Capernwray NZ

Staff Profiles

Peter Bichan

Peter Bichan, National Director & Principal

A graduate of Capernwray Hall in England, Peter has a passion for the Word and enjoys teaching its truths. He also loves climbing, kayaking and cycling.

Peter is married and has 3 children.

Glenn Johnson

Glenn Johnson, Business Manager

Glenn is a local, growing up close to the Monavale Campus. With a Masters Degree in Science Technology, Glenn spent 10 years working as an Analytical Chemist in both New Zealand and England. Following a mission experience to Serbia during the Balkan civil war, Glenn joined Oak Hall Expeditions in England, where he managed the Summer Expedition Programme for 5 years, including supporting the establishment of Bible School’s in Serbia and Thailand. Glenn joined the Capernwray NZ staff in early 2007 where he gains immense personal satisfaction in his support role by seeing the lives of students and others enriched through a closer personal relationship with Christ. Glenn, his wife Mags, and son Philip, all have a love of the great Kiwi outdoors – especially the beach!

Dave Firth

Dave Firth, BML / Marketing Director

Dave Firth
Dave came to New Zealand in July of 2008 as Marketing Director and to head up the 
Business Ministry Leadership course. Dave loves the Word of God and he has a passion for professionalism in ministry and integrity in the workplace. Dave is married to Marsha and they have two boys and a girl; Taylor, Michael & Charissa.
Dave also
teaches at several other Torchbearers Centres including those in the USA and Japan.

Hayden Johns

Hayden Johns, Academic Dean

Hayden was born and grew up in Auckland, New Zealand. As a Kiwi he enjoys New Zealand’s great outdoors and watching rugby. Hayden is married to Natascha (they have three energetic children!!). He first studied for a two year diploma in business, NZDipBus, after this a desire to know God more deeply and to share His word led Hayden to complete a B.A. in Theology from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago USA. Following this he worked as the “Associate Pastor of Youth” for a church in NZ for four years. He then went on to complete his M.A. in Theology from Trinity Theological College, Bristol, UK. After his Masters, Hayden joined the staff at Capernwray in 2003 where he loves communicating the scriptures, teaching hermeneutics and interacting with students. While working at Capernwray, Hayden completed Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, PGCert(TertTchg) from the University of Waikato.

Larisa Bartrum

Larisa Bartrum, House Manager

Larisa joined our team in January 2016. She has a background in health care, practicing as an Occupational Therapist. Larisa has also served in the UK with Oak Hall Expeditions, Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and in NZ with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).


Emma Adams, Registrar

Originally from Canada, Emma came to New Zealand in 2013 for the Autumn Semester at Capernwray only intending to stay 1 semester, but like many students stayed for a second semester as an kitchen intern. It was an eventful semester where she met Blake, a nice Kiwi guy who is now her husband. Emma returned to NZ in late 2014. Her time as a student/intern at Capernwray was a life changing and treasured time in which she began to really understand what it means to have a relationship with Christ. After leaving Capernwray as a student she always hoped for an opportunity to return to and serve a ministry so dear to her heart and was thrilled to step back into the Torchbearers world as staff in April 2017. Emma is excited to journey with students as they discover who Christ is and His life in them!


Lejf Pedersen, Property Manager

Lejf originates from Denmark, where he worked as a qualified electrician. He then moved to England where he spent almost 2 years on the maintenance team at Capernwray Hall, before coming to Capernwray New Zealand as a student in 1998. After a year as a student, he joined the staff as a volunteer, and later took on a permanent position as the Property Manager.  Lejf enjoys serving the student community by providing and maintaining good facilities, as well as getting alongside the students and helping them discover who Christ is.


Dean Burgess, Head Chef

After having spent 15 years in commercial restaurants, Dean wanted to serve God in a more practical and dedicated way. So, in 2004 when the opportunity came, he joined the team at Monavale as the Head Chef. Dean is passionate about life with the students and enjoys making their time at school a memorable experience. Dean's wife, Sarah, and four daughters, Annalise, Sophie, Amelia and Samantha, all have a large part to play in the practical side of student life as they encourage and help them find and grow in Jesus.


Michael Dyck, Ministries Co-ordinator

Michael is from Winkler in Manitoba, Canada. He attended Timberline Lodge in 2012 and returned a few years later to volunteer ultimately as Resident Director - working with the Bible School team and supporting students. We're thrilled to have Michael on the team. He loves surfing and hanging out with people.


Carol Wise, Office Administrator

Carol joined Capernwray in August 2012 and comes with 71/2 years experience in Reception / Administration. She was born in the Waikato and has lived in Te Awamutu for over 25 years with her husband Neil and their grown children, Melissa and Hayden.
Carol is a committed Christian and enjoys both her walk with Jesus and supporting/encouraging others in their walk into the light of Jesus. She says “This walk is a continuous journey of learning and enlightenment and I am excited about God’s placement of me in this area of learning at Capernwray”

Werner Schreiber, Principal

Werner is a passionate Bible teacher and communicator. Originally from South Africa, he has been a pastor, teacher and businessman. His core message is Christianity as ‘Christ-in-you’ and the sheer impossibility of being a ‘Christian’ without the indwelling Life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Werner is married to Heidi and they have two adult children, Joshua and Danielle.


Dale Epp, Field Representative

Originally from Canada, Dale has been with Capernwray for over 20 years. Before this Dale lived, studied, and played in Vancouver for 7 years where he was a certified Journeyman Carpenter by day, and a ‘heavy metal’ musician by night! He and his wife Patti then spent several years on staff at His Hill in Texas before coming to NZ. They pioneered the Capernwray ministry on the South Island and ran 'The Crossing' Bible School programme and conferences for 11 years. Dale is now a Field Representative for Capernwray New Zealand overseeing conferences and events on the South Island and regularly teaching in the Bible School at Monavale. Dale is also the Founder and Director of JumpStart since 2010, a camp ministry aimed at Home-educated teens.
Dale enjoys other cultures, spicy food, strong coffee, and spending time in the outdoors with his kids! 
Dale’s desire is to see people come to know the fullness of the indwelling and risen Lord Jesus Christ in their lives, and to see that the Word of God is firmly established in their hearts and minds, for the REST of their lives!


James Bruce, Adventure Ministries Director

James hails from Southland - which is right at the bottom of the South Island!. He graduated with a Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Business Management from Aoraki Polytechnic in 2010. He joined the ABS team in 2011 and already enjoys walking in fellowship with the students, learning and growing together with them in their relationships with Christ.    


Jessica Birch, ABS Domestic Manager 

Alberta, Canada is Jessica’s home country, where she has previously enjoyed working with her family on their grain farm, riding horses, playing piano, and singing. Life for her has been full of family, travelling, friends, appreciating alone time with the LORD, and working outside. In New Zealand, Jessica has the new adventure as being the Domestic Manager at the ABS Lodge, where she loves living around the many activities and opportunities for growth that burst out of the seams for herself, and for others. With a heart that cares and has a love for people, she feels a calling to journey alongside them as they both seek the LORD. Reading scripture, having great chats, praying, and learning through activities are some of the ways she enjoys doing this.