Associate Professor Christopher Marshall

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Religious Studies Programme, Victoria University of Wellington

"After almost a quarter century of teaching I am still amazed by how different every class group is, and how distinct each lecture performance is, even when repeating familiar material."

For over twenty years Chris Marshall has taught Christian studies at all levels of tertiary study and also worked nationally and internationally to translate theory into personal practice, especially in the area of restorative justice. His blend of teaching and scholarship has inspired many others to become involved in justice and peace work. He believes that the way teachers act and react in the classroom, and the values they demonstrate are crucial.

Chris lists six principles which guide his teaching: presence, conviction, content, respect for students, preparation and delivery. Respect for students is particularly important given that his classes include students from a variety of cultures and faiths. He regards students as his co-learners, and tries to establish relationships with them founded on humility and trust. He says, “Anything I have given to students, I have received back in double measure. I have learned from them more than they have learned from me, and I have been shaped by them every bit as much as I have inspired them”.