studying at st barnabas

The Rev’d Dr Gillies Ambler

Contact Details

Position: Honours Research Coordinator

Phone: 08 8305 9380



Doctor of Ministry Studies
University of Divinity

Master of Theology
Flinders University

Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Studies
Adelaide College of Divinity

Bachelor of Theology (Hons)
Flinders University

Bachelor of Science (Hons)
Adelaide University

Diploma of Education
Adelaide University

Areas of Teaching

Contemporary Mission & Evangelism, Reflective practice in Contemporary Ministry

Mentoring Students writing their Honours Thesis

Psychological Care, Palliative Care, Grief and Spirituality – Adelaide University


Gillies, a retired Uniting Church minister, is a former high school teacher with an honours degree in mathematics as well as a timetable consultant for an English County Council. He has been privileged to be a teacher throughout his life. He was a Uniting Church parish minister for over 25 years and has a Master’s degree in theology. He is passionate about local mission.

For over 12 years he has counselled women wounded by domestic violence, as well as being an advocate and fundraiser for a major metropolitan domestic violence service. His doctorate [2008] unique in its field, applied qualitative methodologies to the narration and analysis of personal grief. He has lectured at Adelaide University as well as supervised Master’s theses in two universities.

In 2014 he was honoured with Campbelltown Citizen of the Year for his outreach to the local community in association with Campbelltown Uniting Church. He has self published a book, developed from his doctorate, entitled: Grief wounds. Love heals. Insights of a bereaved husband and bereaved parent. He continues to counsel people in grief, especially women traumatised by domestic violence.

He is delighted to be an adjunct faculty member of St Barnabas College. His interests include photography, pastel painting, writing poetry, gardening, classical music, opera, English history, cooking and taking his three grandchildren on holiday. He is married to Wendy who sings in three choirs.


Mark Thomas (2013 – present) for the Degree of Doctor of Ministry Studies. Adelaide Anglicans and the Gospels: towards a transformative Gospel literacy. A mixed methods study.

David Prior (2010 -2013) Master of Ministry. Grief chaos: discovering new life amidst change and conflict. Awarded May 2013.

Peter Lawrence (2009 – 2011) Master of Grief and Palliative Care Counselling. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted – Traumatic Loss, Complex Grief and the Crash of Piper Navajo Chieftain VH-MZK. A Narrative Investigation of the Suffering of Two Widows.


Ambler, G. “Grief experiences: Potential Catalyst for Post-Traumatic Growth and Wellbeing.” In Flourishing in Faith: Theology and Positive Psychology, edited by Gillies Ambler, 139-158. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2017.

Guest Editor St Mark’s Review, Reviving the spirit: the gift of pastoral supervision, no. 254 (December 2020).

Ambler, G. “Reflective practice: Uncovering foundational values.” In St Mark’s Review, no. 254 (December 2020): 89-104


Grief – potential catalyst for wellbeing, Positive Psychology and Theology Conference St Peter’s College 2014

Experiencing the Self: Observation and Reflection through Autoethnography, UniSA Qualitative Research Business Colloquium 2012 UniSA

Broken-hearted by grief and Opening your heart to healing, Campbelltown City Council Grief Workshop 2012

Join Our Mailing List