Kieran Fenn fms
Exploring Theology Together: A History of the Catholic Institute of Theology Auckland, by Diane Strevens.
The Catholic Institute of Theology has left the church of Aotearoa a rich legacy, often hard fought for against opposition at a number of levels within the church.
Diane Strevens’ history of CIT, which existed from 1989 to 2012, captures the vision of a 23-year attempt to educate for life in a post Vatican II church.
The institute’s aim was ‘to explore the reality of God in our world today in teaching and research’. CIT became part of a harmonious yet challenging ecumenical relationship within ACTE, the Auckland Consortium for Theological Education.
As someone who worked for CIT in the years 1990 to 1996, working beside St John’s Trinity and Carey Baptist, I was reminded that we have more that unites than divides us.
Undergraduate and post-graduate courses developed as we moved from the highly respected degree of the Melbourne College of Divinity along with the Auckland Bachelor of Theology.
Classes grew when Auckland allowed theology papers to make up a third of the 21 papers in a Bachelor of Arts degree. Masters degrees and PhDs came in the mid-90s. Under the capable leadership of Fr Humphrey O’Leary CSSR, Sr Katrina Brill RSJ, and Fr Neil Darragh, CIT was placed on a firm foundation.
With CIT’s move from Meadowbank to Marcellin Hall, new faces and places became part of the story. No traces remain of these venues but those who studied at CIT carry their learning into the service of the church and its vital need to educate at all levels.
It remains now to see the TCI pick up the reins and match the achievements of CIT!
Exploring Theology Together is available at Epworth Books, for $30 plus shipping. Call 0800 755 355.