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Karen Newnham

“Mission can be extremely challenging but also worthwhile.”

My name is Karen Newnham. I’m a Whitley graduate, a pastor and missionary.

I wouldn’t change my experiences on the mission field for anything, but I don’t want to go through them again. I think it’s been in some of the most painful experiences that I’ve learned the most. Mission enables you to meet some inspiring people and have your mind opened to see Scripture and faith in new and amazing ways.

I have worked with various mission organisations over the years. Among other things, my roles have involved the training and care of cross-cultural workers.

At Whitley, I studied a Bachelor of Theology and Advanced Diploma of Ministry. I finished studying in 1999, after five years. Whitley helped me develop my leadership skills and understanding of Scripture. My husband Bruce and his father also studied at Whitley, as did our three children and daughter-in-law. I particularly like the way they teach and the openness to many different ways of looking at Scripture.

Before Whitley I served four years in Bangladesh as a missionary mum (homeschooling kids) and oversaw the Support of an Orphan program for Baptist World Aid. Then I was in Malawi for three years where, besides teaching at a Bible college, I studied by correspondence. I transferred to Whitley when we returned to Australia.

Since Whitley, I have been associate pastor at Boronia church, joint leader with my husband of a team in Central Asia, then a new team in Kazakhstan. After those roles I spent 11 years as Personnel Director for Global Interaction.

My focus now is caring for and mentoring people both within the church and on mission. I do this through my work with the Global Member Care network, Interserve, and Whitley. I also work part-time as a multicultural pastor. Bruce and I travel a lot, visiting people within the mission community.

In the future, I hope to do similar work to what I’m presently doing, just slowing a little as I get older.