Saturday, November 01, 2003

Who is Steve Taylor?

Rev Dr Steve Taylor is Director, Angel Wings Ltd, an organisation committed to resourcing the church in faithful and creative ministry and mission and prophetic engagement with the world. Hence you might find Steve working with church leaders, or leading research into the future of theological education.

Described as a thought leader on mission and change, Steve speaks and writes widely on mission, theology and leadership in cultures of change. Steve is the author of First Expressions (2019), Built for Change (2016) and The Out of Bounds Church (2005). He gained his PhD in missional ecclesiology from the University of Otago (2004). In 2015, he was awarded the Flinders University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and is a regular writer for Touchstone, Zadok and Church of Scotland Weekly Worship. He has published over 45 peer-reviewed academic pieces and more than 220 other articles and poems on various aspects of Christian faith and culture. Steve is the Co-editor of Ecclesial Futures, an international, ecumenical peer-reviewed journal.

Steve supervises post-graduate students as Senior Lecturer, Flinders University and researches craftivism as Honorary Lecturer, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, Aberdeen University. Prior roles include Principal, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Principal and Director of Missiology, Uniting College of Leadership and Theology; Senior Pastor, Opawa Baptist; Senior Lecturer, Laidlaw College and Pastor, Graceway Baptist Church. He is married to Lynne and they enjoy Shannon and Kayli, exploring, gardening and coffee.


Ph.D                                                  University of Otago, 2004

M.Theol (1st class hons)                    University of Auckland, 1996

B.Theology                                        University of Auckland, 1995

B.Horticulture                                    Lincoln University, 1992

Teaching positions:

Principal, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership (2015-2021)

Senior Lecturer, Flinders University (2010-)

Principal, Uniting College of Leadership and Theology (UCLT), (2012-2015)

Director of Missiology, Post-Graduate Coordinator, UCLT (2010-2012)

Laidlaw College, Christchurch, Senior Lecturer (2004-2009)

Carey Baptist College Adjunct Lecturer (1994-2003)

Visiting Lecturer at Durham University and Parkin-Wesley College

Adjunct Lecturer at Fuller Theological Seminary, University of Otago, Charles Sturt University, Tabor College, Parkin-Wesley College

Guest lecturer at Kings College, Aberdeen University, London Bible College, Cliff College


Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015)

Excellence in Teaching Award, Faculty of Education, Humanity, Law, Flinders University (2014)

University of Otago PhD Scholarship (2001-2003)

University of Auckland Theology prize (1995)


first expressions: innovation and mission, SCM Press (2019). Reviewer 1 = “an important contribution to the field”; Reviewer 2 = “a truly landmark study”.

Built for change: A practical theology of innovation and collaboration, Adelaide: Mediacom, 2016.

The Out of Bounds Church?: Learning to Create a Community of Faith in a Culture of Change, Zondervan, 2005. Translated into Korean, 2008.

Publications Academic:

“Lockdown ecclesiologies: the limits and possibilities of enforced online first expressions,” edited by Heidi Campbell, SCM (forthcoming).

“Faith in the boardroom: seeking wisdom in governing for innovation,” In Reimagining Faith and Management, edited by Edwina Pio, Rob Kilpatrick and Tim Pratt, Routledge (forthcoming).

“When Christmas angels tweet: Making matters and practical theology in researching mission online,” requested case study in Ethnography as a Pastoral Practice. An Introduction by Mary Clark Moschella, Pilgrim Press rev edn. (under contract).

“When ‘#xmasangels’ tweet: a Reception Study of Craftivism as Christian Witness,” Ecclesial Practices 7 (2), 143-162, 2020, (co-authored with Shannon Taylor).

““Hapkas” Christology as resistance and innovation in The Mountain,” Melanesian Journal of Theology (accepted for publication) 2020.

“The missio Dei embodied in local community ministry in Scotland,” Ecclesial Futures 2020, 1 (2), 75-94, (co-authored with Mark Johnston).

“Praying for Christchurch: First Impressions of how local churches responded in gathered worship to the mosque shooting,” Stimulus: the New Zealand Journal of Christian Thought and Practice (co-authored with Lynne Taylor), 2020 (online here).

“Unbounding learning communities: Ako-empowered research in life-long ministerial formation,” Practical Theology 13 (4), 2020, 400-412 (co-authored with Rosemary Dewerse).

“A COVID Christology: Art, atonement and the forming of the social body in a time of pandemic,” Stimulus: the New Zealand Journal of Christian Thought and Practice here.

“Children of the waters: whirlpools, waiora, baptism and missio Dei,” Mission Studies (acccepted for publication), (co-authored with Hone Te Rire), 37 (1) March 2020.

“Understanding conversion in light of the “Silence” of religious change,” In Conversion as a lived experience: Narratives and experiences of converts as a source for missiological reflection, edited by Gé Speelman and Dorottya Nagy, Brill: Leiden (under review). 

“Thresholds: liminal learnings for theological studies from the history of becoming Presbyterian in Aoteoroa New Zealand,” Thresholds of Theology, edited by Jione Havea, (under consideration with Lexington, Decolonising Theology series).

“Converting Kings. The re-naming of theologies of sovereignty in the encounter between Crown and Maori in New Zealand’s Great War of 1864,” Re-naming Sovereignty (forthcoming), edited by Mark Brett and Jione Havea (accepted).

“Cultural hybridity in conversion: an examination of “Hapkas” Christology as resistance and innovation in Drusilla Modjeska’s The Mountain,” Mission Studies 36 (3) November 2019 (forthcoming).

“Theological Education as Development in Vanuatu: ‘Wayfaring’ and the Talua Ministry Training Centre,” Sites: a journal of social anthropology and cultural studies 16 (1) July 2019, 135-157, (co-authored with Rev Phil King). DOI :

“Indigenous home-making as public theology in the words and deeds of Maori leader, Wiremu Tamihana,” Re-imagining Home: Understanding, Reconciling and Engaging with God’s stories together, edited by Darren Cronshaw, Rosemary Dewerse and Darryl Jackson, Morling Press, 2019, 188-207.

“Redeeming a Past: An Ancestor Perspective,” Listening to the People of the Land, edited by Susan Healy, Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand, 2019, 309-315.

“Researching the future: The implications of activist research for theological scholarship in teaching and learning,” Wondering about God Together: Research Led Learning and Teaching in Theological Education, edited by Les Ball and Peter Bolt, SCD Press, (co-authored with Rosemary Dewerse), 2018, 87-104.

“Curiosity and doubt in researching the future: The contribution of flipped learning to sociality in theological innovation,” Wondering about God Together: Research Led Learning and Teaching in Theological Education, edited by Les Ball and Peter Bolt, SCD Press, (co-authored with Rosemary Dewerse), 2018, 426-451.

“Religious piety and pigs’ brains”:  the faith of zombies in Burr Steers’s Pride, Prejudice and Zombies,” Persuasions On-Line 38 (3), 2018.

“Divine Moves: Pneumatology as Passionate Participation in U2’s “Mysterious Ways”” U2 and the Religious Impulse: Take Me Higher, edited by Scott Calhoun, Bloomsbury Press, 2018, 43-60.

“Where does mission come from? The genealogy of Jesus as deep mission” Australian Journal of Mission Studies 11 (2), December 2017, 28-35.

“The complexity of authenticity in religious innovation: “alternative worship” and its appropriation as Fresh expressions,” M/C Journal 18 (1), 2015.

“Inhabiting Our Neighbourhoods: Plot by plot, plant by plant,” In Andreana Reale, ed. Inhabiting Our Neighbourhoods. Melbourne: Urban Seed Press. Urban Life Together: Inhabiting Our Neighbourhoods. Melbourne, 2014, 72-81.

“Let “us” in the sound: the transformative elements in U2’s live concert experience,” U2: TRANS- , Going Across, Above, and Beyond with U2, edited by S Calhoun, Lexington Books, 2014, 105-121.

“This is my body? A post-colonial investigation of indigenous Australian communion practices,” Colonial Contexts and Postcolonial Theology: Storyweaving in the Asia-Pacific, edited by M. Brett and S. Havea, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 201-217.

“The Congregation in a Pluralist Society: Rereading Newbigin for Missional Churches Today,” Pacifica: Australasian Theological Studies 27 (2), 2014, 1-24, (co-authored with D. Cronshaw).

“Embodiment and transformation in the context of e-learning,” Learning and Teaching Theology: Some Ways Ahead, edited by In Les Ball and J. Harrison, Morning Star, 2014, 171-184.

“Public Lament,” Spiritual Complaint: The Theology and Practice of Lament, edited by MJ Bier & T Bulkeley, Pickwick Publishers, 2013, 205-227, (co-authored with E. C Boase).

“Baptist Worship and Contemporary Culture: A New Zealand Case Study,” Interfaces. Baptists and Others, edited by David Bebbington and Martin Sutherland, Paternoster, 2013, 292-307.

“The Emerging Church in New Zealand,” Gospel After Christendom: Essays in honour of Eddie Gibbs, edited by Ryan Bolger, Baker Books, 2012, 17-31.

“U2,” Don’t Stop Believin’. Pop Culture and Religion from Ben-Hur to Zombies, edited by Craig Detweiler, Robert K. Johnston and Barry Taylor, Westminster John Knox Press, 2012, 125-127.

““Bullet the Blue Sky”: the evolving live concert performances,” Exploring U2: Is This Rock ‘n’ Roll? edited by Scott Calhoun, Scarecrow Press, 2011, 84-97.

“When land is layered: Jacob in conversation with coloniser (James Cook) and colonised (Te Horeta Te Taniwha),” The Gospel and the Land of Promise, edited by Philip Church, Tim Bulkeley, Tim Meadowcroft and Peter Walker, Pickwick, 2011, 133-146.

“Reading “pop-wise”: the very fine art of “making do” when reading the Bible in bro’Town,” The Bible in/and Popular Culture: A Creative Encounter, edited by Phil Culbertson and Elaine Wainwright, Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, 2010, 157-172.

“A Pneumatology for an Everyday Theology: Whither the Anonymous Spirit in Luke 10:1-12?” The Spirit of Truth: Reading Scripture and Constructing Theology with the Holy Spirit, edited by Myk Habets, Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon, 2010, 41-56.

“Even the Dogs Eat the Crumbs that Fall from their Masters’ Table”: A Contemporary Reflection on the Sacramentality of Communion,” Colloquim 39 (2), 2007, 209-225.

“The Post-Evangelical Emerging Church: Innovations in New Zealand and the UK,” International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 6 (1), 2006, 49-64 (co-authored with Matthew Guest).

“Midwiving and the Practices of Theological Field Education,” Ministry Society and Theology 19 (1), 2005 173-188.

“Co-authoring Christianity,” Stimulus 12 (3), 2004, 10-15.

“A Generational Life after God:a/ community and a Baptistic ecclesiology,” Talking Theology 2001-2002 Proceedings, edited by Martin Sutherland, Carey Studies in Theology: Carey Baptist College, Auckland, 2003, 41-53

“Doing practical research downunder: a methodological reflection on recent trends in Aberdonian practical theology,” Contact 142 (1), 2003, 2-21.

“Scars on the Australasian Heart: Anzac Day as a contextual atonement Image,” New Zealand Journal of Baptist Research 6, 2001, 48-74.  

“Atonement for Madonna’s World,” Mission Without Christendom: Exploring the Site, edited by Martin Sutherland, Carey Studies in Theology: Carey Baptist College, Auckland, 2000, 79-102.

“Pai Marire: Mission, Cultures in Technicolour,” New Zealand Journal of Baptist Research 2, 1998, 25-46.

Book Reviews Academic:
“Tears of Rangi: Experiments across worlds. By Anne Salmond,” Mission Studies (forthcoming).

“Decolonisation and the Pacific: indigenous globalisation and the ends of empire. By Tracey Banivanua Mar,” Mission Studies (forthcoming).

“Book Review: Pete Ward, ed., Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography,” Uniting Church Studies 20 (2), 2014, 67-69.

“Review: Yarta Wandatha,” Uniting Church Studies 20 (2), 2014, 69-71.

“Book Review: Christian Scharen, ed., Explorations in Ecclesiology and Ethnography,” International Journal Practical Theology 17 (2), 2013.

“Review. Beyond Foundationalism. By Stanley Grenz and John R. Franke,” New Zealand Journal of Baptist Research 7, 2002, 106-7.

Publications Industry:

“Grief work: for when the Spirit is black,” Candour (July 2019).

“God as a spacemaker,” SPANZ 76 May 2019 (16).

“Weekly Worship Pages 25 August 2019,” Mission and Discipleship Council, Church of Scotland.

“Faith of girls and the mission of men,” Zadok 142 Autumn 2019 (4).

“Resurrection comes from blood,” SPANZ 75 Summer 2019 (16).

“Living library (,” Candour (December 2018).

“Down to the river to pray: An eco-theology of water,” Zadok 141 Summer 2018 (4).

“You can’t eat lilies: the future of precarious work,” Zadok 140 Spring 2018 (8).

“Craft-ivism at the Cathedral,” Cathedral Extra, The transitional Christchurch Cathedral, (Spring 2018), back page.

“Children of the Waters,” Snapshots in Mission edited by In Rosemary Dewerse. Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, 2018, 4-5.

“Ko koutou nga uri o Te Tahu Ngahere,” Theology matters column, SPANZ 74 Spring 2018, 16.

“Religious liberty and the curious case of Israel Folau.” Zadok 139 Winter 2018 (4).

“Saying no: U2’s response to the evils of the refugee crisis.” Zadok 138 Autumn 2018, (4).

“Missional leadership on the road to Emmaus,” Candour (July 2018), with Phyllis Harris, Mark Johnston, Jill McDonald, Margie Rea, Steve Taylor, Cate Williams).

“Book Launch Prayer,” Poem in Foreword of Victoire Larmenier. Spirit and Vision, edited by Peter Hughes and Eileen Pickard, Don Bosco Publications: Bolton, UK, 2018, vii-viii.

“Christ-based innovation.” with Mark Johnstone, Theology matters column, SPANZ 71 (Summer 2017), 16.

“A Christian response to home invasion,” Snapshots in mission, edited by Rosemary Dewerse, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership Press, 2017, SCD Press (3-4).

“New Mission Seedlings,” Snapshots in mission, edited by Rosemary Dewerse, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership Press, 2017, SCD Press, (co-authored with Mark Johnston), (11-14).

“A Millennial Stare,” Zadok 137 Summer, 3.

“Revelation’s Dawn Chorus,” Zadok 136 Spring 2017 (25).

“Flowers and people – together – are gold,” Tui Motu 216 (June 2017) (12-13).

“Sacred Welfare,” Zadok 135 (details).

“Religion and politics: Learning with Wiremu Tamihana.” Theology matters column, SPANZ 68, 2017, 16.

“U2 Praying the Pattern of the Psalms in Paris.” Equip 30, 2017, 20-21.

“A theology of strategic planning? Yeah right!” Theology matters column, SPANZ 67, 2016, 18.

“Mission possible: Becoming intercultural by becoming children.” Refresh Journal of Contemplative Spirituality, 17(2), 2016, 42-44.

“Rejuvenation in the Church: some theological notes,” Candour (March 2016).

“It takes a church to raise a minister.” Theology matters column, SPANZ 65 (2016), 18.

“Theology needs Art,” Seasons of the Spirit 2013.

“Starting Old – A re-resurrection,” Australian Leadership 5 (5), 2013, 15-17

“Seeking holy ground,” The Journey, 2012.

“Fresh Expressions of the Uniting Church.” Australian Leadership 5 (1), 2012, 7-9.

“What reaches emerging young adults?” Australian Leadership 3(6), 2011, 10-12.

“A Uniting Church and Emerging Church?” Cross Purposes 21, 2010, 3-8.

“Creating space for innovation,” Curating Worship, edited by Jonny Baker, SPCK, London, 2010, 129-138.

“A Kiwi Emerging Church? Yeah Right!” in New Vision, New Zealand Vol III (2008), ed. Bruce Patrick, Tabernacle Books, Auckland, 2008, 311-324.

“Out of the Blue,” Chrysalis Seed Arts June 2007, 25-26 (Reprinted with permission from Touchstone Magazine).

“Blood Diamond,” Chrysalis Seed Arts June 2007, 27 (Reprinted with permission from Touchstone Magazine).

“Participation and an atomized world: A contemporary reflection on Christ as representative New Adam” in Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross, edited by Mark Baker, Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, 2006, 103-110.

“Emerging, established or re-emerging? A Trinitarian reflection on church and ministry today,” Ministry Today, 2006. 

“A Branded Spirituality: Global Youth Culture and a Branded Identity,” in Culture Yeah Right! Ed. J.Sewell, CYMA, 2006.

“Looking closer at Sieger Koder’s The Last Supper: Who will take this cup?” in Farben des Lebens, Schwabenverlag, 2005, 154-160.

“Choosing Creativity,” Reality 11 (63) (June/July 2004), 25-28 (co-authored with Lynne Taylor).

“An Open Letter to Mel Gibson,” Reality 11 (62) (April/May 2004), 13-17.

“Celebrating a Postmodern Pentecost,” Reality 57 (June/July 2003).

“Romeo and Juliet and alternative worship,”, (October 2002).  

“It’s Church Jim, But Not as we know it,” Reality 7 (42) (December 2000/January 2001), 35-40.

“A New Generation … A New Millenium,” Reality 7 (41) (October/November 2000), 12-18.

Films reviews, Touchstone, 500 words in length, monthly since 2005, 135 in total.

Research funding attained:

Thornton Blair Research Fellow (2017) $52,000

Indigenous Women’s Christologies project (2014)                $1200

Evaluation of Pioneer Leader Training (2013)                        $5000

Conference Presentations Academic (selected):

“Graduate formation and life-long learning in the context of ministerial vocations,” God’s Exemplary Graduates: Character-Oriented Graduate Attributes in Theological Education. 2019 Learning & Teaching Theology Conference (with Dr Rosemary Dewerse), 2019.

“The symbol of the burning bush as an object in global exchange and local adaptation,” Curiosity in Things: Held in Trust Otago Museum and University of Otago Centre for Research on Colonial Culture symposium, 2019.

“Translation and Transculturation in indigenous resistance: the use of Christian Scripture in the speeches of Wiremu Tamihana,” Centre for the Book Symposium on Translation and Transculturation, University of Otago, Dunedin, 2018.

“The endings of “Pop”” U2 Conference, Belfast, 2018.

“Thresholds: liminal learnings for theological studies from the history of becoming Presbyterian in Aoteoroa New Zealand,” Thresholds of Theology symposium, Auckland, 2018.

“Religious piety and pigs’ brains”:  the faith of zombies,” Undisciplined Austen symposium, Flinders University, Adelaide, 2017.

“Rethinking the Reformation: Sola Scriptura in Aotearoa New Zealand,” REFORMATION 500 NZ, Waikato University, 2017.

“Sexual violence in the line of David: The possibilities and limits of recapitulation, ” ANZATS, Adelaide, 2017.

“Converting Kings? theologies of church and state in the encounter between British and Maori.” Reimaging Home, Australian Association of Mission Studies Conference, Whitley College, 2017.

“Seeing Silence as Cinema.” Seeing Silence: Interdisciplinary perspectives Symposium, University of Otago, 2017.

““Hapkas” Christology as resistance and innovation in Drusilla Modjeska’s The Mountain.” Resistance and Innovation Symposium, University of Otago, 2017.

“Praying in crisis: the implications for chaplains from an empirical study of how local churches respond to global events,” Chaplaincy in Aotearoa New Zealand, 2016 (co-authored with Lynne Taylor).

“Fiction as missiology: an appreciation of religious change in Drusilla Modjeska’s The Mountain,” International Association Mission Studies, Korea, 2016.

“regard as valuable”: Missiological approaches to the “Silence” of religious change,” International Association Mission Studies, Korea, 2016.

“Jesus as the divine tracker: an indigenous experiment in a post-colonial atonement theology,” ANZATS, Melbourne, 2016 (co-author with Aunty Denise Champion).

“Fieldwork in theology: learnings down-under,” Forum co-ordinator, ANZATS, Melbourne, 2016.

“The complexity of being woven together: A microhistory of Talua Ministry Training Centre,” Woven Together: Christianity and Development in the Pacific, Victoria University, Wellington, 2016 (co-authored with Rev Phil King).

“Revaluing the lives we teach: the pedagogies we employ and the Gospel truths they deploy,” ANZATS, Sydney, 2015. (Being submitted to Journal of Adult Theological Education).

“Activist research: an examination of lived practices in ethnography and ecclesiology,” Ecclesiology and ethnography conference,” Durham, 2015. (Being submitted to Ecclesial Practices Journal).

“A class above: Evidence based action research in a higher education context,” HERGA, Adelaide, 2015.

“Rae ki te Rae (face to face): Analysing the performances of ecclesiological innovation,” Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership Invited lecture, Dunedin, New Zealand, 2015.

“A sociological parsing of everyday religious innovation,” TASA, Adelaide, 2015.

“Theological education in leadership formation” Beyond Education, Melbourne, 2014.

“Let me in the sound: the role of one liners in the live concert experience of U2,” U2 Academic Conference, Cleveland, USA, 2013.

“Embodiment and transformation in the context of e-learning.” Teaching and Learning, Sydney, 2013.

“Ecclesiology and Ethnography: “down under”ANZATS, New Zealand, 2013.

Conference Presentations Industry (selected):

Keynote (4), General Assembly, Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, Auckland, 2014.

Keynote (3), National Ministers Conference, Uniting Church in Australia, in three locations, Sydney, rural Queensland and Jerusalem, 2014.

Keynote (3), Press Go, Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, Wellington, 2014.

Keynote, Uniting Church National Presbytery Ministers Conference, Barossa, 2014.

Keynote, Uniting Church National Rural Ministers Conference, Barmera, 2013.

Keynote, Catholic Education, Adelaide, March 2012.

Keynote (3), Summer Spirit, Uniting Church Synod of Western Australia, Perth, 2012.

Keynote, Australasian Religious Press Association, Adelaide, 2011.

Keynote (3), Diocese of Adelaide Anglican Church Clergy Conference, Barossa, 2011.

Keynote, Synod of South Australia and Northern Territory Lutheran Church, Murray Bridge, 2011.

Contact details:
14 Ruru Ave, St Leonards, Dunedin 9022
Cellphone: 022 155 2427

Twitter: @emergentkiwi



Posted by steve at 06:56 PM


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