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Andrew Burgess - Dean

Andrew is Dean of the College. Prior to this he served as Vicar of All Saints Church in the centre of Nelson from 2002-2011. Andrew has been ordained for twenty two years, and has previously served in churches in Blenheim (NZ) and Oxford (UK). Andrew holds a Doctorate in Systematic Theology from The University of Oxford (UK). He also holds a BSc in Chemistry as well as other degrees in theology. Publications include The Ascension in Karl Barth (Ashgate 2004) and chapters in various edited collections such as “Salvation as Judgement and Grace” in God of Salvation (Ivor J. Davidson and Murray A. Rae eds., Ashgate 2011). Currently Andrew is further researching the connection between God’s judgement and God’s grace. Andrew and his wife Rebecca have three children. Andrew also leads worship, coaches junior rugby, and always has a building or renovation project on the go.

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Sue Patterson - Dean of Courses and Senior Lecturer

Sue returned to NZ in April 2010, to take up the newly created position of Senior Lecturer and Registrar at Bishopdale after almost ten years ministry in Ireland where she was Minister in two rural areas and Dean of Killala Cathedral. In 2017, she became the 'Dean of Courses.' She holds BA, BD (distinction) and PhD degrees from the University of Otago and, prior to her time in Ireland, spent a year in Princeton as a post-doctoral Fulbright scholar and four years as lecturer in ethics and applied theology at Trinity College, Bristol. Her post-doctoral research was published in 1999 as Christian Realist Theology in a Postmodern Age. Her doctoral research was  published in 2013 as Word, Words and World. Her current research interest is conversion and personhood. Sue and her husband John live on a lifestyle block in Murchison and are enjoying the new challenges and joys that this presents, as well as the opportunity to be involved in local church leadership.


Graham O’Brien - Ministry Education Coordinator and Lecturer

Graham joined the BTC staff team in 2010 as Lecturer and Ministry Education Coordinator after three years as the Minister of Holy Trinity, Picton. He has a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology (Canterbury University), three years postdoctoral experience in molecular virology (Auckland University), and a Masters degree in Theology from Laidlaw College (BCNZ) and a Post Grad Certificate Higher Education (Otago). Graham’s research interests include the dialogue between science and theology, Christian ethics (especially bioethics) and reflective practice. Graham is married to Lee-Ann and they have two children who are both at university. Graham performs opera in various concerts around Nelson, and enjoys running and golf.

Kate Tyler - College Director

Hailing from Wellington originally, Kate Tyler (previously Dugdale, until she married her excellent husband Chris) started as the 'College Director' in December 2016 after completing her PhD in Systematic Theology through the University of Otago. Her superhero title would be 'Everything Girl', since her role at BTC encompasses everything from ordering the milk, facilitating student enrolments, lecturing, to helping with strategic vision. If you aren't sure who to talk to, Kate is the person to ask. She’s also the person to ask if you want a rundown of every single café around Nelson, and their coffee.



Féy Cotter - Internship Executive Assistant and PTE Manager

Féy was an NZCMS missions partners for nearly eight years (with husband Murray), working with  European Christian Mission (ECM) in Albania. While based in Albania, she had a wide range of leadership responsibilities across Europe. Féy has a BMin and a MTh from Laidlaw College (BCNZ) and is continuing to work with ECM (halftime) to raise people’s awareness of today’s needs in a ‘non-Christian’ Europe. The other half of her employment sees her working at Bishopdale College, supporting Jude Saxon as the internship coordinator, and overseeing the process of Bishopdale College’s application for PTE status. Féy and Murray have four adult children and three gorgeous grandchildren.


Jude Saxon - Internship Enabler and Diocesan Youth Coordinator.

Jude Saxon began working with us in late 2017, and is really excited to be working alongside the interns at BTC and with youth workers across the Nelson Diocese.  For the past 8 years he was the Youth Director for Richmond New Life Church and part of the National Youth Executive Team for New Life Churches International. Previous to this, he studied towards a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accounting, and a Diploma of Christian Ministry and Theology through C3 College. Jude has a heart and focus to grow the body of Christ in anyway possible especially with youth and empowering leaders. At the moment, he is completing a Graduate Diploma in Theology. Jude is married to an amazing wife, Megan Saxon and together they have 2 children, Vincent and Hans.


Rebecca Burgess - Teaching Fellow, Specialist in Biblical Studies

Rebecca has a PhD from the University of Otago, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Canterbury in Classical Greek and French and a Bachelor of Divinity (postgrad) from Laidlaw College, as well as a TESOL qualification. Rebecca has been a full-time parish youth worker and has taught English to Speakers of Other Languages in various schools in New Zealand and England. She is our language and biblical specialist, teaching both introductory survey and advanced exegesis courses. Alongside her academic work, Rebecca serves in youth ministry at All Saints Church. She and her husband Andrew have three children. 



Jennifer Patterson - Librarian

Jennifer Patterson was appointed librarian to the Bishop Sutton Library in June 2015. She studied at the University of Natal in South Africa. She read for a BA degree and majored in English and History with sub majors in Biblical Studies and Theology. She completed a BA Honours degree in English, a Higher Diploma in Library Science and a Masters in Information Studies. Jennifer worked in public libraries in Pietermaritzburg and in an academic library at Wentworth Hospital Library in Durban. She was appointed Assistant Manager in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Library Service and she resigned from this position, in order to marry Kevin Patterson who lives in New Zealand. Her hobbies are swimming, walking her dogs, reading, playing guitar and songwriting.

Rachael Higgs - Assistant Librarian

Rachael’s occupation has been teaching, mostly at secondary level, with a brief period at a primary school, and short periods of teaching Adult ESOL. She was based in Sydney for a long time. Currently she works with a student with learning challenges, and assists with a local English Conversation Group. Rachael has completed some study with Laidlaw Christchurch, and greatly valued gaining the knowledge of how to interpret Scripture. She especially enjoys reading non-fiction.


Jean Palmer - Adjunct Tutor

Jean has a Laidlaw Bachelor of Theology degree through Bishopdale College and has recently obtained her Master of Theology (Distinction). She also has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of London (UK) as well as a post-graduate teaching qualification. She has taught in both the UK and NZ and is currently Priest Assistant at Holy Trinity, Richmond. Jean is married to John and they have three adult children and four grandchildren.






Kelly Morgan - Adjunct Tutor

Kelly has a background in counselling and mental health community support work and holds a Diploma of Counselling. Kelly completed her Bachelor of Theology at BTC in 2011 and is enjoying her ongoing relationship with the college. Kelly currently worships at All Saints Parish and has an interest in pastoral care, missions and preaching when the opportunity arises.