We are a missions network working in Asia-Pacific in a way that sees an incredible multiplier effect: the development of emerging, local Christian leaders.
We support the development of the next generation of leaders, pastors, church planters and Bible teachers within their countries where God is already at work. We believe the best people to build God's church in a country, are the believers within that country, simply because they know the culture and contextual challenges inside out. So we stand with them, giving them the support they need to grow their faith, become leaders of influence, and in turn bring many more to know Jesus as their Saviour.
We are an interdenominational evangelical organisation. Like our affiliates and Partner Schools, we affirm the statement of faith of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).
Our affiliation with two global networks
We have an extensive international reach through our affiliation with two strongly allied global networks; combining elements from these two networks is how we derive our name:
Overseas Council supports about 120 international Christian training agencies in more than 60 countries throughout the Majority World. In any given year more than 50,000 students are training to be Christian leaders.
The ministry began in 1974 as the vision of Charles Spicer from the USA. It initially focused exclusively on supporting Seoul Theological Seminary, which more than doubled in size by 1980, becoming the third largest seminary in the non-western world. From then it began expanding its support to include strategic schools in all regions of the Majority World. We became affiliated to Overseas Council in 1989.
Langham Partnership International has a strong focus on the effective preaching of God's Word, with a vision to see churches in the Majority World equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through the ministry of pastors and leaders who believe, teach and live by the Word of God. This is done through the training of preachers, the production and distribution of Christian literature, and the support of scholars.
The ministry began in 1969 as the vision of John Stott in the United Kingdom. Today it is global fellowship of partner countries sharing the same vision, mission and commitment to strengthen the church. We became affiliated to Langham Partnership International in 2007
Here in New Zealand we are the only office internationally, where one team of staff and Board of Trustees simultaneously serve ministries from both the two networks. Collaboration, cooperation and unity are very high on our list of values, and this is further shown by the range of denominations represented by Christians from around New Zealand, who are part of our network.
Our history in New Zealand
In 1989 Overseas Council New Zealand (OCNZ) was formed by a group of business people, as an autonomous affiliate to Overseas Council. They wanted to catalyse a Kiwi contribution to strategic, missional Christian leadership development in other countries. A board of trustees was established; business people who had given generously, and who encouraged their business colleagues to join with them. The growth of OCNZ took a step forward in 1996, with the appointment of an Executive Director, Tony Plews.
In the early 2000s, both Tony and board member Paul Windsor (then principal of Carey College, Auckland) had occasion to meet Chris Wright of Langham Partnership International, and had discussions about how OCNZ could also represent Langham Partnership International in New Zealand. Chris was encouraging of the relationship, so OCNZ put forward a proposal to this effect.
In 2006 OCNZ changed its name to Leadership Development International. Then largely because of the strong relationships and trust between Paul, Tony and Chris, in 2007 a formal motion was passed by Langham Partnership International that Leadership Development International should also represent Langham Partnership in New Zealand, opening the door for one team to serve two ministries.
In more recent years we have expressed this cohesion in the combined name of LeaDev-Langham, but remain faithful to both networks by presenting their logos alongside each other.