Further Explanatory Notes

The NZ Bishops have released a statement on the names of the new single provider for Catholic tertiary education.

The overall organisation will be called Te Kupenga – Catholic Leadership Institute. The tertiary provider within Te Kupenga will be called the Catholic Theological College. So Te Kupenga will have three operating units: the Catholic Theological College (responsible for delivering all the courses and awards currently provided through Good Shepherd College and TCI); the National Centre for Religious Studies and the Nathaniel Centre for Catholic Bioethics.

Te Kupenga means a net – specifically a fishing net. It has strong associations with the Gospel stories of fishing, linked to ideas of abundance, surprise, perseverance and God’s providence. The first four named apostles were fishermen, whom Jesus promised to make “fishers of people”. The name resonates strongly with Pope Francis’ call to the Church to revive our missionary spirit and purpose – to put out into the deep and cast our net wide. Of course, there is also a contemporary reference to networking, on-line learning and linking with others to form a larger and stronger whole.

The name of the Catholic Theological College recognises that theology is the core discipline for formation for ministry, whether ordained or lay. It builds on the proud record for theological education at Good Shepherd College. The Bishops expect that the new College will develop a coherent set of courses and qualifications, which enable students to progress from under-graduate to graduate level study, consistent with their current or intended role and their own aspirations. The various partnerships that Good Shepherd College and The Catholic Institute have developed to ensure high-value education for their students will be respected. The new College is expected to take those partnerships further and expand them where it makes sense.