As participants in the work of Venn, you’re invited to a Short Course in Ōtautahi, Christchurch


Venn exists to help people embrace the depths and riches of the Christian tradition for the good of their homes, universities, workplaces, churches, and communities in Aotearoa, New Zealand. To this end, we’re excited to open registration for our upcoming Short Course, Praying the Prayer of Jesus: Inhabiting the fullness of the Lord’s Prayer for the whole of life.


Held in Ōtautahi, Christchurch, this will be two days of learning to explore the pattern of prayer that Jesus gave to his disciples, and to live out of this prayer in all of life.


Many of us struggle to pray regularly and with confidence amid our everyday lives. Oftentimes, this is because we don’t know how to pray when we encounter the diverse challenges, obstacles, and opportunities in our homes, workplaces, churches, and communities. We are not alone in this struggle! One of Jesus’s own disciples asked him: “Lord, teach us how to pray.” In response, Jesus gave his disciples what is known as the Lord’s Prayer: a powerful pattern of prayer that has been used by God’s people throughout the ages to pray to our loving Heavenly Father.


In this Venn Short Course, Praying the Prayer of Jesus: Inhabiting the fullness of the Lord’s Prayer for the whole of life, you will have the opportunity to explore the pattern of prayer that Jesus gave to his disciples, and to learn to pray alongside others. You will consider what it looks like to worship and serve God in every aspect of your life, to seek the reign of God for the good of your communities, to ask for God’s daily provision, to practice forgiveness, and to resist evil. This thoughtful and practical two-day Short Course will offer teaching, worship and prayer, reflective exercises, and rich discussion, to help you grow in prayer and your relationship with God.


We hope you can join us for this Venn Short Course as we explore the Lord’s Prayer and how to pray throughout all of life.


5-6 August, 2022

Please register by Sunday, 31 July, 2022


Friday, 9:30am – 8:00pm
Saturday, 8:30am – 3:00pm


$175 per person, covering all teaching, materials, and hospitality. Meals include lunch and dinner on the Friday and breakfast and lunch on the Saturday.


Saint Mark’s Church

Opawa St Martin’s Parish

101 Opawa Road, Christchurch


We will be operating under government guidelines. 



REV. DR. NATHAN MCLELLAN is Venn Foundation’s CEO and a Senior Teaching Fellow. Nathan grew up in a family of four boys, where backyard cricket, soccer, rugby—and the occasional broken window—were on the after-school schedule. After studying economics and finance, he worked as an economist at the New Zealand Treasury and as a private consultant, before going overseas for theological study (including a Ph.D., in Christian ethics at Southern Methodist University). While overseas Nathan also worked at the Marketplace Institute (Regent College, Vancouver) as Head of Research, during which time he started and led a residential internship programme and contributed to the development of other programmes and activities, including the ReFrame Course. Nathan has an interest in leadership, community formation, and the relationship between political and economic life and the Christian faith. He is passionate about helping others develop a sound and deep understanding of the Christian faith and the way it relates to all aspects of life. He serves on several not-for-profit and commercial advisory boards and is also an ordained Anglican minister. He is a recipient of the Walter Wright Jr. Leadership Award. Nathan is married to Bronwyn and is the father of two energetic boys, Jonathan and Caleb.

MICHELLE YOUNG spent her early years in the small rural town of Paeroa on the edge of the Hauraki Plains. She moved to Whangarei where she completed her schooling, before heading to Auckland to embark on a degree in Geography. The formation of societies, patterns of life, and the shaping of culture all intrigued her, and saw her fitting in papers on Psychology, Theology, and Māori where possible, alongside her major. After graduating, Michelle travelled overseas and joined those working in the global church. When she returned she worked in her local church for five years, while completing a graduate diploma in Theology. She then managed a non-profit trust in South Auckland working with those on the margins of society. Michelle joined Venn at its establishment in September 2013 and currently serves as a Teaching Fellow and the Director of Summer Conference and Public Events. She also serves on the vestry at St Paul’s Symonds Street and is currently continuing her Theological studies through Regent College, Vancouver.

DR. JOHN DENNISON was born in Sydney and grew up in Wellington. He studied English literature and Classics at Victoria University, before completing an M.A. in English and a Bachelor of Theology at the University of Otago. Responding to a strong sense of calling to serve God in the university, he completed a Ph.D. at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. In 2012 John joined the Anglican Chaplaincy at Victoria University as a lay chaplain, where he had a particular responsibility for the mission to university staff. He then served as Supervising Chaplain from 2019 to 2021. John joined the Venn team as a Senior Teaching Fellow in 2015. In March 2021 he became Director of Resources, overseeing new initiatives in digital and print. Much of John’s work reflects his deep desire to see others flourish in their life with God, and in their giftings. He regularly teaches on the place of prayer in everyday life and work, and is passionate about creating new resources which will open people’s lives more completely to God’s purposes. John is the editor of Common Ground, Venn’s digital magazine, and is always keen to engage with new and established writers. He is married to Jannah, and they have three sons, Theo, Emmaus, and Blythe.

OLIVIA WITNEY grew up in Palmerston North and spent her youth running the hills of the Tararua Ranges, which ultimately paid off with an athletics scholarship to Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism, where she also competed in the NCAA Cross Country and Track competition. Upon returning to New Zealand, Olivia worked in sport media and marketing for two years before leaving the workforce to take part in the 2016/17 Venn Residential Fellowship. This experience altered her career trajectory away from journalism and towards further study through Otago University’s Theology department as well as the opportunity to join the team at Venn. Olivia is deeply passionate about theological education and discipleship for young people. She is Venn’s Communications and Marketing Manager and is responsible for external communications and showcasing the different programmes available at Venn. She works closely with Dr. John Dennison to deliver Venn’s bi-monthly digital magazine, Common Ground, and to develop further resources. She also teaches on the Residential Fellowship in Modules I and II and a variety of Venn teaching contexts. Olivia is married to Ashton and they live in Auckland.

DONALD GOODHALL is interested in the intersection of art and faith, and is passionate about cultivating creative contexts in which theology can be fruitfully explored. He was raised in Hamilton, a city with a vibrant music scene that helped him cultivate a passion for making music. In time, this passion was coupled with an emerging love for the Church and led Donald to significant involvement in worship leadership within Aotearoa, New Zealand. Following a brief career in Civil Engineering, Donald took up a pastoral role at his local church and served there for 16 years, beginning in the area of student and young adult ministry, before moving into a broad leadership role that included worship, the arts, and communication. This tenure was temporarily interrupted when Donald and his wife, Janaya, responded to a growing call to theological study. With two children in tow, Donald and Janaya moved to Vancouver, Canada in 2012 to begin a Master of Arts in Theology at Regent College. They returned to Hamilton at the close of 2013 and Donald resumed his responsibilities within the local church, as well as continuing his involvement in numerous worship initiatives. In late 2018, Donald took up a position with Venn Foundation as Director of the Residential Fellowship. He and Janaya, along with their four children, Neeve, Indie, Beckett, and Arrow, now call Auckland home.