The Sturt Lectures - Counselling and Christian Virtues: Faith, Hope, Love, Justice

The Sturt Lectures are a one day conference inspired by John and Agnes Sturt, who were influential in the early development of holistic counselling in Aotearoa New Zealand and leaders in Christian faith. This one day conference seeks to create further dialogue between Christian faith and counselling practice. How do we show hospitality to others from different backgrounds and faiths without compromising what is core to our faith?

This year’s conference will focus on how one’s being as a counsellor and a Christian might shape counselling practice as compassionate witness to the lives of others. The conference focuses on virtues. If values are goals we seek to move towards, virtues are lived values, values in action, a way of being in the world. The conference seeks to spotlight how particular Christian virtues that a counsellor dwells in – faith, love, hope, justice– inspire their work as they join with others in the hope of effecting change and encouraging wellbeing.


We seek presentations from counsellors who are interested in speaking about how one/some of these particular virtues shape their practice with their client groups. We invite them to present their work to colleagues in a supportive environment. 

Questions to consider:

  • How do one/some of the virtues interweave with your practice?
  • How are you inspired to dwell in this virtue in your practice?
  • Why is this virtue important to you?
  • How might your dwelling in this virtue create positive effects for the client or be part of a facilitation of change with client?
  • What change/effect have you seen in embodying this virtue in your own particular practice? What issues and clients has this virtue made a difference with/to?
  • What do one/some of the virtues look like in practice? With particular clients (age, gender, ethnicity), and particular presenting issues?
  • How do you think of this virtue theologically? And then see it in your practice?
  • In your experience, what helps the formation of the virtues in your life and practice?

Please send a 400 word summary of what you wish to present and a 50 word biography about yourself to the convenor, Sarah Penwarden, email [email protected] by 14 June. You are also welcome to email her for further information.

Where Henderson Campus
When 9:00am - 3:00pm
Cost TBC. Registrations open July
RSVP Enquiries to Darlene Adair [email protected]