Before joining the Uniting College faculty, Sean spent a good number of years as Minister of the Word in congregational / community ministry. He now enjoys bringing the richness of that experience to leadership formation through Supervised Field Education and teaching various ministry practice Bachelor of Ministry units. He believes the integration of knowledge and imaginative practice is foundational to credible expressions of faith within a post modern context.
Sean is a PhD student exploring the relationship between spiritual affectivity and fruitful, if not artful ministry practice. Jonathan Edwards and St. Bernard of Clairvaux are central faith-figures within this conversation, along side of the gospel of John.
Somewhat of an eclectic, Sean is a reader of culture, a player of acoustic music, a writer of liturgy and verse, a reader of poetry and the mystics, a would-be connoisseur of red wine and coffee. He is also a keen political observer, a Paul Kelly admirer, a follower of Formula 1, a life-long supporter of Essendon and a cricket lover of long standing.
Sean is married to Christine, who is a Minister of the Word at Glenelg Uniting Church and has a blended family of five, ranging in years from 12 to 29.
Publications & Conference Papers since 2012:
Rev Tim Hein
Director of Discipleship
Cert IV TAE, BMin, MMin Stud, PhD (cand) GAICD
Tim is Director of Discipleship & Christian Education at Uniting College for Leadership & Theology in Adelaide. He lectures in the areas of discipleship, spiritual formation, faith & work, mission, media, popular culture and theology.
He is currently studying a PhD on ‘A Missional Pneumatology of The Basis of Union of the Uniting Church in Australia’.
His first book Walk Unafraid: A Guide to Sexual Abuse for Survivors & Leaders (IVP) shall be released in 2016.
He is a popular speaker on faith, culture and Christian discipleship.
Tim has a strong interest in governance is an Elected Councillor at the City of Mitcham (Local Government).
He also serves on the Uniting Church SA Synod Standing Committee, Leadership Development Council, and Sexual Misconduct Complaints Committee.
He has had diverse ministry experience, and has previously pastored in a large regional church; lived in community in inner urban marginal cultures in Melbourne; led an intentional young adult discipleship program; engaged in school seminars; and established CitySoul, a new congregation in the inner city of Adelaide.
He is married to Priscilla and has two young daughters, Claudia & Zoe. He is particularly fond of the films of Woody Allen, the music of Nick Cave, and the fiction of Paul Auster & David Foster Wallace.
Rev Dr Kerry Pierce
DMin (Church Leadership Excellence) [WTS, Washington], MA (Theology) [Aus Catholic University], Grad Dip (Theology) [Brisbane College of Theology] , BA (Psychology) [CQU]
As an ordained minister in the Uniting Church Australia, Kerry has served in placements at, among others, West End Uniting and has been a chaplain at Queensland University of Technology, working with ecumenical and interfaith teams. She also has experience with Lifeline as a counselling supervisor and trainer and as a tutor at Central Queensland University.
She has held membership in the Australian Psychology Society since 1996.
Kerry completed her Doctor of Ministry through Wesley Theological Seminary Washington DC in May, 2015. Her research has applied the Apostle Paul’s cruciform spirituality to adaptive leadership and resource poor congregations. It also aligns with the vision of Uniting College to exist to develop life-long disciples for a healthy, missional church, who are passionate, Christ centred, highly skilled mission-orientated practitioners. Kerry commented that for her, the process of call included a sense of assurance “that God had a purpose for my ministry in the college.”
Rev Dr Trevor Whitney
DPhil [Flin], MSocSc(Counselling) [UniSA], BTh [Flin], DipPS [ACD], DipTeach (Primary) [MPCAE].
Trevor was ordained in the Uniting Church in 1986 and served in congregational ministry in Pt Augusta and Gawler before discerning a call to a pastoral role as Disibilities Ministry Chaplain at the South Australian Synod, in 2001. He finds this role truly enriching. One of his passions is working in partnership with an ecumenical group, under the banner of L’Arche, towards the development of a faith-based community for people with intellectual disability.
He achieved his PhD in Disability and Pastoral Studies by looking at developing a liberating model of pastoral relationship with people with intellectual disabilities who live in institutions.
As Uniting College’s Chaplaincy Coordinator he works with undergraduate and postgraduate students to enhance their tertiary qualifications and accreditation in the chaplaincy arena. He finds this area of teaching and supervision immensely rewarding.
Trevor is married to Lyn and has two adult children. He loves living on the fringe of the Adelaide hills, which affords him the opportunity to regularly indulge his favourite past time- bushwalking. This activity saw him complete a Camino de Compostela in Spain 2012, with Lyn. Other favourite interests include travelling, kayaking, reading, movies, art galleries and a daily diet of his favourite Farmer’s Union ice coffee. In moments of ego-driven delusion he dreams of becoming a best-selling author.
Whitney, Trevor. Towards Liberation: Pastoral Relationship with People with Intellectual Disabilities Living in Institutions. PhD thesis / qualitative extended reflection, Flinders University, 2013.
TW – 17.4.14
Rev Dr Steve Taylor
Senior Lecturer at Flinders University
BHort [Lincoln], BTh [Auckland], MTh [Auckland], PhD [Otago]
I trained for church ministry, with a mission focus, at Carey Baptist College. I have 14 years of congregational experience. This included planting a church (Graceway Baptist) between 1994 and 2003. Then in 2004 I became Senior Pastor at Opawa Baptist with a call to help them transition into a new mission future. I loved the chance to lead and serve people in a shared journey of mission.
In 2010, as a family, we felt God calling us to a significant new adventure. This involved “crossing the ditch” to serve at the Uniting College for Leadership and Theology. My sense of call was to partner with God in the call to equip and train leaders in mission. Central to this is what is means to follow Christ in our world today. I was the inaugural Director of Missiology and then in July 2012, became the Principal. I am privileged to lead a high quality team who are committed to developing effective leadership for healthy, missional communities.
Since 2002, I have been blogging regularly, placing thoughts and conversation starters on the internet. If you want to know more about me, or what I’m thinking today, check out www.emergentkiwi.org.nz.
B Sc, B Ed, Dip Christian Studies, Cert 4 TESOL, Cert 4 TAE
Five years ago, God called Karen and her husband to work cross-culturally. Before that she had been teaching music for twenty years. They left their eastern suburbs home and took their family to live in the northern suburbs, not sure exactly what they would do when they got there. Karen was already teaching English as a second language at Elizabeth and then Salisbury, and helped to begin a migrant sewing group at Salisbury. Simon started working in a Salisbury medical practice. In 2014 a friend told Karen about a job with UCLT, exploring teaching theology to people with English as a second language. It was pioneering work, as only one other college in Australia is teaching a multicultural theology class. In the first year she had people from Iran, Burma, Sudan and Congo, and learned a lot about the challenges facing the students as they make a new life in Australia. She says “There is a lot more to learn and a lot more people to reach, but I know that God has called me and prepared me for this work and he will supply what we need”.
Karen sings and plays the piano, enjoys sewing and has done various pieces of art involving mosaic tiling and leadlight.
She is married to Simon, a GP, and they have two adult sons, and a Hazara foster son. They attend the Parafield Gardens Uniting Church.
Director of Missiology
Christy is an Anglican Priest from Melbourne and is currently completing her PhD in 'authenticity'.
Dr Tanya Wittwer
PhD [Flin], M Div [WTS, Iowa], Grad Dip Rel Ed [Underdale/UniSA], Grad Dip Ed [Hartley/UniSA], BA [Uni of Adelaide].
I find it hard to introduce myself. I’ve worked in community service, the environmental sector and in population health; I’ve worked as a chaplain, a counsellor, a training facilitator, a ministry associate, a manager, a program director, a lecturer. I think my CV reflects my understanding that I’m called to ordained ministry in a church that doesn’t ordain women, so I have worked in all kinds of places that circle that calling. I’m a church nerd: I love liturgy, I love preaching (even listening to others preach), I have a passion for pastoral care. And I love learning. And teaching. And mentoring.
Before coming to the college I was teaching at the University of Adelaide where I coordinated a number of programs in Public Health and in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and lectured in public health, bioethics (at Flinders University as well) and in narrative practice.
My doctoral research examined preaching in the light of a narrative epistemology. My key research interests are in homiletics, pastoral care and education and formation, but I’m fascinated by all manner of things so I delight in multidisciplinary research.
As the Postgraduate Coordinator I have oversight on those students completing postgraduate research as well as the postgraduate courses. I teach homiletics, research methods and a range of other postgraduate topics.
My husband, Leigh Newton, is a songwriter and a primary school teacher, and we delight in our permeable (or is it elastic-bordered?) family.
Rev Dr Graham Buxton
Cert IV WPT [Tabor], BA (Hons) [York University, UK] , Dip. Indust. Admin [Bradford University, UK], M.Sc, Cert. Theol. [St Johns College, UK], M Min [MCD] , PhD [Flinders University]
Rev Dr Graham Buxton is an ordained Anglican with extensive pastoral experience in both the UK and Australia. Prior to ordination, he was a lay pastor in an Anglican church in the north of England, following earlier careers as a marketing executive in the oil industry, and a lecturer in a university business school. He emigrated to Australia in 1991 with his wife and three children to take up a teaching position at Tabor Adelaide, where he was instrumental in developing the postgraduate program at the School of Ministry, Theology and Culture.
He is now Director of Research Development, and also serves as the Director of the Graeme Clark Research Institute, an initiative established at the college to conduct, facilitate and promote research and development in the broad context of Christian service to the community. He teaches in the areas of practical theology, pastoral ministry and the science-theology interface. Graham is a Visiting Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University in the UK, a Fellow of ISCAST (Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology and has taught as an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, USA.
Graham teaches: God the Trinity.
Areas of expertise
Graham’s research interests are focused on (1) practical theology; (2) an understanding of Christian ministry within the framework of trinitarian theology; (3) the relationship between the science-theology dialogue and Christian pastoral ministry; (4) incarnational and contextual ministry; (5) the sacred-secular divide; and (6) the theology of Jürgen Moltmann.
Recent book chapters include
Dr Carl Gross
PhD (Duke), MA (Melb), BTh (ACT), BA[Hons] (Adel), DipEd (Adel)
Carl was born to missionary parents and spent the first 10 years of his life on Hermannsburg mission in Central Australia. He studied Classical Greek and Latin at Adelaide University before doing Biblical and Semitic studies in Melbourne and the United States. His doctorate is from Duke University, and he has taught Old Testament, Hebrew and Greek at Ridley College, Melbourne.
For the past 23 years, he has been a Bible Translation Consultant, initially employed by the Bible Society, working with translation projects in Australia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga, and then as an independent contractor. He has contributed to over 50 translations in Australia and the South Pacific, written numerous articles on Bible translation, and was the exegetical author of the UBS Translation Handbook on Ezekiel (forthcoming). He also worked extensively on the preparation of Bible comics for use by languages across the world.
His passion continues to be the accurate interpretation of the Biblical text and, more generally, the provision of faithful and readable Scriptures for indigenous Australians and others who do not have the Scriptures in their own language.
He is married to Lyn and they live in country South Australia with a view of the River Murray.
At Uniting College, he has taught Introduction to Old Testament, Introductory Hebrew, and Greek 3.
PhD [Flinders], MA Christian Studies [Bible College SA], BA [Adelaide University], Cert. Man. [TAFE].
Jennifer Hein completed her doctoral thesis on the historical memory of the beginnings of The Salvation Army in South Australia and is currently under examination.
She is an active soldier (member) of The Salvation Army and has held varied lay preaching roles including: Bible study leadership, planned giving (tithing) oversight, missionary financial support, emergency services service, Sunday school teaching, craft teaching, corps (church) librarian. She has even been known to shake a timbrel (tambourine)! She is currently the corps historian and sings alto in the choir. She teaches church history and is a member of the Australasian Centre for Wesleyan Research.
Jennifer is a proud South Australian, having spent most of her life here, apart from three years in Brisbane for her husband’s work and a year in Thailand with her archaeologist parents. She loves travelling to interesting locations and has a multi-cultural family. Prior to returning to study, she spent 11 years in the Commonwealth Employment Service, followed by 20 years raising two children while running a successful commission sales business in cosmetics.
Areas of expertise
Jennifer’s research interests are focused on the history of The Salvation Army, Wesleyan theology and South Australian history.
Dr Deidre Palmer
PhD (Religious Education and Theology) [Boston], Masters (Religious Education) [North Carolina], Masters (Social Work) [Flinders]
Deidre Palmer is an educator, counselor, theologian, social worker and Uniting Church Moderator for South Australia.She has a deep love for God and a passionate commitment to the Uniting Church’s expression of Christian ministry and its engagement in God’s mission in the world. She has spent her career studying, teaching and working in Christian education and youth and children’s ministry in the Uniting Church. More recently she has embraced social work and has been a counsellor for Uniting Communities with their Childhood Sexual Abuse Counselling team.Deidre is a passionate advocate for the recognition and nurture of spirituality in children and young people and the role of Christian education in supporting people as they grow in Christian discipleship.
Deidre attends Rosefield Uniting Church, Adelaide, where she helps to coordinate a discussion group for youth and young adults. She is married to Lawrie and they have two adult daughters. She loves going to the movies, having coffee with friends and holidays on Kangaroo Island.
Rev Gary Stuckey
Diploma of Divinity [MCD]; Bachelor of Arts in Theology [Murdoch] Master of Ministry [Adelaide College of Divinity]
Gary is a Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church in Australia. He serves as the the Director for the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre and Minister of the Stillpoint Faith Community. He also serves as a retreat leader and teaches Christian Meditation.
Gary is a life-professed domestic member of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, who are an integrated monastic community based in the USA. The Stillpoint Community, which is located in the Adelaide Hills, seeks to draw its inspiration from the monastic arm of the Church.
Gary trained for the Baptist ministry at Burleigh College and was ordained as a Baptist Minister in 1982. He has served congregations in Port Pirie in South Australia and Claremont and Byford in West Australia. He transferred into the Uniting Church and has ministered in the Taperoo, Marion and Colonel Light Gardens congregations prior to his current settlement at Stillpoint. He is currently undertaking a Doctor of Ministry program on monastic formation.
In 2006, he and Ann Siddal wrote about nurturing our spiritual life in a book called Tending the Seed, which was published by Upper Room.
Gary is married to Marilyn. They have two adult children and a grandson.
Dr Marie Turner
PhD, MTh, BTh, DipHum, (Flinders) DipT (Murray Park CAE)
Marie has been teaching Biblical Studies for Flinders University for many years and is now enjoying semi-retirement. She is continuing her research work and is currently working on her final draft of an ecological commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes. She has been involved in the Earth Bible project, under the leadership of Professor Norman Habel, since its inception. Her writings focus mainly on the wisdom literature of the Bible, including the deuterocanonical books.
She is a member and past-president of the Australian Catholic Biblical Association and a Member of the Society of Biblical Literature. She also serves on the Australian Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue and the Editorial Committee of ATF Press.
Marie is a parishioner of St David’s, Tea Tree Gully and lives on a few acres in a beautiful spot by the Little Para River in the hills northeast of Adelaide.
Her publications include: