Who We Are

Good Shepherd College – Te Hepara Pai was established by the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and by the New Zealand Province of the Society of Mary.

The College exists to provide theological education in the Roman Catholic tradition and has a special focus on the formation of candidates for ordained priesthood in the Catholic Church.

The College is open to all students who wish to study theology in the Roman Catholic tradition. Students may be Catholic lay people or members of religious congregations, members of other Christian Churches, followers of other religious traditions, or students who have no religious association.

Why We Study Theology

Religious faith is the deepest thing in our lives, and to those who have it, the most important. Not everyone studies it. In fact, some of those who have it to a superlative degree never study it. But it is one of the most beautiful and interesting things we can study, trying to get clear on what it is and what it isn’t.

Good Shepherd College is part of the Catholic tradition of reflection on religious faith. Catholicism is, among other things, a way of looking at the world. Good Shepherd College teaches about this view of the world, what it is like to see things through Catholic eyes. It also engages with the criticisms and debates which arise when non-believers look on at this vision and comment on it, asking whether it can be justified.

In all this, the College continues the long, colourful, sometimes quarrelsome tradition of Catholic theology, trying to get clear about this ancient tradition of belief, with its words of faith, hope, love, forgiveness and reconciliation.

If the thought of learning about such things attracts you, Good Shepherd College is the place for you!

Now and Then

Good Shepherd College – Te Hepara Pai began teaching in February 2001. It brought together the resources and traditions of two theological colleges in New Zealand, Holy Cross College, Mosgiel, and Mount St Mary’s College, Auckland.

Holy Cross College was founded in 1900 by Bishop Verdon of Dunedin. Educated in Rome, Bishop Verdon headed seminaries in Ireland and Sydney, with an intervening period as vice-rector of the Irish College in Rome. For 100 years Holy Cross College taught theology to candidates for diocesan priesthood in New Zealand and more recently to a much wider group of students.

Mount St Mary’s College began its life in Auckland at the beginning of the 1992 academic year. Its prior history was at Meeanee and Greenmeadows in Hawkes Bay, having been founded in 1890 by French Marists who formed the first faculty of Mount St Mary’s College in Hawkes Bay.

Originally established to teach theology to candidates for Marist priesthood and for brothers in the Society of Mary, Mount St Mary’s College, like Holy Cross College, has taught theology to a much wider group of students in recent years.