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Hi, I’m John Cotter.
For over 3 decades I have been walking alongside Christian leaders, offering encouragement, alleviating isolation, cultivating leadership, navigating change, pursuing integrity and grappling together with how to keep
fresh, focused and faithful in their work.
In today’s ministry context, engaging in Pastoral Supervision stands out as one of the most effective long-term investments a leader can make to address these challenges. 
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

Introductory session free
Supervision session $180
8 to 9 sessions per year
Sessions offered online or
in-person near Gosford
(Central Coast) NSW

John’s Background

Since I was a child, I have had the privileged to meet many Jesus followers who genuinely serve God and others in different challenging ways and contexts. Despite their inspiring witness, I found that by the time I was a young adult, there was enough in their stories to stir a deep frustration at the lack of support for these amazing people on the front-line (inside and outside the church). It set me on a trajectory to play a part in the solution. It hasn’t been a traditional career path, I have a disjointed CV, but the common theme is that where there is a need for dedicated, regular, on-going support for front-line workers, and an invitation from them to help, I have found or created a role and relationship to help keep them serving long and well. 
About 6 years ago, after a long stint in Asia, I returned to Australia with my family. I was excited to discover Pastoral Supervision, which became a great vehicle to continue (through Align Services) to  to provide support for leaders.
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!