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|Job Title||Leader – Partnership for Missional Church UK, Church Mission Society Freelance consultant, trainer and researcher, spiritual director, practical theologian and architect of learning|
I am currently working part-time developing a process for deep cultural change in congregations over the long term with the Church Mission Society. I am also offering my skills in a variety of roles in organisations, churches and in 1:1 developmental relationships. I have worked both as an Anglican Parish Priest and in training and development at all levels in the church for most of my 25+ years in ministry. I have been the editor of the Journal of Adult Theological Education and am now the editor of Practical Theology. I was a mission partner in Tanzania for seven years and speak fluent Kiswahili. I grow all my own vegetables on my inner-city allotment and worry about the fluctuating fortunes of Hull City AFC.
Dip. Th. (CNAA) 1989 Open University (St. John's College, Nottingham) M.A. in Theology of Mission and Ministry 1995 Nottingham University Th.D Missiology 2008 Birmingham University
- Roles and responsibilities
I have taught at all levels up to Master’s. I can teach in the fields of; missiology, leadership, ecclesiology, practical & contextual theology, theological reflection, adult theological education, spirituality and supervision
I am an ordained Anglican priest and a recognised and regarded Methodist minister in the two Local Ecumenical Partnership churches where I regularly lead worship and preach in North Nottingham. This work grounds my practice and the reality of parish life. I have held a senior role in an Anglican Diocese for more than six years.
- 2001 – present. Canon of Christchurch Cathedral, Arusha
- 2004 – 2010. Member Grove Books Pastoral Committee, Co-convenor from 2007.
- 2008 – present. Member of the International Association of Mission Studies (IAMS)
- 2004 – present. Member British and Irish Association of Practical Theology (BIAPT) now incorporating the British and Irish Association of Mission Studies (BIAMS) which I was also a member of sice 2004. I was Membership Secretary of BIAPT between 2012 and 2016.
- 2014 – present. Member of the International Research Consortium – an invitation only academic society researching and reflecting on missional congregations on three continents. I was appointed a joint convenor of this group in 2015.
- Research interests and supervision areas
I am a curious, courageous and somewhat ‘dogged’ researcher and have been discerning my way through various fields of inquiry over the past fifteen or so years. I have always been free of the need to research and publish per se (which comes with not working in the academy) and I believe this has enabled me to stick with areas that fit with my wider vocation as a priest-theologian.
I am interested in the missiological relationship between faith and culture and have researched, written and edited projects and books in that field (especially in relation to contextual theology in England). I am an adult educator fascinated by how individuals and Christian communities change and grow. Having worked in another culture and language I enjoy crossing cultures and thinking about the way such movement is related to the missionary vocation of the Church. I have a particular interest and expertise in qualitative field research.
I am currently involved in two main projects beyond my work in congregational development – one is creating pre-evangelism resources for local churches by enabling people to be happier through the practices of positive psychology. It is fun working with and researching people who are not yet Christian.
More importantly I am writing, with a colleague a practical theology of liminality. Not least because it is a fundamental lens through which to see our current age and also part of the process by which we believe human transformation occurs.
I have supervised research mainly at Master’s level including a Practical Theology inquiry into ballroom dancing, translating African theological concepts to the UK and how Afghan asylum seekers and refugees are received in UK churches. I have a wide range of interests as you can see!
I would be interested in supervising Masters and Doctoral dissertations, especially those including field research methodologies in the areas of:
- Missiology – especially faith and culture (contextual theology), crossing cultures and the Missio Dei
- Missional Ecclesiology – and possibly Christian leadership
- Spirituality and pilgrimage
- Adult Theological Education
- With Canon Dr. Jane Steen, Employed by God? Theological and Practical Implications of the New Church of England Clergy Terms of Service Legislation. Cambridge: Grove, 2008.
- With John Clark, Martin Lee, Philip Knights, Janice Price, Anne Richards and Paul Rolph, Foundations for Mission in the UK and Ireland: A Study of Language, Theology and Praxis London: CTBI, 2010.
- The Faith of the English: Integrating Christ and Culture, London: SPCK, 2011.
- With Patrick Keifert, Forming the Missional Church: Creating Deep Cultural Change in Congregations, Cambridge: Grove (P139) 2014.
- With Gavin Wakefield as Editors, Northern Gospel Northern Church: Reflections on Identity and Mission, Durham: Sacristy Press, 2016.
- With Zoe Bennett (ed.s) Practical Theology in Progress: Showcasing an Emerging Discipline, Abingdon: Routledge, 2019.
- With Patrick Keifert, Spiritual Leadership in the Missional Church: A Systems Approach to Leadership as Cultivation, Cambridge: Grove (L38) 2019.
- Missional Church: What does good look like? Cambridge: Grove (MEv 128) 2019.
- With Adrian Chatfield, Soul Friendship: A Practical Theology of Spiritual Direction, Norwich, UK: Canterbury Press, 2019.
Journal articles and chapters
- ‘Nice Process, Shame about the Content’: The Alpha Course in Three Different Cultural Contexts. Journal of Adult Theological Education, Vol. 2.2, October 2005
- ‘Inculturation Comes Home: Lessons from the Worldwide Church’ Anvil Vol. 22 No.4 2005
- “English and Christian? Negotiating Christian Cultural Identity through Imaginative Theological Pedagogy”, Practical Theology, Vol. 3.1 2010
- ‘Deep listening: A call for missionary anthropology,’ Theology Vol.15 No.2. March/April 2012 pp.99-108.
- ‘Paul as Practical Theologian: Phronesis in Philippians,’ Practical Theology Vol. 5.1 2012 pp.81-94.
- ‘Theological Education in a New Missional Era: A Personal Journey with Seven Theses,’ Dialog: A Journal of Theology Vol. 53:4 Winter 2014 pp. 336-344.
- ‘Missional Gift-giving: a practical theology investigation into what happens when churches give away ‘free’ gifts for the sake of mission’ Practical Theology Vol. 8.2 2015 pp. 99-111.
- ‘Evangelism through Happiness? A Case-Study in Innovative “Pre-Evangelism” with Contemporary UK “Post-Christians”’. Mission Studies Vol. 35 No.1 2018 pp.101-123.
- ‘Understanding Local Churches as Porous Living Systems: Insights from the Tavistock Tradition,’ Ecclesial Practices, Vol. 6.2 2019 pp.182-197.
- “Maisha ya Kiroho” (Spirituality) A ten-week basic level TEE course, 1997
- “Agano la Kale” (Old Testament) A 30 week certificate level TEE course, 1999
Both these books were writen in Kiswahili and published by the Anglican Church of Tanzania for use across the Province
Several headword entries for the Encyclopaedia of Christian Education Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.