In the beginning...
The first SCM branches in Aotearoa were founded in 1896 by the great evangelist and ecumenist John R Mott. SCM Aotearoa is one of the oldest student organisations in Aotearoa and one of the oldest SCM’s in the world. The values of openness, inclusiveness and progressive, critical approach to Christianity were as important in the early days of the movement as they are now.
The Middle Ages
SCM helped set up University Chaplaincies in the 30’s and 40’s. Until the 1960’s it was deeply involved and intertwined with New Zealand churches until the student revolution of the 70’s where SCM radically re-orientated itself.
In 1987 SCM reformed further to acknowledge treaty issues, changing its name from NZSCM to SCM Aotearoa and incorporating the Treaty of Waitangi into its constitution.
Join up with you local SCM unit and automatically become part of SCM Aotearoa and the World Student Christian Federation. Be prepared to have your faith, politics, worldview, friends and relationships at the same time challenged and deepened!
SCM Aotearoa is part of the World Student Christian Federation which links more than SCMs in more than 90 countries split into six regions, making it the largest student organisation in the world. WSCF is an official NGO with consultative status at the United Nations. Being part of the WSCF means that SCM’ers in Aotearoa will have the opportunity to participate in conferences all over the world.
For more info: http://www.wscfglobal.org/
SCM Aotearoa is part of WSCF Asia-Pacific. This gives us a close relationship to SCMs within our region and means that we can have virtual communication through web-based resources building solidarity and understanding. There is also a chance for some SCMer’s to physically meet with students from other Asia-Pacific SCM’s through regional Training Programmes.
For more info: http://www.wscfap.org/
The national movement is run by the National Co-ordinating Group (NCG) and the National Secretary. Each Year there is a national conference which all SCM units are invited to. Contact the National Office for more details.
Beliefs and Motivators
Inclusive and open
All people are welcome; we believe our diversity is a gift to be celebrated. We recognise the importance of respect for an openness to others. We encourage spiritual growth through understanding and tolerance of others' viewpoints.
We are inclusive of all people who wish to be inclusive themselves. To model this we are committed to consensus decision-making as we think that it builds community. We support participation by people marginalised by sexuality, health and gender.
We welcome and affirm members from all denominations; we value the rich diversity of Christian traditions and those of other faiths, while seeking unity in prayer and action. SCM does not require its members to adhere to a doctrinal statement.
We believe faith and social justice cannot be separated - Christians must be engaged with contemporary theological, political and social issues.
We find God's desire for peace, justice and liberation from oppression throughout the Bible and in the life of Jesus. We seek to respond to God's call for conversion of self and transformation of society.
We interpret the 'Reign of God' to mean a just and peaceful society in the here and now, as well as in the age to come.
We believe that thinking through and questioning our faith ensures that it remains alive. We believe that Christian faith can stand the test of critical thought, in fact we believe this is the way to Christian maturity. It is not an easy way, sometimes involving a lot of risk, but ultimately that which is of value will remain and become even more important in our lives.
SCM seeks to support students in the quest for a deeper faith, encouraging critical thought by providing stimulation of new ideas, and providing a supportive community in which people can explore life and faith.