About Us

All about the family at YWAM Oxford

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About Us

All about the family at YWAM Oxford.
 

Our Vision

Our vision is to see hearts revived, refreshed and renewed by the transformative love of God. From this place of renewal, God’s love can be poured out on others in our community, in New Zealand, and in the nations of the world.

 

Our Values

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Belong

When you belong, you feel safe, welcomed, loved, valued, and accepted for who you are.

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Become

As you become secure in your identity in God, you find freedom and hope in who He has made you to be.

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Impart

You are championed and released into your gifting and passions to impart the hope you have to others.

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Impact

From here, you go on to impact the world by influencing the community and spheres where God has placed you.

 

Our Story

YWAM IN CHRISTCHURCH

The story of our YWAM base began in Christchurch in 1984 on Leinster Road. At its peak, the base had a staff of 50 who ministered around the South Island. The property was sold in 1989, and YWAM Christchurch continued to operate out of an office.

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OXFORD PROPERTY

The heart of our current campus in Oxford is an historic parsonage built in 1870 for the nearby Anglican church. During the 1970s and 1980s, the house was called "Providence". The Trust that operated Providence was seeking how the property could be best used for the Lord’s work. God ordained a "chance meeting" at the back of a church in Christchurch between Providence Trust member Barry Inch and YWAM Christchurch leader Bob Scroggins. This led to the Oxford property being given to YWAM Christchurch in late 1991. In February 1992, the first DTS opened at YWAM Oxford. YWAM Oxford began with an act of faith and a gift of generosity.

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A NEW VISION

In 1998, six years after the campus began, numbers of staff and students were dwindling and a new vision was needed. As leadership sought the Lord, He pointed them to Psalm 121:1 ‘ I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.’ As they looked at the beautiful hills and mountains that surrounded the location, the idea of a Snowboarding Discipleship Training School (DTS) came to mind. The "themed school" was birthed, and quickly multiplied into a fruitful and thriving school. The first school had eight students, followed by 13, then 25, then 36, then 38.

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RESTORATION

In the year 2000, a meeting was set between Loren Cunningham (YWAM International leader), Frank Naea (YWAM NZ leader), the trust and leadership of YWAM Oxford, and some of the past leaders of YWAM Christchurch. The meeting was to address the hurts caused by the selling of the YWAM property in Christchurch. The decision to sell the Christchurch property by the National leadership had been made to help clear debt, and it was felt that the local YWAM staff and associates in Christchurch had not been properly consulted on this. The meeting brought closure and forgiveness to those affected by the selling of the property.

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FRUITFUL SEASON OF MINISTRY

The Lord then showed the leadership that the second part of this word ‘look to the hills’ was to be a summer school attracting backpackers and adventurers. In 2002, a summer school called the Backpackers DTS was born, and it grew even faster than the snowboarders school.

After this fresh beginning, other schools started to arise. In 2001, a Biblical Core Course (BCC); in 2004, the Around the World in 80 days (AW80) DTS; in 2009, the Father's Love DTS, Earthcare DTS, and King's Kids Ministry; in 2011, the Justice DTS; and 2012 the Climbing DTS. This was a very fruitful season of growth for the YWAM Oxford ministry.

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PRUNING YEARS

In 2014, the campus entered into a 3 year pruning season and transition. Some schools were stopped and DTS numbers decreased. Leadership felt that the Lord asked them to give the Snowboarders DTS to a new YWAM campus being established in Queenstown. YWAM Oxford was involved in assisting new leaders Andy and AJ Scalas in getting YWAM Queenstown up and running.

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NEW VISION

In August 2016, a four week seminar called the ‘School of Sonship’ began that helped people understand and grow in their identity as our Heavenly Father's sons and daughters. The campus also identified a new theme and branding based on the focus of ‘Family’ and ‘Sonship’.

In 2017, the decision was made to finish the AW80 DTS and Justice School in their current format, and start a new school with 3 different themes based on God’s ‘Radical Love’. These were Radical Love through Justice, Radical Love through Missions and Radical Love through Worship and the Creative Arts.

This was the beginning of a brand new season and era at YWAM Oxford. God’s story of love, redemption, transformation, education, missions, and community continues to be written here.

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YWAM OXFORD LEADERS

The campus has had a number of leaders since its inception. These include Bob Scroggins (USA) 1991-95, Louis Lemmons (NZ) 1995-97, Boyd Henderson (NZ) 1998, Chris Donaldson  (NZ) 1998-2010, Jeremy Slough (USA) 2010-2013, and James Smith (Australia) 2013-2018. Our current leadership is directed by a team of several people.

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The YWAM Oxford Staff Team

A bunch of rowdy people who keep the campus running.

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Mike & Fe Brown

Core Leadership Team

I went to see the doctor about my blocked ear. "Which ear is it?" he asked. "2020," I replied...

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Max & MiCaela Grzelak

COMMS STAFF

A world-class dog spotter and a passive-aggressive coffee snob... the best duo you've ever seen!

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Rebecca Estenson

School Leader / Campus Staff

I love quality coffee, but I'm not hipster enough to grind the beans every morning.

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Morgan Blankenship

Campus Staff

Abiding. Love for people... and elephants.

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Taylor Phillips

School Leader / Campus Staff

Feed me and tell me I'm pretty.

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John

School/Campus Staff

When I was in the Swiss parliament building, my biology teacher told me I could become an undertaker.

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Benjamin Bryant

Campus Staff

My parents have worried about me since a young age, but with Jesus I think I'm doing pretty good.

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Emmalea Lubben

School/Campus Staff

I’m the least Canadian Canadian you’ll ever meet.

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Celeste Miller

Campus Staff

If I were to describe myself with three things it would be wildflowers, National Parks, and Megamind.

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Indianna Korff

Campus Staff

I live under a rock, so I'm not relevant at all. But I love rain!

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Yolanda Borges

Campus Staff

Yo soy de Estados Unidos y me gusta mi gato linda.

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Livia Simmons

School / Campus Staff

Nobody does glitter like Jesus.

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Taylor Phillips

School / Campus Staff

Feed me and tell me I'm pretty.

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Yolanda Borges

School / Campus Staff

Yo soy de Estados Unidos y me gusta mi gato linda.

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Pretty Girl (aka Dirt)

Campus Cat

Feed me and tell me I'm pretty.

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The Chooks

Campus Chickens

We will peck and chase you. Or love you depending on our mood.

The

YWAM Oxford Trust

A fine group of individuals who oversee the operations and financial aspects of the campus.

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Barry & Judy Inch

Trust Members
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Carolyn Chisholm

Trust Member
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Nicki Smith

Trust Member
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Noah Cremisino

Trust Member
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Paulo Moreira

Trust Member
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Peter Brown

Trust Member
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Roger Philpott

Trust Member
 

Want to Explore More About Our Campus?

Visit our campus life page

 

Campus Life

 

Interested in Joining our Family?

Check out our staff and volunteer pages

 

Staff  Volunteer

 

Want to explore more about our campus?

Visit our campus life page

 

Campus Life

 

Interested in joining our family?

Check out our staff and volunteer pages

 

Staff

Volunteer