Spiritual wellbeing - Taha wairua

Spiritual wellbeing is an important part of many students' lives. Discover the ways the University can support you and your faith.

Chaplaincy services

The chaplaincy offers a number of services for students. A chaplain is often the first point of contact for students of faith, but did you know that they are also available for non-religious students or staff, who may be seeking a supportive ear?

A chaplain can help you to contact any other services that you might need such as counselling or social workers.

You can talk to a member of our chaplaincy team if you are:

  • Looking for a direction in your faith
  • Feeling stressed or wondering about your self worth
  • Wanting to pray with someone
  • Looking for connection with a local community group
  • Finding it hard to balance and find meaning in life
  • Looking for spiritual support in any form
  • Wanting someone to talk to

A chaplain aims to listen to your concerns and to walk alongside you in your journey, if you would like them to. 

What does spirituality mean?

Members of the University's academic staff and the chaplaincy team share their perspectives on what spirituality means to them.

Dr Hirini Kaa - Spirituality from a Māori perspective

Ko Te Amorangi ki mua, ko te hāpai ō ki muri- Place the sacred to the fore; let the secular

Māori view wellbeing holistically, and spirituality has always been a crucial component of wellbeing. Even though the different components of wellbeing are interlinked, spiritual wellbeing is in many ways the more important part of wellbeing. Māori values and our worldview is essentially spiritually as our culture is derived from our creation story, which in turn influences our culture. Spirituality can look like a whole range of things such as every day moments, prayers, rituals and although the way that we maintain and practise traditions may be different, they are all linked and underpinned by spiritual wellbeing, which is increasing knowledge of tangata whenua; what is important to us and how we see the world.

Shahela Qureshi- Muslim Chaplaincy 

The foundation of Islamic faith is the belief in one God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, and that Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) was his final Messenger.

For Muslims, spiritual well being and contentment comes about when one's intentions and actions are performed only to please God. Although this can be achieved in many ways, a major aspect is by paying particular attention to purifying one’s heart.​The Arabic phrase used in the last verse is Qalbun Salīm. A Qalbun Salīm has been described as a heart that is free of spiritual disease and defects, a heart that is pure and sincere. From it stems good thoughts, pleasant words, and virtuous deeds. Its basis is goodness; rooted in the love of its Creator. Related to this, there are a number of sayings of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) about the condition of the heart and its role in one's well-being and status with God.

One of these is, “Truly, God does not look at your outward forms and wealth, but rather at your heart and your works.” Another, “There is a piece of flesh in the body; if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.”

Talk to Shahela

Visit the UoA's Muslim Student Association Facebook page

Dr. Caroline Anne Blyth - Equity perspective 

Spirituality extends beyond religion. It can be your purpose in life or sometimes a belief in a higher power. It doesn’t have to be something holy or sacred but it is what makes your life meaningful, but for some people this can overlap too. It is about you, your Turangawaewae, your foundation, or where you feel especially empowered and connected and it has to come from inside you; no one can tell you what it is.

Queer identity is part of who you are, it is part of your spiritualty. Faith can be quite hard to navigate for the rainbow community but just because you might feel abandoned by one group doesn’t mean you can’t find that community and sense of belonging anywhere else. There are no right or wrong answers either so take time to stop, stand and be still. It can be conflicting but give it time and if you find yourself somewhere else, it’s probably where you are meant to be.

Connect with an inclusive spiritual community

Cameron and Mariana- Catholic perspective 

People want to connect with God. You might be looking for meaning in your life i.e. not just the what but the why. Think about wellbeing like buckets; spiritual, physically, emotional etc. How much you invest in them and how much you fill them up will determine how well you are doing in those spaces. It doesn’t have to be religious i.e. it can be where you are at with God, your relationships with Him, investing in a friendship etc. All these things help to fill up different buckets. 

The Auckland Catholic Tertiary Chaplaincy offers a friendly, welcoming and loving space of learning and growing with no sign-ups or memberships necessary. Check them out on: 


Lorraine from Maclaurin Chapel- Christian perspective 

My response to what spiritual wellbeing means, as a Christian faith practitioner, is for a person to recognise that each of us is more than a physical being. We have a (mental and) spiritual component that is intrinsically a part of each of us. Our wellbeing status is dependent on all parts of our human-self being healthy, attended to and as far as possible balanced, that is a life affirming for self and others.