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In this Constitution the following words have these meanings:

Association: The New Zealand Association of Theological Schools.

School: Any New Zealand Christian Theological seminary, college or institution which is principally engaged in the study of theology at a tertiary level as part of the education of the ordained ministry of the Churches.

Theology: The study of the writings, traditions, beliefs and practices of Christianity in the context of contemporary society.

Member: An institution which is a member of the Association.

Standards: Those desirable achievements in fields of staffing, library facilities, and other practical matters which from time to time the Association may decide.

Tertiary Level: Standards comparable to those applying to the undergraduate course of Universities or Teachers' Colleges in New Zealand.


I Name

The name of the Association is The New Zealand Association of Theological Studies.

II Aims

  1. The aims of the Association are:
  2. To provide a meeting ground where the needs and problems of theological schools in New Zealand may be studied, and to provide facilities for members to confer on matters of common interest.
  3. To help members keep theological education relevant to the changing situation in New Zealand.
  4. To recommend standards of theological education and maintain a list of members on the basis of such standards, and to arrange for such other affiliations or connections as will assist in promoting theological enquiry in New Zealand.
  5. To encourage the most efficient use of the resources for theological education available in New Zealand, and to promote where practicable co-operation amongst members in sharing lectures and facilities.
  6. To promote the improvement of theological education by relation with the Ecumenical Board of Theological Studies and any other similar bodies in such ways as may seem appropriate.
  7. To maintain fraternal association and to strengthen links with, in particular, the Australian Association of Theological Schools, the Association of Theological Schools of South East Asia, the Melanesian Association of Theological Schools, the South Pacific Association of Theological Schools, and the Pacific Basin Theological network.

III. Membership

1. Membership will be open to any Christian seminary, college, institute or corporate body which is principally engaged in sustained courses at a tertiary level, for the study of theology and preparation for ministry. Any such institution wishing to become a member of The New Zealand Association of Theological Schools may apply for membership.

2. The Association may from time to time designate the types of membership appropriate for schools in terms of any standards which by mutual agreement all schools endeavour to hold.

3. The Association may provide for the procedure by which any school may subsequently seek membership.

4. To facilitate the development of accreditation procedures the Association may appoint from amongst its members a Commission on Accreditation.

5. At any business meeting of the association each member may have two representatives who shall be entitled to vote.

IV. Executive

1. The Association shall meet at least once every two years and at this meeting shall be responsible for electing its Executive and any Board or Commission designated by this Constitution or from time to time determined by the Association. Any other body closely involved in theological education may be invited to send a representative to the meetings of the Association.

2. The officers of the Association shall be a Chairperson, a Secretary, a Treasurer, all of whom must represent members of the Association.

3. Such persons shall constitute the Executive and shall meet at least once a year and at such other times as they may consider necessary. The Executive shall be responsible for maintaining the aims of the Association.

4. The Association may from time to time set dues for membership to cover any expenses to be incurred in the promotion of its aims. The Executive shall be responsible for presenting a budget to the meeting of the Association.

5. Changes in the Constitution shall be made only by a meeting of the Association at the motion of a member. Three months' notice of such motion must be given to the members through the Executive. Such changes may be put into force at once by the authority of the Executive, but they shall not become a permanent part of the Constitution until they have been confirmed by the succeeding meeting of the Association.

This is the Constitution adopted at the Inaugural Meeting of the New Zealand Association of Theological Schools held at Knox College, Dunedin, 29th January, 1980. Clause III.1 altered in 1988; definition of 'Theology' added in 1995; definition of 'theology' added in 1996; name changed to New Zealand Association of Theological Schools in 1996.