Jonny Baker, Britain Hub Mission Director
Jonny is Britain Hub mission director at Church Mission Society. He specialises in gospel and culture and applying creativity to worship. He is author of The Pioneer Gift and Pioneering Spirituality, Alternative Worship and Curating Worship and has been networking with mission leaders and catalysing mission training for the last decade. He teaches theological reflection, mission and worship modules.
Dr Cathy Ross leads Pioneer Mission Leadership Training Oxford and is a lecturer in mission at Regent’s Park College, Oxford. Until 2016 she was the General Secretary of the International Association for Mission Studies. She has previously worked in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda with NZCMS. Her recent publications include Women with a Mission, Rediscovering Missionary Wives in Early New Zealand, (Auckland:Penguin, 2006) and Mission in the 21st Century, Exploring the Five Marks of Global Mission (ed with Andrew Walls); (London:DLT, 2008), Life-Widening Mission: Global Anglican Perspectives (Oxford:Regnum, 2012) and Mission in Context (with John Corrie, Ashgate, 2012), The Pioneer Gift (with Jonny Baker, London:SCM, 2014), Mission on the Road to Emmaus, (with Steve Bevans, London:SCM, 2015), Pioneering Spirituality (with Jonny Baker, London:SCM, 2015), Her research interests are in the areas of contextual theologies, World Christianity, feminist theologies and hospitality. She is married to Steve, a GP in Oxford and they have three children and two grandchildren. She enjoys tennis, swimming, coffee, travel and watching the All Blacks.
Dr Harvey Kwiyani is Programme Lead for African Christian Diaspora MA. He is a Malawian missiologist and theologian who has lived, worked and studied in Europe and North America for the past 20 years. He has researched African Christianity and African theology for his PhD, and taught African theology at Liverpool Hope University. Harvey is CEO of Global Connections, programme leader for the Africa Christian Diaspora route of the CMS Pioneer MA, and founder and executive director of Missio Africanus, a mission organisation established in 2014 as a learning community focused on releasing the missional potential of African and other minority ethnic Christians living in the UK.
Sarah lectures on and leads the undergraduate programme. She has a master's in theology from Regent College, Vancouver, and is currently pursuing a PhD in art, theology and community formation.
Joseph is a lecturer on the African Christianity undergraduate and MA programmes. He holds Master’s degrees in Biblical and Pastoral Theology, as well as African Christianity from Liverpool Hope University. Currently, he is pursuing a DTh in Practical Theology at the University of Roehampton, London. Joseph founded the Alive Mentorship Group in 2015, a platform that provides online mentoring to teenagers and young adults with a growing global outreach to thousands of young people. Joseph is a pastor in The Apostolic Church Liverpool, and his recent publications include Echoes: Life Lessons from an Online Village (2022), Pandemic Joy (2020), and Biblical Wisdom for Young Adults (2020). He is blissfully married to Anu and together, they host two podcasts: Not Alone Today Podcast (for their youth outreach) and Ọmọlúàbí Podcast (where they reflect on African proverbs through the lens of the Bible).
James is pioneer MA lecturer and assistant coordinator. He teaches in the areas of mission, ecclesiology and practical theology. His PhD explored how Small Missional Communities sustain their social action. He also works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Roehampton, researching themes of learning, discipleship and social action.
Dr Sheila Akomiah-Conteh initially started her career in journalism as a sub editor for a prominent national newspaper in The Gambia. More recently, she has made notable contributions in the fields of secondary school education and theological research. She completed her PhD in 2019 at the University of Aberdeen, where she researched the changing landscape of the church in contemporary Scotland. She currently resides in Glasgow with her family.
Ali lectures on the undergraduate course one day a week. She is a pioneer Baptist minister living on a new housing estate, co-founded the ecumenical New Housing Hub and authored Pioneer Ministry in New Housing Areas alongside Penny Marsh. She has created a series of ‘How to’ guides as part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing Church and Community. She undertakes mentoring, consultancy, and teaching and she is one of three Baptist Pioneer Ambassadors. She is undertaking doctoral research with CMS/University of Roehampton.
Dr Anna Ruddick is a community theologian and researcher who facilitates theological reflection and learning for leaders, congregations and Christian organisations seeking to deepen and strengthen their relationships with their local community. She holds a Doctorate in Practical Theology in which she focused on the relational dynamics between incoming Christians participating in incarnational urban mission, and the people they met in their communities. Anna has worked supporting those in community-based mission in marginal contexts for the last 14 years and currently represents Urban Life as a Core team member and Livability, as Community Engagement Associate. She is also a Research Fellow at Bristol Baptist College, and a trustee of the William Temple Foundation. Anna lives in Leicester with her husband Andrew.
Colin is mission learning manager at Church Mission Society. He teaches on the MA in mission and anthropology, and on the diploma on an introduction to the bible. He also oversees the CMS mission partner pathway which overlaps with pioneers each term. He is author of Mind The Gap.
Johnny is a well-known practitioner in the field of local and global missions. He is an entrepreneur, change consultant, and ordained minister. He has lived or served in over 40 nations exploring the relationship between contextual mission, spiritual vitality and community practice. He is an alumni of CMS pioneer training pathway and Ripon College, Oxford where he studied theology and was trained for ordination. He is a member of Middlesex University researching the significance between organisational development and community practice focused on the connections between spirituality, systems and social impact. He is first and foremost a seeker, husband, father, son, brother and friend. Inspired by the story of Jesus, he has a passion to explore altruism through intentional community, a way he hopes can answer the challenges of contemporary culture. In no particular order he finds his happy place hiking in the great outdoors, watching rugby, participating in endurance sports, good coffee and homemade food, reading and writing, poetry and family road trips.
Natalie Burfitt, chaplain to undergraduates
Natalie completed the MA in Pioneer Leadership with CMS in 2022. She works in Gloucester diocese as part of three initiatives, each pioneering in their own way. One, called Sportily, seeks to connect with children, families and young people through sport and wellbeing, growing new worshipping communities where being active is an essential part of faith exploration. She is also chaplain to the Gloucester Ministry Experience Scheme. Natalie is interested in building strong local communities and enacts her own pioneer practice in the neighbourhood where she’s lived for over 20 years.
Jenny Royal, chaplain to Pioneer MA students
Jenny is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and had a career working with individuals and teams within organisations in areas of assessment, development and team working, later focusing on organisational development and managing change. She gave up secular employment to work with individuals and churches in unpaid consultancy roles during which time she was a trustee, then Moderator, of the Board of the Baptist Union and completed the BTh at Regent’s Park College in her 50s ’just for fun’. She is married to Cliff and has two stepchildren, two adopted children of their own and five grandchildren. She enjoys travelling, walking, and playing tennis.
John Tasker, chaplain to African Diaspora MA students
John is a CMS pioneer and lay worker having completed the MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission at CMS in 2018, with a dissertation focusing on diaspora ministry. He is a trustee of Missio Africanus and involved in bringing to fruition the African Diaspora route through the MA. John lives in North London where he was previously a licensed lay minister and is now involved in pioneering with children and families. He is also twinning officer for the ALMA Partnership between the Anglican Churches of Angola, London and Mozambique and chair of trustees of the national mission agency MANNA, Mozambique and Angola Anglican Association. He will be licensed as a Licensed Preacher Under Seal in the Diocese of London in October 2021.