Rev. Dr Karen Kemp Centre for Church Leadership Senior Coach | Lecturer School of Theology

  • DMin, MA, BTh (Hon), RGN

Karen joined the Centre for Church Leadership (CfCL) as a Senior Coach/Lecturer in 2022. This role involves training and resourcing leaders and skilled specialists as coaches and developing and delivering resources and workshops. Karen also teaches into the Theology programmes at both undergrad and postgrad levels and engages in her own research.

Her research Masters (Victoria University Wellington) integrated theological, sociological, and practical perspectives on conflict and its transformative potential in congregations. Training at the Centre for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA, further resources her work in conflict and reconciliation.

Karen’s Doctorate in Leadership and Spiritual Formation (George Fox University, Oregon) examined a Church in crisis and a story of vocation under pressure. Drawing on the 6th Century Rule of Benedict, contemporary adaptive leadership, and ancient Polynesian wayfinders, it maps a training pathway for Christian leaders who are resilient and adaptive in the face of change.

Research interests include practices that support healing the wounds of history, formation of emerging leaders, and the role of “third culture” persons in building intercultural bridges.

Karen is an Anglican scholar-priest who has been shaped by her experiences in nursing, community development, ministry, missions, and theological education in Australasia, Chile, Mongolia, and the UK. Prior to joining Laidlaw, Karen was Dean of Tikanga Pākehā students at St John’s Theological College for eight years. Earlier, in the UK, she was on the ministry team of Gloucester Cathedral and taught at the West of England Ministry Training Course/Ripon-Cuddesdon College, and at Redcliffe Missions College. Karen enjoys teaching, leading retreats, and coaching emerging leaders.

Karen grew up in Chile in a missionary family and is bilingual. She shares life with her husband, missiologist and historian Dr Hugh Kemp, and their three adult daughters, and can be found kayaking or walking the family labrador on a remote Kaipara beach in her spare time.


2018 Kemp, Karen. "The Treaty, the Church, and the Reconciliation of Christ." In Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, edited by Geoffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain, 86-99. Wellington, NZ: Victoria University Press, 2018.

2013 Kemp, K. God’s Gift of Reconciliation in Rapport Magazine (London: Lee Abbey, Sept-Dec 2013)

2000 Kemp, K. Introduction to chapter 41: “Three women of the Gobi” in H. Kemp Steppe by Step (London: Monarch, 2000)

1993 Altangerel, D., C. Humphrey, D. Altanhuyag, H. Kemp & K. Kemp. A New English-Mongolian Dictionary. (Ulaanbaatar: State Cartography Publishers, 1993)