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Hi, I’m John Cotter.
For over 3 decades I have been walking alongside Christian leaders, working in context to keep them
fresh, focused, faithful and fruitful in their work.
In today’s ministry context, engaging in Pastoral Supervision emerges as one of the most effective long-term strategies for leaders to uphold these key aspects of ministry.
Whether you are looking for a seasoned Professional Pastoral Supervisor, or curious to know more,
I would love to connect!

I work for Partners In Ministry.
This means that those I work with (and their churches) have access to so many more resources than just one-on-one support!
Click the logo to find out more

An introductory session is free
Supervision sessions are $180 per hour
Ideally we aim for 8 sessions per year
Supervision sessions are online or in-person
near Gosford (Central Coast) NSW
John’s Background

I have grown up with the privilege of knowing many authentic, flawed Jesus followers who faithfully serve God and others in challenging contexts. Along with the encouragement of their lives, what has continued to impact me are the unspoken stories of profound and unexpected isolation, alienation, failure, opposition and sense of being abandoned (even by God – it would seem). This impact has set and guided the trajectory of my life, prompting me to try to play a small part in the solution. It has not followed a traditional career path, but the common theme is that where there is a need for focused, regular, ongoing support and resourcing for frontline workers, and with an invitation from them, I have found or created a role and relationship to work alongside them, helping to serve long and well with joy.
About 6 years ago, after a long stint in Asia, I returned to Australia with my family. After a disorientating re-entry period, I was excited to discover Pastoral Supervision, which became a wonderful vehicle to continue providing support for leaders (through Align Services).
In 2022 I joined Partners In Ministry (PIM), and became part of a team that works with hundreds of churches across Australia, supporting leaders and congregations to fulfil their mission.
I am a member of the Australian Association Of Supervisors (AAOS) and the Australian Christian Mentoring Network (ACMN). I am also a Chaplaincy Australia Supervisor and recognised by NSW Sports Chaplaincy. I have an MDiv (SMBC) and I’m fluent in Mandarin.

what others say


Snr Pastor ACT

John cares for every aspect of my life, and seeks to positively help me grow not only in my role, but in my faith, character and relationships. He has helped me grow as the person God made me to be – not letting me try to be someone else, not getting down at myself, whilst also not staying stagnant. He has kept my focus on Jesus, His plans and His ways. I often finish our sessions with a renewed sense of hope and purpose. 
I thought when we first started meeting, John was going to be more of a coach with a practical, step-by-step approach for me to be more strategic in ministry. But pretty soon, it was obvious that I needed a pastoral supervisor more than a coach. In some sense, it would’ve been easier to be simply pragmatic in our sessions, but the effect of being in a pastoral supervision setting has been a lot more personal growth for me, and a lot more help in me as a pastor living out my calling in all areas of life.


Connect Pastor Presbyterian Church Coff’s Harbour
John has a relaxed approach whilst maintaining intentionality.  He has great skill in drawing out of the supervisee the crux of the issue and facilitating contemplation on options for progress. Supervision has deepened my self-awareness, and given me tools in ‘live’ assessing situations, analysing the various layers of interaction.  Increasingly this is enabling a shift in the communication, allowing for better outcomes. In a busy ministry schedule, sometimes it isn’t until I come to supervision, that I realise there are 3-4 issues bubbling away which I haven’t sat to contemplate. Supervision assists the regular reflection and stops the insanity of trying the same methods and expecting a different result. At first, I thought supervision was time which could have been better spent preparing a sermon, or visiting someone. I’ve come to see that reflection through supervision after the event is just as important as planning before an event.  


Snr Chaplain, Sydney School

John is great at fostering meaningful conversations. He is warm and personable. He was a man who cares deeply about others, has years of ministry experience and has a heart to support those in ministry roles. John has been a fantastic ‘sounding board’ for me in my ministry role. During a specifically stressful season in my ministry our regular meetings provided a space to unload my thoughts and feelings and piece them back together in a meaningful way. He has assisted in goal setting, personal connection with God and big picture thinking about my role. John has often been the one person I could speak to openly about my role and challenges. Just having someone ‘on your side’ who can listen and ask helpful questions is a huge support. On top of that, he helps me to ask what ‘godly’ leadership would look like in my particular situation.
It is essential to have a third party to process your ministry. Someone supporting you who has enough distance to be a real blessing.


Church Pastor
Sydney, NSW

John is warm, knowledgeable, focused, professional, very helpful and prayerful. I always come away from meeting with John feeling like I have downloaded and become redirected to a better place.
John has helped me keep an integrated focus with the different ‘hats’ I need to wear. That helps me to be a ‘whole’ person which is great. I come away from my meetings feeling so much more settled, normal and cared for.
The main (benefit of Supervision) has been living an integrated life. In this crazy season of COVID and leadership, supervision has been a life-giving meeting for me.
I have been pleasantly surprised at how much John listens than talks which is lovely in my role where I listen a lot and don’t get to process much.
Everyone needs a John in their life to listen to the themes and bring some clarity in these crazy times and walk away focused and encouraged!