The annual update from John Tucker, Principal of Carey Baptist College, for 2023.

Carey is the theological college and ministry training centre of the Baptist churches of New Zealand. Some 97 years ago, our family of churches established Carey to train leaders for Baptist ministry and mission. That’s why we exist: to form leaders for your church, to resource the people in your church. Here are five ways in which we have sought to do that this year.


The highlight this year was the launch of CareyLocal. This is a major new initiative designed to locate robust Bible engagement and theological study right in the heart of local churches. This year, we have seen CareyLocal cohorts spring up in nearly 40 Baptist churches across the country. In these evening classes, guided by a Carey lecturer and alongside members of their own church family, over 300 people have been studying the New Testament or the Mission of God. We are very excited about this partnership between the local church and Carey, and we plan to continue offering CareyLocal on an annual basis as part of the discipleship and leadership development programme in local Baptist churches.

Pastoral Leadership Pathway

This year we have partnered with the Upper South Baptist Association in the appointment of Andrew Meek to the new role of Leadership Pathway Facilitator. This is a significant and strategic initiative. The church in New Zealand is facing a leadership succession challenge. Most denominations are not training enough new pastors to fill the vacancies in their churches, and the Baptist movement is no exception. As local churches, we need to become more intentional about identifying potential pastoral leaders and supporting them into training. The initiative in the Upper South is already bearing fruit. Some churches are beginning to make real changes to the way they approach leadership development and potential ministry candidates are beginning to emerge.

Training events and online resources

We have continued to expand the range of training events available direct to local Baptist churches. In 2023 Carey partnered with each of the regional associations to host Saturday seminars across New Zealand for pastors, ministry teams, and anyone wanting to immerse themselves in Scripture. The theme was discipleship. In May we launched a new podcast – Word, World, Work – which features conversations about the integrative research our staff and graduate students are generating in service of the local church and gospel renewal. This year the Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning began developing a selection of on- demand resources for churches and life groups and has been actively involved in recruiting, training and accrediting 85 supervisors for Baptist Registration.

Diploma of Christian Leadership

In response to demand from churches, we have been working this year on a possible new Christian Leadership diploma. This would enable ministry leaders or interns to complete a pathway of leadership training that consists of 50% Bible and Ministry study and 50% ministry experience in a local church or other mission context. We hope this programme will be available from 2024 or 2025 at the latest.

Property relocation

Finally, the Baptist Union and Carey have made the decision to sell our existing site at 473 Great South Road, Penrose, Auckland and relocate to another property. The primary objective is to acquire a site that will provide a better future base for the College, while also generating income to support the College’s operations. The Baptist National Support Centre, Arotahi and the Northern Baptist Association are all co-located with Carey on the existing site. We believe it is in the best interests of all these groups to remain co-located on the same site, so we expect that any move will be something we do together.

Photo: CareyLocal group meeting together at Otahuhu Community Baptist Church. Provided by Charles Hewlett - from Charles Mail.

This update is from the 2023 Annual Report of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand, which you can view here.

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