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The Melanesian Institute (MI) is an ecumenical research, teaching and publishing institute. It is designed to help churches, government and other organisations speak more clearly to the needs of the people in Melanesia. Melanesian Institute staff have experience of living in Melanesia as well as qualifications in areas like anthropology, sociology and theology. MI's research focuses on topics of pastoral and social concern to people in Melanesia.

The staff offer their services in three main ways: through Teaching, Research and Publications. Staff members are available for seminars, in-service courses and orientation courses, both for church groups and others concerned with the needs and aspirations of Melanesian peoples. The results of the research are communicated through courses and seminars, and are made available in a variety of publications including Catalyst, Point, Occasional Papers and Melanesian Mission Studies.

Mission Statement: The Melanesian Institute (MI) is an ecumenical research, teaching and publishing body in Papua New Guinea that:

  • is mandated to focus on pastoral and socio-cultural issues,
  • engages in ongoing dialogue between Christian values and Melanesian cultures,
  • promotes peace and reconciliation; dignity and respect; and social, economic and ecological justice.

Melanesian Institute's location map.

FOCUS 2016

Every year, the Melanesian Institute dedicates its work to specific focus areas. This means that every staff member work towards achieving the common goal set for certain activities. This year our focus is on:

  1. Point No. 40 - a Joint Publication with Laidlaw Collegefocus 2016
  2. Catalyst Vol. 46.1 & 46.2
  3. Melanesian Mission Studies
  4. 2016 Recent Publication: Point No. 39

Our Recent Publication


Point 39 - SHIFTING FOUNDATIONS - Marriage and Family Life in Papua New Guinea

The Melanesian Institute is looking once again at the issue of marriage and family life in PNG. Just as informality charcterises much of PNG's economy, it now also characterises many people's most intimate relationships. More and more copules are getting together without any kind of marriage prepartion and without traditional family exchanges that bind their extended families together. Nor are they seeking formal church marriages or marrage blessings. These informal, provisional unions are typically fragile. The crisis of commitment, this fraying of the fabric of family, is leaving increasing numbers of Papua New Guineans insecure and at serious risk of harm, especially abandoned women and children.

This issue of Point brings together a collection of papers presented to a marriage and family life symposium held in Goroka in April 2015. The authors come from a range of backgrounds: from the Melanesian Institute Research Team, from university-based researchers and teachers, church leaders and seminary teachers, and from social workers and counsellers working directly with people seeking help with family problems.. Read more.........


Catalyst 46.1

This issue will be published in 2016. The topics include; Being Church in the World Today: From a Devotional Church to a Kingdom–Driven Church, The Death Penalty in Papua New Guinea, Evangelising in and through families—The key to a pastoral renewal in PNG, Relationship in Marriage, PNG Church Partnership Program Theology of Development Statement, Ethnographic notes from German Holy Spirit Sisters stationed in New Guinea between the two World Wars, Book review and CONTRIBUTORS Read more........

Catalyst 45.2
This issue was published in early 2016. The topics include; Arguments over birth control in PNG, The Papuan Spirit Nogut in the Light of the Gospels, Religious Experiences and Religious Learning in Oceania, MI’s 45 years of reflection, PNG highlands turning to Islam, Obituary of Prof. Dr. Theodor Ahrens and CONTRIBUTORS Read more........

Occasional Paper No. 16
The content of this Occasional Paper is based on the author’s personal experience with the asylum seekers from the Indonesian territory of West Papua, who are now settled in PNG. He was assigned to work for six months among the West Papuan refugees in Kiunga District, Western Province. He continued to pay regular visits to them in 1995, 1997, 2003, 2006, 2008, and in October 2013. In this way, during the last 20 years, the author had the opportunity to witness the logistic and cultural changes experienced by the refugees and to write about their situation.......Read more....