Study Leave

Form for Study Leave Application Form

Please send your application to the Administrative Officer at or post to our mail box (PO Box 9240, Newmarket, Auckland 1149).

Please note: All applications are reviewed by the Study Leave Reviewer and a recommendation is made to the Presbytery Office who then send a letter of approval. In the event there are any concerns with the application it is in the first instance discussed by the Reviewer and Minister and if necessary referred to the Learning and Development Group for further review. With this in mind, applications need to be submitted a minimum of six weeks before the study leave is due to commence to allow for proper processing. For those going overseas, you will not want to leave your travel plans to the last minute so please submit your application as early as possible at the very least, in line with the above guidelines.

The Purpose of Study Leave is to maintain a vital and educated ministry to resource the mission of the church. Study Leave can achieve this by:

  • enabling ministers to gain time and distance from their routines for refreshment and reflection.
  • encouraging ministers to strengthen and enrich their ministry through focused study
  • enabling ministers to undertake study or research that can be made available for the benefit of the wider church.

What is Study Leave?

  • Study Leave is Presbytery approved leave for a planned programme of learning with clear, specific goals and usually an integrative theme.
  • Study Leave can include major overseas training programmes or shorter study programmes, courses and retreats available within New Zealand.
  • Study Leave entitlement is accumulated at the rate of one day for each month of consecutive service to a maximum of 12 weeks (84 days), but may be used for shorter periods of time, normally not less than two consecutive weeks. Each week of study leave is seen to include seven days: six days of work (or five days and two evenings) and one rest day (two if taking a five day work week), as in a minister’s working week. The number of days applied for should include the rest day(s).
  • Accumulated Study Leave is transferable from one parish or appointment to another. Normally Study Leave will be taken in context away from the applicant’s everyday ministry environment. Short courses of two -five days should normally be incorporated into a Continuing Ministry Formation Plan, rather than study leave, unless geographical factors apply.

What Study Leave is not:

  • Gardening Leave –when a Minister is tired and feels like a rest.
  • Stress Leave –when a Minister is facing burnout.
  • Family Leave –when someone needs to help with a baby or toddler
  • Able to be exchanged for a monetary payment
  • A charge on the Parish other than the normal stipend and allowances (a voluntary contribution to course fees or travel may be paid directly but any other gift attracts Fringe Benefit Tax).

While the Session/ Church Council should be consulted about the dates of proposed study leave, and ministers may discuss their proposal with elders, the Church Council should understand that the intention is for ministers to be able to reflect at a distance from the parish and not be expected to report to the parish during study leave, even when plans change as they often do.

At the conclusion of your Study Leave, a 2,000 word report together with a one page Executive Summary must be provided. This will be made available to all Presbytery members. You will also be expected to give a verbal report to the Presbytery.

For detailed regulations see “Conditions of Service Manual” at

To read the Study Reports of Ministers in the PCANZ go here