The Bay of Plenty is the latest region of Aotearoa to acquire a Carey Hub. As part of a major reimagining of their campus, Bethlehem Baptist Church has set aside a superb space for a formal and informal learning community. This new hub is part of Carey’s strategic objective to provide world class blended learning for its regional students across New Zealand. We want all of our students, wherever they are located, to experience a rich community of learning – both online and face to face.

Upstairs from their welcoming and busy foyer there is a substantial room equipped with study carrels, sofas, computers, large monitor screen and whiteboard. At one side it opens out to an ample deck, and on the other is a small kitchen. Bookshelves are in place and beginning to be populated and one of the computers has access to the Carey Library with its 35,000 items, many of them accessible digitally.

Youth Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Sam Grieg-Merrett, is studying part-time this semester towards the Bachelor of Applied Theology. He has been studying the Gospel of Luke and Christian History. “I have really enjoyed my study, especially christian history. I have loved being able to explore the lives of past christians and study the strategies and lessons they learnt.”

“The Carey Hub is a chill and quiet space I can use to watch lectures and study” he says. “It is a space away from distraction and somewhere I can really focus on my studies. I find I get a lot of quality study done as I am able to concentrate especially when I have left stuff to the last minute!” 

The Hub space is not only available to students from Bethlehem Baptist Church but is open to all students from anywhere in the region and will serve as a place to belong on their study journey. Now that all Carey classes have zoom access as well as on site, it will be possible for groups of students on the same course to get together to zoom into what’s happening in Penrose, or arrange a time when they can watch and discuss the recording of the class together.  The technology will also work the other way around and allow us to host special events and seminars from the Hub with other students from the Carey campus being able to join via Zoom.

 Curating the Hub from the Bethlehem end is Carey graduate Rob Stacey, Generations Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Contact Rob at [email protected] if you would like to get access to the Hub and become part of an exciting new learning community. As one attendee said at the launch, “This is a game-changer!”