The first dean of the new Catholic Theological College has been appointed – Dr John Evangelista of Auckland.
The appointment was announced by Te Kupenga chief executive Dr Areti Metuamate on February 15. A statement from the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference saod that Dr Metuamate was delighted to announce the appointment.
Dr Evangelista is a leading healthcare executive with 25 years experience in senior management roles. He is an active Catholic and has had a strong involvement in the Church both locally and overseas.
Dr Evangelista will take up the senior position, approved by all bishops, in March. Until now, the interim dean of the Catholic Theological College has been Fr Merv Duffy, SM, one of New Zealand’s preeminent Catholic theologians.
As dean, Dr Evangelista will lead the college, which is one of the three agencies within Te Kupenga-Catholic Leadership Institute. The college has replaced Good Shepherd College (GSC) and The Catholic Insitute of Aotearoa New Zealand (TCI), and provides courses for seminarians, teachers in Catholic schools and anyone who wants to study theological disciplines at a tertiary level.
A medical doctor, Dr Evangelista has until now been managing director and CEO of Sanus Vitae, an Auckland-based healthcare consultancy company.
“I am very excited that a person of Dr Evangelista’s calibre has agreed to take on this position, and look forward to his contributions to our mahi, especially in casting the net – te kupenga – far and wide so that we connect to communites across Aotearoa”, said Dr Metuamate.
“We have some outstanding staff and students in the college, and Dr Evangelista is well positioned to support them and bring his own expertise and experience, taking the college to the next level”, Dr Metuamate added.
While the Catholic Theological College has staff across New Zealand, Dr Evangelista will be based at the Auckland campus. He will be supported in his role directly by the two heads of programme, Fr Duffy (Level 7), and Susan Wilson (Levels 5 and 6).
“I would also like to express our deepest gratitude and thanks to Pa Merv Duffy, who has been an outstanding interim Dean. Pa Merv has made a significant contribution to theological education in Aotearoa, and he continues to be an outstanding scholar and wildly popular teacher in the college. We are very fortunate that we will continue to have Pa Merv playing a key role in the college,” Dr Metuamate said.
Dr Evangelista has held chief executive roles in the UK, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and the Philippines.
As an educator, John has held several professorial posts at local universities in the Philippines. He was one of the pioneering faculty members of the prestigious University of Asia and the Pacific in Manila, a leading Catholic teaching institution.
He finished his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Medicine degrees in the Philippines. He also earned a Licentiate in Theology from the Roman College of the Holy Cross in Rome, as well as further theological studies at the University of Navarre in Spain. He also has an MBA from the Philippines and post-graduate studies in counselling from the University of Auckland.
Dr Evangelista is married and lives in Auckland. He and his wife have two children who are both studying at Victoria University in Wellington.