Mike Summerfield

Otago staff worker

I belong to Jesus. I belong at university. These two truths have been evident in my life for some time. I managed to work outside of the university environment for nearly 6 months before I cracked and returned; I once attempted to live without Jesus for less time than that. Now that I have a job where I work at university and proclaim the gospel of Jesus, I’m hopefully sorted for life!

I grew up on the mission fields of Papua New Guinea before returning to New Zealand and living in Nelson. I studied anatomy and neuroscience in Dunedin, then Michelle (my amazing wife) and I went to live in the UK for 8 years. I worked at the University of Birmingham (after a 6 month stint at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals) teaching anatomy and studying spinal cord injuries.

We returned to Dunedin with our three UK-born daughters, and I went back to being a student at Otago to study theology. I now split my time between TSCF and Roslyn Baptist Church, where I am the pastor.

As a staff worker I mostly teach people how to read the Bible. University students are bright young things. They are here to develop their thinking in the hope that, someday, someone may find them useful. I am passionate about also developing their “God-thinking” in the hope that they may also be useful to his kingdom in the future. I read with them in small groups, in pairs, in large groups, via Facebook, and in cafes. I strive to inject the good news of Jesus into their thinking as much as their course teaches them about science, commerce, law or the arts. I also encourage them to share what they learn with their friends.