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ARPTE Members 2024

Our current membership includes:

  • Avondale University, Cooranbong

  • Eva Burrows College, Salvation Army Training College

  • Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Dunedin (NZ)

  • Laidlaw College, Auckland

  • Malyon College, Gaythorne

  • Morling College, Macquarie Park

  • Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College, Parkville

  • Uniting College for Leadership and Theology, SA

  • Yarra Theological College, Box Hill

To apply for membership, please download and return the membership form.


For all membership enquiries, please contact us


ARPTE Committee

President: Sean Gilbert

Vice President: Maja Whitaker

Secretary: Ian Hussey

Treasurer: Sean Gilbert


Committee members:

  • Monica O'Neill

  • Geoff New

  • Michael Kelly

  • Sandy MacDonald

  • Representative from Ridley College (TBC)



Committee Member Profiles


Rev Sean Gilbert DipPastCare, BTheol, MA(Hons), PhD 


Before joining the faculty at Uniting College, Sean spent over twenty years as a Minister of the Word in congregational ministry within the Uniting Church. He enjoys bringing the richness of that experience to leadership formation through Supervised Field Education and teaching in areas related to ministry practice. He believes that the love of God and imaginative application is core to all fruitful expressions of ministry and mission. His recently awarded PhD thesis is entitled, Spiritual Affections and the Pastoral Disposition.

Sean is somewhat eclectic. He is a reader of culture, a player of acoustic music, a writer of liturgy and an occasional writer of poetry and song. He is also a keen political observer, a life-long supporter of Essendon Football Club, and in 2019 coached an U/16 district-cricket club to a Premiership.


Sean is married to Christine and has a blended family of five, ranging in age from 17 to 34. He has one grandson aged 5 and a baby granddaughter.


Rev. Dr Maja Whitaker BSc, PhD (Theology)


Maja is a Lecturer in Practical Theology in the Laidlaw College School of Theology.


She is responsible for overseeing growing relationships with partner churches, crafting and delivering a formational experience for undergraduate theology students, supervising postgraduate research, and contributing to the leadership team of the School of Theology.


Her research interests include the theology of the body, theological anthropology, disability theology, and eschatology. She is exploring what the Christian tradition can offer to critique and inform modern cultural ideologies about human flourishing and the body.


Maja is an ordained pastor in the Equippers Church network and she is passionate about equipping people for life in Jesus Christ. She is married to Dave and they have four daughters in primary and high school. Maja loves to spend her downtime in the garden, with a good book, or in the kitchen baking with one of her girls. She blogs on the topics of spiritual formation and pastoral theology at

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Rev Dr Ian Hussey PhD (Australian Catholic University) MTh, MMgt, GradTheol, BTh(Hons), DipEd, BSc


After working as a high school teacher for three years, Ian moved into pastoral ministry. From 1993 to 2010 he was the Senior Pastor of Nundah/North-East Baptist Church, during which time the church grew from 35 to 500 people. Ian is at Maylon College in Brisbane where he teaches in the areas of field education, preaching and research methods. He also oversees the development of postgraduate research at Malyon.


Monica O’Neil
Vose Seminary, Western Australia


Monica has been involved in pastoral ministry since 1985, including rural and city churches, church planting and being on team in a mega church. Her supervisory experience began as a combination of a counselling practice and an emerging role as a pastoral supervisor in the megachurch environment.


In 2007 she joined Vose Seminary to launch Vose Leadership, a professional development centre focussed on resourcing Christian leaders for a lifetime of healthy service. This has had a natural synergy with the Field Education program at Vose, which she has coordinated since 2009. Monica also oversees the development of the Seminary’s RTO and the offering of Vocational Training to augment the training needs of churches and not for profit agencies. She has recently completed her Master of Arts (Ministry) through ACT.

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Rev Dr Geoff New B Min (BCNZ), D Min (ACT)


Geoff is the Dean of Studies of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership (Dunedin, NZ).

Geoff was the minister of Papakura East and Hunua Presbyterian Church 1997-2015.

During his time at Papakura East, Geoff was also a Police Chaplain for five years for the Counties-Manukau Police District, lectured in preaching for five years at Laidlaw College, lectured on occasions at Carey Baptist College and since 2011 has been a trainer for Langham Preaching ( with responsibility in South Asia. Since 2012 he has been the director for Kiwimade Preaching ( which is the NZ expression of Langham Preaching.


Geoff was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2011 through the Australian College of Theology. His thesis was entitled: “Back to the Future: The impact of the ancient disciplines of Lectio Divina and Ignatian Gospel Contemplation on contemporary preaching.”

Geoff is the author of three books, Imaginative Preaching: praying the Scriptures so God can speak through you (2015); Live, Listen Tell: the art of preaching (2017); Echoes: the Lord’s Prayer in the preacher’s life (to be published 2020).


Geoff is married to Ruth. They have three adult children: Rebekah, Josiah and Luke; and one grandchild, Nathaniel.


Rev. Associate Professor Michael A. Kelly CSsR, BTheol, STM, MEd, PhD
Yarra Theological Union, Victoria


Michael teaches at Yarra Theological Union which is located in Box Hill (Melbourne), and is a College of the University of Divinity. He is the Research and Education Coordinator at YTU. His area of specialisation is pastoral theology and he teaches a variety of units in leadership, religious education, practical theology and homiletics. At present, like almost everyone else, he is on a rapid learning course for online teaching with early efforts being rewarding.


He is a Catholic priest and a member of the Redemptorist Congregation an international Catholic religious order present in almost eighty countries.


Major Sandy MacDonald BEc, AdvDipSAMin, GDCS, MATS, GCRM


Sandy is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Salvation Army Eva Burrows College.

Sandy has been a Salvation Army Officer for over 20 years with appointments including almost eight years of church-based leadership and pastoral ministry in Australian remote, regional, rural, suburban and city settings, almost a decade of dedicated focus on youth and children’s ministries and, for the past four years, the training and formation of Salvation Army Cadets, Auxiliary Lieutenants and Lieutenants.


Sandy is sometimes surprised when insights from undergraduate studies in economics provide insight for her current world. During her Salvation Army Officer training, Sandy completed a Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies (Australian College of Theology) and continued on to a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (Sydney College of Divinity). In 2021 she completed a Graduate Certificate in Research Methodology (University of Divinity) with a 16,000 word Minor Thesis entitled: Conscripted? Vaccinated? Or effectively discipled? The faith of teenage Salvation Army Officers’ Kids in Australia.


Sandy teaches the Supervised Theological Field Education unit and the Reflective Practice for Vocational Formation unit.

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