Theological research and reflection are the foundations for a modern-day understanding of ancient lessons and literature. The Vaughan Park Resident Scholarship aims to provide a conducive and supportive environment for such exploration. 

The Governance Board invites applications for the 2024 Vaughan Park Residential Scholarship.

The criteria for application is a project that reflects a clear and concise Theological connection, where the medium of delivery can be either written or visual. 

The Scholarship offers the successful applicant a supportive and encouraging space, and place, to work on their specific project. 

Applicants can be lay or ordained; holding a recognised level of tertiary education; committed to an approved subject of study; and able to reside at Vaughan Park for the period of the Scholarship. 

A comfortable, en-suite studio and all meals are provided for the duration of the Scholarship period awarded.  

Applications may be made for either a one or two-month-long residency. The Scholarship period is available throughout the year, with the exception of January and December (noting the Centre will be closed over the Easter period). In your application, please indicate three preferences for the months when you would be able to undertake your study. 


How to apply

Applications are to be addressed to “The Scholarship Grants Committee”, and submitted via email to the Director of Vaughan Park, Lesley Snyman at 

Applications are to be submitted no later than COB on Wednesday 8th November 2023, and include the following: 

  • a short biography;
  • an abstract and overall context of the study, and how it reflects the above criteria;
  • at least two, and no more than three references;
  • note of three preferences for the study period.


The Scholarship will be valid only in the year for which it is granted. 

Applicants may originate from any country, however, will be accountable for all travel arrangements, costs, and related liability. 



Some kind words from former Scholars…

Cherry Hamilton, UK

My month at Vaughan Park was one of the best experiences I've ever had.  The director, John, picked me up from the airport, and from the very start he and his wonderful, friendly team of staff made me feel like a VIP.  The facilities at the centre are second to none - much more like a hotel than a retreat centre - with the scholar's studio being especially well equipped, and with a view of the sea!  The library where I worked is such a peaceful place, built into the side of a hill, with grass for a roof; like a state of the art hobbit cave.  The spectacular views and diverse selection of books helped me to feel inspired, and Joy the assistant priest was always on hand to provide wise guidance, a shoulder to cry on and a good chat with a cup of tea.

The food at Vaughan Park was second to none.  As well as the healthy meals mentioned on the website, there are also plenty of indulgent treats and no need ever to go hungry!  I met several other guests from all around the world over the course of my stay, all with interesting stories to tell.  And the setting of the centre - right next to a stunning unspoilt beach and nature reserve made the whole experience feel like a taste of paradise.

Although I came to Vaughan Park to study and write, the atmosphere was very much one of no pressure.  This gave me the freedom to really think about where my writing was going, and to make necessary changes.  In fact, this was even encouraged! 

I simply couldn't recommend Vaughan Park enough, whether to a scholar, or anyone else looking for a place of rest and inspiration.  Vaughan Park is not just about a stunning venue, but the kind and fascinating people.  It will always be a part of me and I hope to maintain close links and perhaps to return one day.

Professor Nicola Slee, UK

I was fortunate enough to be awarded a research scholarship at Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre, Long Bay, one of the lovely beach suburbs of Auckland.  I owe a very special debt to all the staff at Vaughan Park, and most particularly to John Fairbrother, the Director, and his wife Margaret, for their generous Kiwi hospitality.  Vaughan Park is not only a beautiful place to set down for a while, with the beach and parkland right on one's doorstep, but a place of wide and inclusive welcome, of liberality of mind and heart, renewal, healing and vitality, where I was encouraged to relish my freedom and inhabit the space in whatever way was good for me.  I was nourished and held by a rhythm of daily prayer and regular eucharistic worship from the New Zealand Prayer Book, as well as by excellent food and free-flowing New Zealand wines, and above all, by the loving friendship I received from the community.  I enjoyed many stimulating conversations about the project - and much more besides - with John and Margaret and others, and had a number of opportunities for trying out some of the poems in this book with the worshipping community.


Pat Marsh, UK

...One of the things that I think I am learning is that it's better to travel simply with openness to God, rather than with expectations, which always come from limited viewpoints anyway.

I had this image in my head that I would wander along the beautiful beach, return to deep peace and stillness and simply let the words pour out of me.  And, for a variety of reasons, it hasn't happened quite like that.  There has been a far richer variety of people to meet and have conversations with than I could possibly have imagined, and those conversations have enriched and influenced my time here in very positive ways that will, without a doubt, impact my future ministry.  The stillness that I had anticipated has been punctuated by 'Godly encounters' that have seemed to be more important.

 Vaughan Park has far surpassed my expectations.  It' superb facilities, amazing location, wonderful hospitality, caring and friendly staff, and deeply important underpinning prayer are a combination that every retreat leader dreams of. 

The use of 'space' and the sensitive development of this site are true models for how a retreat house can 'be'; offering superb hospitality to secular guests whilst retaining intimacy, privacy and a rhythm of prayer for its more conventional retreat guests.  The two co-exist happily together at Vaughan Park.  These aspects are further enhanced by the high quality of the facilities at Vaughan Park and the attention to detail in the non-intrusive hospitality of the staff.  I will certainly be recommending Vaughan Park to others.

Through the unconditional gift of its scholarship programme, Vaughan Park and its team have really modelled Christ to me.  Retreats should come with a health warning though: beware, retreats can change your life!

Our Scholars for 2021 introduce themselves... 

  • FEBRUARY – Hui tanguru Professor Deborah Swinglehurst (England)I am a Professor of Primary Care at Queen Mary University of London. I combine this role with clinical work as a General more»
  • FEBRUARY – Hui tanguru Emma Barker-Clarke (Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand) Emma is of British Caribbean descent. Her dual heritage is rooted in the twinned Islands of Nevis & St Kitts more»
  • February 2021 Hui-tanguru

    Soana was born in Tongan and is one of the few Polynesian people listed in the New Zealand Registered Dietitian (NZRD) Board. She is on the final stage of her Doctoral thesis in Health Science with more»
    Soana Muimuiheata (Aotearoa New Zealand)
  • May 2021 Haratua

    Ana is 40 years old and has recently moved Northland to Dargaville from Tauranga. For her, it is an absolute privilege getting to work with the youth and being in a place to support them. Her area of more»
    Ana Sjardin-Killick (Dargaville, Aotearoa New Zealand) – combined scholarship
  • May 2021 Haratua

    Andrew Holds an MA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Auckland (UOA) and is the publishing manager at Castle Publishing where he has assisted many New Zealand Christians in the more»
    Andrew Killick (Dargaville, Aotearoa New Zealand) - combined scholarship
  • June 2021 Pipiri

    Siaosi was born and raised in the village of Fasito’otai, Samoa. In 1994, he was awarded a rugby scholarship to play at secondary school in New Zealand and has stayed ever since. He is married to more»
    Siaosi Vaili (Aotearoa New Zealand)
  • October-November 2021 Here-turi-kōkā – Whiringa-ā-rangi

    Nō wai ahau? Nō Patu Koraha, nō Ngati Kahu, nō Ngati Hine ahau, ko Deb Cole ahau.As part of Deb’s employment for Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau in the position of Kaituitui o Kāhui Wāhine o more»
    Deb Cole (Aotearoa New Zealand)
  • Scholar February 2020

    Brought up in Manurewa, South Auckland, I am working towards a PhD part-time at the Management and International Business Department of the University of Auckland Business School. I also work at the more»
    Abigail McLutchie, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Scholar March and April 2020

    I am passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where I have more than 20 years’ experience. I am a Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at more»
    Dr. Bex Lewis, United Kingdom
  • Scholar July 2020

    I am a Kiwi-born Niuean with roots from Avatele Oneonepata and Makefu Falekahoatua. I am married to a native Samoan, Togia Tavita who hails from Vailuutai and Vaiala. Together we have four children - more»
    The Rev. Pennie Vaione Togiatama-Otto, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Scholar August 2020

    During my 45 year career, I have worked in many fields, including primary teaching in South Auckland, in the Fraud Department of American Express Cards and in Export Co-ordination in the fishing more»
    Annie Short, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Scholar September 2020

    I hold an MA and a Master of Creative Writing. My poetry and fiction has been published in New Zealand, the US and Ireland, most recently in a fine line (NZ Poetry Society), Mayhem, Fast Fibres, The more»
    Lincoln Jaques, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • September - October 2019 Vaughan Park Residential Scholar

    I am an icon painter and teacher, living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. For the past 25 years, my reverence for creation and prayer has led me to study the ancient iconography egg tempera more»
    Mary Jane Miller
  • June - July 2019 Vaughan Park Residential Scholar

    Though I grew up in southern New Jersey, my time in places beyond the state is enough to make “home” an amorphous place. In the last ten years, I have lived in five states, two countries, and more»
    Jennifer Lewis
  • March - April 2019 | The Vaughan Park Residential Scholar

    I have lived for most of my life in Christchurch. For over 20 years I worked as a secondary school teacher, After the Christchurch earthquakes I worked part-time in a Catholic girls’ school, Marian more»
    Dr Anne Shave
  • July - September 2016 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    I am married to Donald, and am the mother of eight children and Rector of the Parish of Blayney, which has seven widely-flung churches in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, part of the more»
    The Rev. Anastasia Webster-Hawes
  • JuneClare Amos (Switzerland)Dr Clare Amos recently retired from her position as Programme Coordinator for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation at the World Council of Churches, Geneva, where she more»
  • July - September 2018 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    I am an Aucklander, educated by the Dominican Sisters in Henderson for my intermediate and high school years. It was from these Sisters that I learned a love of theology and languages, and a more»
    Anne Aalbers
  • March - May 2018 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    Daniel Leatherman – (Hawaii) - The Vaughan Park Scholar in ResidenceI was born and raised in the Hawaiian Islands and remained active in the Episcopal Church throughout primary and secondary school more»
    Daniel Leatherman
  • March - May 2017 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    I am a member of Nga Whaea Atawhai Sisters of Mercy and live in Otautahi Christchurch where I have spent most of my adult life. My rural upbringing on a South Canterbury hill country farm in sight of more»
    Kathleen Rushton RSM
  • February Yvonne Ualesi (Aotearoa)I am a New Zealand born Pasifika doctoral scholar at The University of Auckland. I am of Samoan, Tokelauan and Fijian descent, married and we have four teenage more»
  • FebruaryFrances Hancock (New Zealand)My name is Frances Hancock. I am a Irish Pākehā and live in Māngere Bridge with my partner and son. My life, work and studies seek to intersect the more»
  • JuneHinekura Lisa Smith (Aotearoa)My name is Hinekura Lisa Smith. I have been a teacher for almost 20 years, 15 years as a te reo Māori teacher in mainstream secondary schools, working with a wide more»
  • FebruaryStephanie McIntyre (New Zealand),My current working title is: “A bi-cultural practice for Aotearoa New Zealand”.Working in the community sector in the capital city of Aotearoa New more»
  • JanuaryDr. Stella Rock (England),Stell Rock has been travelling to and writing about Russia for years, mostly focusing on the Orthodox Christianity she first encountered on an ecumenical pilgrimage more»
  • July - September 2017 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    I grew up in Sydney, the daughter of Hungarian Holocaust survivors. I was baptised as an infant as 'protection' against future genocide and came to own Christian faith at an Anglican school.I studied more»
    The Rev. Dr. Catherine Laufer
  • March - May 2016 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    Born in England, Miles has been educated and has worked around the world. He read at History at the University of Aberdeen and graduated in 2003. The course included an internship in Washington D.C. more»
    Miles Hadley
  • 2015 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    Many Iwi are actively and strategically working towards the greater development and advancement of their people.  There is a great urgency for iwi to be able to monitor progress in a way that more»
    Jodie Porter
  • 2014 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    Julie received her PhD in History from the University of Adelaide in 2007 and from 2007-2009 held visiting research and teaching positions at the Australian National University and University of more»
    Dr. Julie Thorpe
  • 2014 | Resident Scholar

    Robert recently completed his PhD in Theology at the University of Auckland, receiving a place on the Dean of Graduate Studies List for excellence in doctoral research. A revised version of his more»
    Dr. Robert Myles
  • 2013 The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    Linda was born in Northern Ireland in 1962 and grew up in “Loyalist West Belfast” in the midst of “The Troubles.” At 19 Linda spent a year in the USA working with the Church of the Brethren more»
    Linda Pollock
  • 2013 Resident Scholar

    Originally from Auckland, Russell now lives in Nelson. He is a Lay Minister at the Nelson Cathedral actively involved in teaching and preaching. He is currently the Dean’s Warden, a member of the more»
    Russell Smith
  • 2012 The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    Traceyanne Herewini is proudly of Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa, Ngaati Kahungunu, Rangitane, English, Irish,   Scottish and Scandinavian descent. Initially, she worked as a primary teacher in more»
    Traceyanne Herewini
  • 2012 Distinguished Academic Visitor

    The Rev. Dr. Lynne Frith describes herself as a theologian practitioner outside the academy.Lynne was ordained in the Methodist Church in New Zealand Te Haahi Weteriana o Aotearoa 30 years ago, and more»
    The Rev. Dr. Lynne Frith
  • 2011 The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    The Rev. Sylvia 'Akau'ola Tongotongo is an ordained minister of the Methodist Church of New Zealand.   She is currently the Chaplain at Wesley College, the only Methodist Church affiliated more»
    The Rev. Sylvia 'Akau'ola Tongotongo
  • 2011 Distinguished Academic Visitor

    The Rev. Dr. Michael Trainor is senior lecturer in the department of theology at Flinders University, South Australia. He teaches in New Testament, and specifically in the gospels and Pauline more»
    The Rev. Dr. Michael Trainor
  • 2011 Resident Scholar

    Donna J. Dinsmore has come from a career in choral music education in the United States to worship facilitation and education at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. In addition to earning a Masters more»
    Donna J. Dinsmore
  • 2010 The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    Ellen Clark-King is currently the Archdeacon of Burrard and Priest Associate at Christ Church Cathedral in the Diocese of New Westminster, Vancouver, Canada. She is the author of Theology by Heart: more»
    The Ven. Dr. Ellen Clark-King
  • 2010 Resident Scholar

    Pat Marsh is a Christian Writer from Stafford, UK, and has trained in Retreat Leading, Pastoral Listening, Prayer Ministry, and the Healing MinistryA well respected retreat leader in the UK, Pat more»
    Pat Marsh
  • 2010 Resident Scholar

    The Rev. Geoff New is the minister of Papakura East & Hunua Presbyterian church and has been there since 1997. Geoff is married to Ruth. They have three children, Rebekah, Josiah and Luke.Before more»
    The Rev. Geoff New
  • 2009 The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    Currently, Sarah is a Priest Assistant to the Bishop of Auckland and a fulltime doctoral student with Otago University.While at Vaughan Park, she researched how Luke 19:10 functions in the Third more»
    The Rev. Sarah Harris
  • 2009 Distinguished Academic Visitor

    Dr. Nicola Slee is Research Fellow and Team Leader for the MA in Applied Theological Studies at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham, UK.She is well-known as a more»
    Dr. Nicola Slee
  • 2009 Distinguished Academic Visitors

    Dr. Heidi Campbell is Assistant Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University where she teaches in Media Studies.She has a PhD in Practical Theology and Computer-mediated Communication from more»
    Dr. Heidi Campbell
  • 2009 Resident Scholar

    Féy Cotter has a BMin from the Bible College of New Zealand, and is currently working on her thesis for a Masters of Theology through the Laidlaw-Carey Graduate School. Her area of interest is more»
    Fay Cotter
  • 2008 The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

    The Ven. Te Waaka Sonny Melbourne is a tutor and Director of Māori Language and Māori Cultural and NZ Church History at Taapapa Rotorua.Sonny will apply his three months at the Centre to more»
    The Ven. Te Waaka Sonny Melbourne
  • 2008 Distinguished Academic Visitor

    The Rev. Canon Dr. Jim McPherson recently returned to the Diocese of Brisbane after nine years in Sydney Diocese.His study at Vaughan Park will be focussed toward writing a book exploring the more»
    The Rev. Canon Dr. Jim McPherson
  • 2008 Resident Scholar

    The Rev. Joy MacCormick, a spiritual director, from Waiapu has been granted a residency to undertake research in order to assist those who seek a deeper understanding of God, but struggle with the more»
    The Rev. Joy MacCormick
  • 2007 The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

  • 2007 Resident Scholar

  • 2006 The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

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