About Us

Southern Presbyterians is the 69 Presbyterian Churches and Co-Operating Ventures in the Otago and Southland region & their regional bodies. 

To see where our churches are located and get a glimpse of what they are about, click here.

Within Southern Presbyterians, there a number of staff who work to resource our churches. To meet our staff, and their roles click here.


The Background To Southern Presbyterians

Southern Presbyterians is made up of our two regional bodies, The Synod of Otago and Southland and Southern Presbytery. There is also the Otago Foundation Trust Board 

The following contains a summary of the intent of the Synod of Otago and Southland, Southern Presbytery and the Otago Foundation Trust Board which administer the invested funds on the Synod's behalf. 



Southern Presbytery Strategic Directions Statement 2023-2026


Vibrant communities of faith in the South


To lead a movement of communities of faith to witness to the good news of Jesus Christ


1. Working together 

  • Seek opportunities to inspire, resource and support each other and embrace innovation, aimed at helping people journey to and in faith; 

  • Grow constructive engagement between Presbytery and communities of faith;

  • Promote a culture of generosity, transparency, mutual accountability, safety and permission-giving throughout the Presbytery;

  • Build partnership with mana whenua and strengthen partnership with Te Aka Puaho;

  • Enhance partnerships with Presbyterian bodies in our region including the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Church schools and Presbyterian Support and with the University;

  • Work together with other presbyteries.


2. Engaged communities of faith 

  • Support communities of faith to intentionally engage their wider communities;

  • Increase support for mission initiatives, including fresh expressions of the gospel;

  • Assist communities of faith to address their current realities and clarify their future;

  • Model and encourage inter-cultural and inter-generational relationships in all our life together;

  • Strengthen regional ecumenical relationships to support local cooperation.


3. Leader development 

  • Identify, encourage and support people to exercise excellent leadership in all aspects of our presbytery;

  • Build the capacity of people in their roles across the Presbytery;

  • Resource education and ministry to enable a broad range of people to exercise leadership and practise ministry;

  • Support initiatives for growth in prayer, evangelism and societal transformation.


4. Aligned resourcing

  • Align processes, decision-making, structures, finance, assets, staffing, communication and information collecting, analysing and reporting to intentionally support our mission;

  • Pursue operational integration with the Synod of Otago and Southland including in stewarding resources, decision-making, meeting and communicating;

  • Encourage mission shaped communities of faith through congregational reviews and associated planning and reflection.


Note: “communities of faith” includes congregations and ministries such as chaplaincies.

For Southern Presbyteries' handbook and standing orders, click here. 

For Southern Presbyteries' Strategic Directions statement graphic, click here 



Our mission statement: 

  • To make Jesus Christ known through the five faces of mission.

  • To be a leader in mission, through developing strategies and offering resources relevant for contemporary society, both regionally and nationally.
  • To enhance the vision of our Scottish founders, to the benefit of the community as well as the Christian faith. 
  • To hold to our values dearly and to our structures lightly, thus to focus on Christ's life and teaching rather than evolved Church structures and practices.

By pursuing these goals, we hope to create key values of humility, honesty, hospitality and graciousness.

To read a brief history of the Presbyterian Synod of Otago & Southland, click here.

To view the Synod of Otago and Southland's convictions and guiding principles click here


Otago Foundation Trust Board

Our objectives: 

  • To administer the various funds referred to in the Otago Foundation Trust Board Act 1992 upon, for, and subject to the trusts and purposes under and for which they were established.


  • To acquire and hold in its name land and buildings upon trust for any congregation or Deacons' Court for the purpose or other benefit of a church or manse or church hall, or glebe, and to administer the trusts under which such land and buildings are held.


  • To carry out its purpose and functions within the context of a widely religious or educational sense and taking due account of present and future developments in presbyterian education, worship, theology, mission and secular education, within the provincial district of Otago. We hope to go beyond that and beyond the literal bounds of the presbyterian religion if the object served is a charitable purpose within the meaning of the Charitable Trusts Act 1957.


  • The net income of the Otago Foundation Trust Board is given annually to the Synod of Otago and Southland, to be distributed as grants.