Who we are
Management & Administration Staff
Rev Dr Nāsili Vaka’uta
Principal, Coordinator of Studies & Research, Coordinator of Ministry Formation (2015 – present)
Mrs Nicola Grundy
Administrator & Academic Registrar (2007 – present)
Also Vice-President, Methodist Church of New Zealand (2018-2020)
Mrs Barbara Maile
Administrative Assistant (2017 – present)
Rev Misilei Misilei
College Chaplain (2013 – present)
Superintendent, Papatoetoe Methodist Parish, Auckland (current)
Rev Dr Jione Havea
Research Fellow in Religious Studies (2015 – present)
Qualifications: BA (Texas Wesleyan College), MDiv, MTS (Perkins School of Theology), PhD (Southern Methodist University, Dallas).
Teaching: Religious studies and some papers in Biblical studies, Theological studies & Indigenous studies
Rev Richard Bonifant
Teaching Fellow (2017 – present)
Qualifications: CertCCS, BA, BA (Hons, First Class) (Victoria University, Wellington), GradDipTh (University of Auckland), PhD candidate (University of Auckland).
Teaching: Religious studies, Pastoral studies.
FULL-TIME ACADEMIC STAFF
Rev Dr Nāsili Vaka’uta
Ranston Lecturer in Biblical Studies (2008 – Present)
Qualifications: BD (with Distinction) (Sia’atoutai Theological College), MTh (Pacific Theological College), PGDipDevStud, MA (University of the South Pacific), PhD (University of Auckland).
Teaching: Biblical studies and some papers in Theological studies, Religious studies & Indigenous studies
After working as an assistant tutor for three years he went for further studies in Suva, Fiji, where he earned a Master of Theology (MTh) from the Pacific Theological College (PTC), and a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) and Master of Arts (MA) in Development Studies from the University of the South Pacific. In 2004 he moved to Auckland to pursue doctoral studies (PhD) at the University of Auckand, which he successfully completed in June 2008. On the 1st July 2008, Trinity College employed him, and since then he has been serving as the Ranston Lecturer in Biblical Studies, and also as an Honorary Academic at the School of Theology, University of Auckland teaching biblical hebrew and hebrew bible papers. Nasili stepped into the role of Principal at the beginning of 2015.
He is the Regional Editor for SBL’s International Voices in Biblical Studies (IVBS) series, and a member of Colloquium’s Editorial Board. He is also a member of the Aotearoa-NZ Association of Biblical Scholars (ANZABS), Society of Asian Biblical Scholars (SABS), Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and co-founder of Oceania Biblical Studies Association (OBSA). He is the author of Reading Ezra 9-10 Tu’awise (SBL, 2011), co-edited Bible and Art, Perspectives from Oceania (with Carolyne Blyth, Bloomsbury, 2017), and also published several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. Click here for his publications.
Dr Emily Colgan
Lecturer in Biblical Studies (2015 – present)
Qualifications: BA (Maori Studies), BTheol (Biblical Studies), BTheol (Honours, First Class), PhD in Theology (Biblical Studies) (University of Auckland).
Teaching: Biblical studies & some theological and pastoral studies papers
Emily is a bit of a Bible nerd who is utterly passionate about biblical interpretation in
After completing a conjoint degree in Arts (Māori Studies) and Theology (Biblical Studies), Emily pursued postgraduate qualifications in Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible). She earned her PhD in Theology in 2015. Emily worked as a tutor and a lecturer at the University of Auckland throughout her doctoral study. After submitting her PhD, Emily worked as an
adjunct lecturer for St John’s Theological College (in Tai Rawhiti) and the Pacific
Theological College (in Suva, Fiji). Emily began working at Trinity College in November 2015.
Emily’s research focuses on the relationship between the Bible and contemporary social imaginaries, asking about the ways in which biblical texts interact with communities in the present.
She is particularly interested in ecological representations within the Bible and what it means to read Scripture in the context of climate change. Emily is currently working on an ecological commentary of the Book of Jeremiah for the Earth Bible Commentary series (Bloomsbury). She has also written chapters on the Bible and ecological thinking in The Oxford Handbook on Bible and Ecology (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), The Bible
and Art: Perspectives from Oceania (Bloomsbury, 2017), The Nature of Things:
Rediscovering the Spiritual in God’s Creation (Wipf and Stock, 2016), and Sexuality, Ideology and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements (Sheffield Phoenix, 2015).
Emily is also very interested in biblical depictions of gender and violence. Her most recent publication is a multi-volume work, which she co-edited with Caroline Blyth and Katie Edwards entitled Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion (Palgrave, 2018).
More than anything, Emily loves being in the classroom, working alongside students to make sense of biblical texts. She loves the depth of engagement that happens as we wrestle critically with the rich complexities of these ancient documents and attempt to understand them in our
Emily is passionate about justice. And compassion. I am passionate about Trinity College as a community that seeks to tangibly live Christ-like justice and compassion in our world today.
Colgan, Emily. “Re-Viewing the Book of Jeremiah: An Ecological Perspective.” In The Oxford Handbook of Bible and Ecology. Edited by Mark Harris and Hilary Marlow. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
Colgan, Emily. “Let Him Romance You: Rape Culture and Gender Violence in Evangelical Christian Self-Help Literature.” In Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion: Christian Perspectives. Edited by Caroline Blyth, Emily Colgan, and Katie Edwards. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Colgan, Emily, and Caroline Blyth. “Tough Conversations: Teaching Biblical Gender Violence in Aotearoa New Zealand.” In Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Edited by Caroline Blyth, Emily Colgan, and Katie Edwards, 201-207. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Colgan, Emily. “Reinscribing Rape: Tracing Connections Between the Experience of Women and Land in Biblical and Contemporary Texts.” In Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Edited by Caroline Blyth, Emily Colgan, and Katie Edwards. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Blyth, Caroline, Emily Colgan, and Katie Edwards eds. Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion: Biblical Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Blyth, Caroline, Emily Colgan, and Katie Edwards eds. Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion: Christian Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Blyth, Caroline, Emily Colgan, and Katie Edwards eds. Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Colgan, Emily. “Analogies with Anathoth: Reading Land, Reading Jeremiah in the Paintings of Michael Shepherd.” In The Bible and Art, Perspectives from Oceania. Edited by Caroline Blyth and Nasili Vaka’uta. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.
Colgan, Emily. “Who Stirs Up the Sea so that Its Waves Roar?: The Interconnectedness of All Reality in Jer 31:35-37.” In The Nature of Things: Rediscovering the Spiritual in God’s Creation. Edited by Norman Habel and Graham Buxton. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2016.
Colgan, Emily. “‘Come Upon Her’: Land as Raped in Jer 6:1-8.” In Sexuality, Ideology and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements. Edited by Robert J. Myles and Caroline Blyth. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2015.
Te Aroha Rountree
Lecturer in Maori/Indigenous Studies (2015 – present)
Qualifications: BA, MA, Ph.D. candidate (University of Auckland)
Teaching: Maori Studies & pastoral studies papers
Dr George Zachariah
Lecturer in Theological Studies (2019 – )
Qualifications: BCom (Kerala University), MCom (Mahatma Gandhi University), BD (United Theological College, Bangalore), STM (Union Theological Seminary, New York), ThM, PhD (with Distinction, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago).
Teaching: Theological Studies & Religious Studies papers
Born and raised in Kerala, Zachariah was nurtured in Christian faith by his family and his church. During his college days, he got the opportunity to be part of the Student Christian Movement, which widened his perspectives and deepened
his commitment to God and God’s world. This new awareness enabled him to dedicate his life to full-time ministry witnessing Christ in solidarity with the marginalized in their search for a new world.
After completing his post-graduation in Commerce from the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Zachariah joined AWAZ, a Christian social action group, and worked among the landless people in the villages in Central India for three years, organizing them through trade unions and peasant movements. It was a journey of vocational discernment in communion with people at the margins, re-imagining the public witness of the Church, informed by the politics and spirituality of radical societal engagements. In 1990, he accepted the call to serve the Student Christian Movement of India and served SCM as program secretary for three years.
George Zachariah’s decision to do formal theological studies brought him to the United Theological College, Bangalore in 1993, and he completed his BD studies in 1997. After serving the M.M. Thomas Center in Thiruvalla, Kerala as coordinator and the Theological Literature Council as editor for a short period, he decided to continue his advanced theological studies in the area of Christian Ethics in the United States of America and joined the Union Theological Seminary, New York for his STM degree. Zachariah earned his
with distinction in the field of Systematic Theology with special emphasis in Christian Ethics from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, IL, USA, in 2006. His Dissertation was entitled “Towards a Subaltern Earth Ethics: Narmada Bachao Andolan as Text.”
On completion of his doctoral studies, Zachariah returned to India and served the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai as faculty in the department of theology and ethics for seven years. During that period, he held several responsibilities such as
served as the editor of Gurukul Journal of Theological Studies for a term of three years. From 2013-2018 he served the United Theological College, Bangalore, India as professor and chairperson of the department of theology and ethics.
George Zachariah has got the opportunity to attend and present papers at various national and international consultations organized by the ecumenical movements and other academic institutions and bodies. In 2012, he served as visiting scholar at the Göttingen University, Germany in the Intercultural Theology Program. He has been actively associated with different social movements in India and helped the churches and the ecumenical movements
to respond to and engage with societal issues. His publications include Alternatives Unincorporated: Earth Ethics from the Grassroots (London: Equinox Press, 2011) and Gospel in a Groaning World: Climate Injustice and Public Witness (Nagpur/Tiruvalla: NCCI/CSS, 2012). His current research areas include Ethical Reflections on Climate Injustice, Eco-theology and Human Sexuality.
His wife Anshi Zachariah is a theologically trained social worker. They are blessed with two daughters; Amritha Mariam (MA Student at the Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada) and Aruna Elizabeth (Year 11, Otahuhu College, Auckland).