Home or Away – Sports and Theology Conference

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 About the Conference

It is sometimes said that sport is the “national religion” of New Zealand; we take our sport and leisure very seriously. Often, however, these pursuits can feel disconnected from Christian faith and practice.

This conference will attempt to bridge this gap addressing subjects like:

  • The place of competition in the Christian life
  • The religiousness of sport in a secular age
  • The relationship between identity and sports – for good or bad
  • The pastoral and ethical issues involved in sports and gaming today

We are honoured to have a strong lineup of national and international coaches, athletes, Sports Chaplains, academics and theologians including the Keynote Speakers plus Grant Stewart (Chaplain to the Melbourne Storm NRL team), Cameron Butler (National Director, Sports Chaplaincy Australia) and Steven Waller (Professor of Recreation and Sport Management, University of Tennessee-Knoxville)

Here are a few of the keynote topics:

  • The religiousness of Sport in a Secular Age
  • Competing for Christ: Sin and Salvation in Competitive Sport?
  • The “Emergency” of Leisure, Recreation, and Sport in the Culture of African American Protestant Churches in the United States
  • Storm Survival: Riding the Waves of Sports Chaplaincy Through Times of Chaos, Crisis and Calm
  • Sporting Identities: What We Play and Who We Think We Are

View the Programme below for full information or download a pdf version

Keynote Speakers

Dr Robert Ellis

Principal of Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and author of The Games People Play: Theology, Religion, and Sport (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2014).


Ian Foster

Assistant Coach to the All Blacks

Ian Foster Image

Grace Rasmussen

Netballer, New Zealand Silver Ferns, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, and graduate of Laidlaw College.


 Steven Waller

Professor of Recreation and Sport Management in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport Studies at the university of Tennessee-Knoxville and Sports Chaplain


Highlight: Conference Dinner

Join us for a special dinner with Ian Foster as he discusses Coaching: Its Impact and Its Responsibilities

Cost for the dinner is $35 and is separate to the Conference


View the Full Programme:



Tuesday 11th July9.30am - 4.15pm
Wednesday 12th July9.30am - 5.45pm
Conference Dinner (Wed)6.30pm - 9.00pm
Thursday 13th July9.00am - 12.30pm



$180.00 Earlybird (extended ’til 16th June)

$210 Full Conference (16th June onwards)

$150.00 Sports Chaplain (Full Conference)

$70 One Day (Tuesday & Wednesday) $50.00 for Sports Chaplains

$40 One Day (Thursday) $35.00 for Sports Chaplains

$50 Student (Full Conference)

$35 Conference Dinner (Wednesday 12th July)

Cost includes all meals including morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea (excludes Conference Dinner which is separate event)