Our staff will always aim to be caring, curious and proactive.

Our fantastic team are here to make your experience as great as it can be at ACOM. We also think that it’s nice to have an idea of who you might be talking to. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

MEET OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM

Dr. Stephen Smith
Principal and Chief Executive Officer

Stephen has worked with churches for 30 years in Australia, USA and New Zealand as a local minister, church planter, and regional leader. He holds an MBA with qualifications in theology and counselling, plus a doctorate in Organisational Development, and a PhD in Leadership Health. He has also consulted widely in the area of leadership development with a broad range of non-profit, government and corporate organisation


Neale Meredith
Vice Principal and Dean of Students

Neale (BTh, MA) oversees the student experience – from the first phone call to graduation. He has 30 years experience in ministry working with churches in NSW, WA and VIC. He is chairman of Youth Vision Australia and leads ACOM’s Melbourne team based at One Community Church.


Catherine Kleemann
Dean of Graduate School of Leadership and Director of Ministry Services

Cathy (AdvDipAcct, BTh, MPA) is Dean of the Graduate School of Leadership and also oversees the business management of ACOM. Cathy has over 20 years of experience in local church ministry and has passion to ensure that ministers are equipped both theologically and practically for the challenges of church planting, ministry and missional community engagement.


Alicia Cleary
General Manager of Ministry Operations

Alicia (Cert IV CMinTh) oversees the administrative operations of ACOM and leads the Ministry Operations Team in Sydney. She has worked in finance and Christian camping, and is completing a Bachelor of Theology. She attends Rivergum Community Church in Sydney.


Dr. Peter Laughlin
Dean of the Alliance Institute for Mission and Academic Team Leader

Peter (BE, BTh(Hon), PhD) served as Director of the Alliance College of Australia from 2011 and in 2017 took the role of Dean of the Alliance Institute for Mission. A published author, Peter continues to write on Christology with a particular emphasis on the important connection between the deeper life and human well-being. Peter is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia.


MEET OUR ACADEMIC TEAM

Dr. Peter Laughlin
Dean of the Alliance Institute for Mission and Academic Team Leader

Peter (BE, BTh(Hon), PhD) served as Director of the Alliance College of Australia from 2011 and in 2017 took the role of Dean of the Alliance Institute for Mission. A published author, Peter continues to write on Christology with a particular emphasis on the important connection between the deeper life and human well-being. Peter is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia.


Associate Professor Les Ball
Academic Dean

Les (BAHons, DipEd, BEdSt, BD, PhD) has extensive leadership experience in theological education throughout Australia with roles including Church History Moderator with Australian College of Theology, Dean of Brisbane College of Theology, Director (Coursework) with Sydney College of Divinity, and Research Fellow in Practical Theology at The University of Queensland.


Dr. Stephen Parker
Coursework Manager and Student Engagement Manager QLD

Stephen (BEcon, BTh, MA, DMin) currently manages ACOM’s Higher Education coursework. Based in Queensland, he has previously served as State Youth Director for the Churches of Christ in Queensland and as an Associate Minister for Springwood Church of Christ in Brisbane. He is also ACOM’s Student Engagement Manager for Queensland.


Edwina Blair
Graduate School Project Manager

Edwina (BSc Nuclear Medicine, GradDip Nuclear Medicine, BTh) has worked in local church ministry for more than 15 years and currently oversees special projects within the Graduate School, facilitates subjects within the Old Testament stream and directs the Holy Land Study Tour Program. Edwina is also an ACOM student who is currently finishing her Masters of Theology with an emphasis of Old Testament Biblical Studies.


 

Catherine Kleemann
Dean of Graduate School of Leadership and Director of Ministry Services

Cathy (AdvDipAcct, BTh, MPA) is Dean of the Graduate School of Leadership and also oversees the business management of ACOM. Cathy has over 20 years of experience in local church ministry and has passion to ensure that ministers are equipped both theologically and practically for the challenges of church planting, ministry and missional community engagement.


Professor Darren Cronshaw
Head of Research and Professor of Missional Leadership

Darren (BA DipEd MLitt BTh(hons) TheolM DMin DTheol GradDipHE) oversees research and teaches mission and leadership at ACOM. Darren is passionate about training leaders and missionaries, and serves as Pastor of Auburn Life Baptist Church. Darren has written broadly on missional leadership, congregational transformation and the engagement of the gospel with culture.


Dr. John Robinson
Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Leadership and Head of Spirituality

John (BAppSc, BTheol (Hons) PhD), is an experienced pastor, educator and founder of the LightStream Experience.  As a graduate of the Renovare Institute in Christian Spiritual Formation, John is part of an extensive global network that seeks to create transformative environments in partnership with local ministries and churches. John is based in Melbourne and currently attends Red Church.

Sarah Whitehead
Graduate School Project Manager

Sarah (BA (Hons), LLB (Hons) GradDipLegPrac), is based in the Melbourne office and oversees special projects within the Graduate School of Leadership.  She is a co-creator of the LightStream Experience, with its emphasis on personal and community transformation. She is completing her Master of Divinity with ACOM and currently attends Red Church.

 

MEET OUR STUDENT SUPPORT TEAM:
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT MANAGERS

Kaye Schelbach
Student Engagement Manager NSW

Kaye (Dip. Ministry, Cert IV TAE) is the Student Engagement Manager for NSW and Postgraduate QLD students. Kaye has over twenty years experience as a Pastor, is studying her Master of Arts with ACOM and currently attends Hillsong church.


Nicole Reeves
Student Engagement Manager VIC, TAS and SA

Nicole (BN, GradDipBus) is based in the Melbourne office and supports the learning experience of higher education students in VIC, TAS and SA. She is currently completing a Master of Arts with ACOM and is involved at Unihill Church in Bundoora.


Pete Roberts
Student Engagement Manager WA

Pete (BTh, MA) supports the learning of WA students. He is based at the Subiaco Church of Christ in Perth and is working on a new church plant in Perth’s northern suburbs.


Stephen Parker
Student Engagement Manager QLD

Stephen (BEcon, BTh, MA, DMin) currently manages ACOM’s Higher Education coursework. Based in Queensland, he has previously served as State Youth Director for the Churches of Christ in Queensland and as an Associate Minister for Springwood Church of Christ in Brisbane. He is also ACOM’s Student Engagement Manager for Queensland.


 

Susan Herbert
Student Engagement Manager (Learning Cohorts)

Susan (GradCert Business Admin) is based in the Melbourne office and is the Student Engagement Manager for Learning Cohorts. She is currently involved at Breakthrough Church (ACC) in Bayswater, with media, hospitality, high school brekkie club and community support liaison.


Elissa Roberts
Student Engagement Assistant WA

Elissa (Cert IV Youth Work) works on administration for the WA SEM, keeping students up to date with results and course plans, as well as assisting with facilitations and retreats. Elissa serves at Encounter Church where she ministers with her husband Pete.

Candice Hewitt
Assistant to the NSW Student Engagement Manager

Candice (BA Psychology, MA Christian Spirituality) assists the NSW Student Engagement Manager. Candice has worked in local ministry for 8 years and is currently the Worship Director at The Coast Community Church on the Central Coast.


 
 

MEET OUR STUDENT SUPPORT TEAM:
MINISTRY OPERATIONS

Benjamin Lee
Registrar

Ben (BA, Cert IV TAE) oversees student admissions, student records, credit transfers, reporting and compliance. Ben has many years of experience in the education sector having worked in admissions, administrations and quality assurance and compliance in the Higher Education and Vocational Sector. He currently attends One Family Church, Granville, and serves as a Worship Leader.


Auatama Iese
Assistant Registrar for Higher Education

Tama (BTh, MTh) assists the Registrar in admissions, reporting and graduation. Tama is a lay minister of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (EFKS/CCCS), assisting in leadership and preaching duties at his local congregation in Cabramatta.


Alyse Graham
Assistant Manager of Ministry Operations

Alyse (BBiomolecular Science, Cert IV CMinTh) assists the General Manager of Ministry Operations. Alyse has completed the ACOM Navigate course, the Year of Training program at Jubilee Training Centre in the UK, and is currently studying her ACOM Bachelor of Theology. Alyse has been involved in Youth and Young Adults Ministry, and has a love for Creative Arts Ministry in the Church.


Emily Southwell
Learning Systems Manager

Emily (Cert IV ChMin, BTh) manages the online learning systems at ACOM, navigating the ever-changing world of e-learning to bring a better experience to our students. She is involved in a small local church in Parramatta.


 

Lynn Gale
Accounts Assistant

Lynn assists the finance team in preparation of accounts. This function supports the effective management of ACOM’s business planning and ensures the accuracy of student financial records. She also leads payroll and accounts support with Pathways Community in Pendle Hill, Sydney.


Robyn East
Alliance Institute Administrative Support

Robyn (BSc(Hons), GradDip Ed) is Assistant to the Dean of the Alliance Institute for Mission. She attends Woden Valley Alliance Church where, at present, she is a worship leader, the coordinator for Women’s Ministry and is one of the YAH’s (Young at Hearts) working with the Youth Group.  Robyn has a passion for involving all age groups in the life of the church, especially young children in “mainstream” worship leading.

Ben Taylor
Graphic Artist

Ben aims to make ACOM look great as the creative design guy. Ben also attends and serves at Seechange Community Church (Jannali) in the Worship / Creative Ministries.


Jennifer Santiago
Learning Systems Assistant

Jennifer (BTeaching, BA Humanities) is based in the Sydney office as the Learning Systems Assistant. Jennifer is a member of the North Turramurra Church of Christ.


 

Rasha Magbanua
Administration Assistant

Rasha (BBanking and Finance) works as administrative assistant to Ministry Operations Team, providing customer service and supporting roles for the team and students. Originally from the Philippines, Rasha now attends One Family Church in Granville where she serves as a Sunday School Teacher as part of the Kids Ministry team.


Euna Kim
Assistant Accountant

Euna (BCom) is part of the finance team and assists with the preparation of ACOM’S accounts. She also manages the systems involved in ensuring the accuracy of student financial records.
Euna is based in ACOM’s Sydney office and currently attends SydHOP church.


Murray Bingham
Learning Consultant

Murray (BEng, BTh, BA, Cert IV Coaching) has 25 years of ministry in pastoral and chaplaincy settings and has a desire to see chaplains fully equipped for the vital role of being present to people who are facing challenges in their own lives.

 
 


ACOM Board

The Australian College of Ministries is a Company Limited by Guarantee ABN 96 130 267 604. It is a fresh hope ministry initiative of Churches of Christ in NSW. For more information on Churches of Christ in NSW, their values and activities – click here.

Some time ago I read Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey’s “How Now Shall We Live?” One paragraph, in particular, grabbed my attention.

‘God cares not only about redeeming souls but also about restoring his creation. He calls us to be agents not only for his saving grace but also of his common grace. Our job is not only to build up the church but also to build up society to the glory of God. As agents of God’s common grace, we are called to help sustain and renew his creation, to uphold the created institutions of family and society, to pursue science and scholarship, to create works of art and beauty, and to heal and help those suffering from the results of the Fall.’

The complexity of our world can paralyse even the most committed individuals in their efforts to bring about “kingdom” change. But being an agent of godly change doesn’t mean we have to start a revolution. Change can be bought about in many small ways, wherever and whenever. ACOM’s passion is to develop spiritual leaders who are gripped by the power of God and by a vision to transform our society. These leaders are dedicated to making situations better – more tolerable, more humane, more responsive to human needs – and, in doing so, provide individuals and communities with a direct experience of the Kingdom of God in their lives.

“ACOM’s passion is to develop spiritual leaders who are gripped by the power of God and by a vision to transform our society”

ACOM works from the premise that, to transform society, we first need to transform ourselves. So, ACOM provides multiple opportunities for students to examine their self, their world, and the church in order to become effective spiritual leaders. This examination allows God to work in students’ lives, replacing self-confidence with God-confidence, and influencing students to see things from God’s perspective. ACOM can assist you to discern the appropriate training to complement your existing skills, starting you on the process of being a change maker for the sake of the Kingdom.

Neville Cox
ACOM Chairman

Neville Cox (Chairman)
Neville was a member of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Bank and a director of twenty six companies in the Commonwealth Bank Group. He has professional qualifications in Accounting, Corporate Management, Banking and Finance and Company Secretarial Management. He recently concluded as Chairman of AMP Bank Limited and is Chairman of Focus on the Family Australia, Chairman of Workventures, and a director of Christian Super and Wesley Institute.

Dr Andrew Ball
With 25 years in church ministry Andrew is currently the Executive Ministry Director for Churches of Christ in NSW, chairman of Churches of Christ in Australia, and Network Director of Southpoint Australia. Trained in Chemistry and Pharmacology his initial career was as a consultant to the Victorian Parliament, Health Department and chemicals industry. He holds a degree in Divinity and a Doctorate in Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Ray Cheal
Ray has had a distinguished career in Human Resource Management in a leading corporate throughout Australia. He has served in churches as a leader, elder and mentor. He is a member of the Conference Executive of Churches of Christ in NSW and also serves on the Finance Committee of ACOM.

Alison Feldman
Alison (BA, GradDipEd, MEd) is a University educator with 25 years experience teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses for domestic and international students studying on–campus, via distance education, and online. She has received Faculty and University awards for excellence in teaching. Currently, she is lecturing in Public Relations at the University of Queensland. She is also a Director of Feldman and Associates (organisational consultants) – and is on the Academic Board of ACOM.

Dennis Nutt
Dennis (BA, DipEd, MA (Hons), BD) has worked for ACOM at various times since 1978 and has previously served as the Head of Theology at Wesley Institute, Registrar of the Sydney College of Divinity and Chair of the ACOM Academic Board.

Ken Graham
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Dr Les Gainer
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