Rev Ivan Martinez appointed Dean of Studies at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

The Council of Assembly is delighted to announce the appointment of Rev Ivan Martinez to the position of Dean of Studies at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership (KCML).

Ivan will take up the role in early January 2024 and be based at KCML in Dunedin. 

Council of Assembly Convener, Rev Dr Jaco Reyneke says, “Rev Ivan Martinez’s appointment by Council of Assembly as Dean of Studies adds another person with a complementary skillset to the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership team. Council is thankful that Ivan responded to God’s calling into this next phase in his ministry, and into serving to the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Kingdom through this role. Ivan’s diverse experience base will add value to training in the Church”.

The diversity of Ivan’s experience is appreciated by Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership Principal Rev Dr Geoff New, “Ivan will bring a unique mix of ministry and leadership experience from a range of cultural contexts into the work of KCML. He was the minister of Studentsoul in Dunedin, served congregations as a minister in the US and Japan, and is currently minister of Somervell Memorial Presbyterian Church in Auckland”. 

Geoff says Ivan is on the cusp of completing his DMin with Fuller Theological Seminary (US). “The focus of his doctoral research, 'Faith, Work, and Vocation' is ideal for the kind of ministry KCML seeks to fulfil as we serve the PCANZ”. 

Having worked with him previously when Ivan was the mentoring minister for National Ordained Ministry interns, Geoff says he is “especially looking forward to the depth of thought and reflection that Ivan brings to ministry training and formation”.

For Ivan the appointment is an honour that will allow him to invest in the next generation of PCANZ leaders. 

“I have mentored a number of ministerial interns over the years and have always found it a unique privilege as well as a life-giving component of my own ministry.”

Ivan says he sees KCML on the cusp of a new season and he is “excited to be joining a diverse and dynamic team to serve the PCANZ, as well as the wider Church and world”. 

Originally from Miami, Florida, Ivan served for many years in the PC(USA). He has a BA in Christian Ministry from Warner University, and a MDiv from Duke Divinity School. While at Duke, he says he enrolled in a novel partnership with the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he completed a Master of Social Work focussing on adult mental health. 

Ivan’s journey to New Zealand came via a 2012 Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship he was awarded which allowed him to study at the University of Otago where he completed further study in politics and religion, focusing on the peacemaking capability of the Vatican. 

In Dunedin, Ivan served as minister of Studentsoul from 2013 to 2017. He was associate pastor at Tokyo Union Church, Japan from 2017 to 2020. He has been minister of Somervell Memorial Presbyterian Church in Remuera, Auckland since 2020. 

Ivan has served the Church in various capacities and is currently on the Board of Press Go, is a Trustee of Saint Kentigern, and formerly served on the PYM strategic focus group.

Ivan’s Doctor of Ministry, which he is completing through Fuller Theological Seminary, centres on missional living through vocational stewardship. “My doctoral project seeks to aid congregational leaders to help their people overcome the Sunday/Monday gap and serve God through their everyday work.” 

Ivan is married to Amanda, a primary school teacher currently retraining as a counsellor, and they have three children: Ezra 14, Elias 10, and Noa 6.