Neil Chisholm

Neil Chisholm

Associate Lecturer

The best thing about life is when your kids are growing up and getting on with their journeys. Now as a grandad I can see that in my 3 amazing sons and their kids.

My mother set a pattern I hope to emulate when she went to serve in Cambodia as a 50+ primary school teacher. I have been in various ministry roles mostly in the context of a faith community. Lately, through my wife's aid organisation, I have been privileged to contribute in East Africa, where I have encouraged and coached leaders. I love what Soren Kierkegaard said about purpose:

What I really need is to get clear about what I must do, not what I must know, except insofar as knowledge must precede every act. What matters is to find a purpose, to see what it really is that God wills that I shall do; the crucial thing is to find a truth which is truth for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die.

If I could describe what Kierkegaard called, “the one thing”, it would be helping everyday people to encounter God's loving presence and live!.

Unsurprisingly, my research interest is in the conditions and content of encounter, and how that can be renewing.

I love to travel, stay fairly fit, read and simply live with my brilliant family.


PhD (Cand.) (Flinders University)
Dissertation Title Looking for the Holy Grail: Exploring Renewing Encounter with God Through the Stories of Millennial Leaders in Diverse Church Settings 2019

MA (Theology) (Aust College of Theology)
Dissertation Title Reinvigorating Christian Spirituality & Formation: An Exploration of Emil Brunner’s Truth As Encounter 2013

Grad Cert (Leadership) (Sydney College of Divinity) 2008

BA (Theology) (Murdoch University) 2010

Cert IV in Training and Assessment (Scorpion Training) 2016

Current Research

I am currently researching the link between experiences of encounter and change. In particular, to identify what might be at the heart of encounter with God that is connected with a lived experience of renewal. I am currently reviewing literature from the Bibliographies of the five main Western denominational Colleges, looking for instances of renewing encounter. The emerging frameworks are being coded and then categorised. There are several upcoming interviews with Millennial church attenders, one each from the five main Western church types. A later theological reflection will look for commonalities and contrasts and any emerging foundational aspects.



Other presentation

  • 2021
    • Biannual Teaching Brief (2021), Bianual Church Team Teaching Meeting, Perth, 25 Jan 2021
  • 2020
    • Looking for the Holy Grail: Exploring renewing encounter with Millennial Leaders: The Shape of my Thesis (2020), Mid Candidature Presentation, Adelaide Australia, 03 Sep 2020

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