Dr Christopher Stephens is the Head of Southlands College at the University of Roehampton.

He studied Theology at Christ Church, Oxford, where he began research into the Church of Late Antiquity. After a number of years leading the research department of the Methodist Church in Britain, he moved to Roehampton, where he has pursued his interests in ecclesiastical history and the development of contemporary faith communities and religious institutions.

His recent publications echo these dual interests, including the monograph Canon Law and Episcopal Authority  (OUP, 2015) and, with Dr Lia Shimada, research articles in the Atlas of World Religions (Springer, 2014) and Mediation Theory and Practice (Equinox, 2016) which explore human diversity and organisational development.

His current research projects include continuing work on early Church councils and canon law and explorations of theological and linguistic approaches to diversity.




Sue Miller is the Director of the Susanna Wesley Foundation.

Sue’s work for the Foundation involves exploring connections, building relationships, identifying research and learning needs, and capitalising on people’s interests and strengths in order to build a community of scholars and a set of SWF research involvements. Sue came to this role from a post in the Methodist Church, and, before that, from academia where she was a Principal Lecturer in a Business School. Sue has a Masters from Cambridge and a Masters in Human Aspects of Management. She started her career as a graduate management trainee; her early experience in the Manpower Services Commission taught her much about different organisational cultures and styles of management and how to work across organisational boundaries.

Sue’s previous research interests were in diversity and leadership, while, in her role with the Foundation, she is involved in exploring women’s experiences in ministry, and the relevance for the Churches of theories and models of organisation and management.


Dr Lia Dong Shimada joined the Susanna Wesley Foundation as Research Associate in November 2015. She is now Senior Research Officer and involved in developing the Foundation’s research portfolio, with an emphasis on diversity in leadership and ministry.

From 2010 to 2013, Lia implemented the national strategy for diversity and inclusion for the Methodist Church in Britain. Prior to that role, she worked in the peacebuilding sector in Northern Ireland, where she facilitated civic dialogue on migration, racism, and paramilitary conflict transformation. Lia holds a PhD in Geography from University College London and a Masters degree in Theology from Kings College, London. Her research interests emerge from the crossroads of these two disciplines, where theory and praxis intersect.

Lia volunteers as a youth literacy tutor at her local library and is active in two homelessness projects. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, hill-walking and playing the harpsichord. Lia lives in East London.




The Revd Ermal Kirby joined the Susanna Wesley Foundation as a part-time Research Officer in January 2016: his main research focus examines Cultural Diversity and Methodist Circuit Ministry.

Ermal has extensive experience of living with diversity: born in Antigua and coming to England when eight; being educated in a predominantly white school while remaining rooted within the black British community; studying at the Wesleyan College in Barbados and at Oxford University; ministering for forty years with congregations in inner city, city centre and suburban contexts; serving as a Staff member of the CTBI, and then as Tutor in a Theological College before becoming Chair of the London Methodist District – the most diverse District in British Methodism. For the past four years he has been a Circuit Minister in South Africa where he was a member of the Cape Welsh Choir.

Ermal is the Superintendent of the Barking, Dagenham and Ilford Circuit.

He is married to Jenni, who is also a Methodist Minister, and they have three sons and four grandchildren.


Sam McBratney is a Methodist presbyter with nearly twenty years’ experience of ministry in various contexts – Circuit-based (rural and urban), chaplaincy, academia, theological education and reconciliation. He has worked as a chaplain in four universities, including two in London where he established and led two multi-faith teams.

Teaching has also been a major part of his career, including four years as a Lecturer at City, University of London and five as Director of the Global Christianity Programme at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham. His teaching has ranged from Worship and Liturgy and Global Mission to Peace & Reconciliation and Interfaith & Intercultural Understanding.

He is a member of the Corrymeela Community and is currently engaged in doctoral research into contextual theologies of reconciliation in Ireland. He is also currently a Visiting Lecturer at the Theological College of Lanka in Sri Lanka, teaching Peace and Reconciliation Studies.

In his spare time, he devotes his energies to cinema, gardening and pub quizzes and is active in local politics.


Emma Pavey joined the Susanna Wesley Foundation in October 2017 as Communications and Resources Officer. Her work includes social media strategy, curating the website and editing academic papers and research.

Emma has a background in academia, holding a PhD in Linguistics and a ThM in Theology, in addition to having studied adult education and restorative justice. In addition to teaching, research, and work in academic standards management, she has a background in administration, project and event management, graphic design, and bridging the gap between academic research and informed practice.

In her spare time, Emma engages in creative practice including printmaking, painting, photography and digital art. She enjoys researching the intersection of creative play with theology, personhood and mental/spiritual health.


Tim is a Methodist Minister and Superintendent Minister of the Islington and Camden Mission Circuit, based at Archway.  He is in his 39th year of ministry, and specialises in organizational problem solving. He has a MSc in Organisation Development and Consultancy from Sheffield Hallam University and is now studying for his DTh in organisation culture change.

Gill currently works across two Methodist Districts overseeing their Safeguarding work as team leader. Gill is a Baptist and with others, has oversight of a small chapel whose work is primarily amongst the most vulnerable elderly people in the community offering them hospitality.
Gill’s background training is in both theology and social work and she has always worked bi-vocationally. Most recently Gill read for the MTh in Applied Theology at Oxford.
Gill’s volunteering has been in the form of being the vice chair of her local Parish Council with the young people’s portfolio. Gill set up a youth cafe with her 14-year-old son, receiving grants from the Local Authority to run a service for teenage boys in particular.
Gill is interested in the future of the Non-Conformist Churches and wrote her MTh dissertation on the future of the Baptist movement with a focus on the Cotswolds.  Gill is pursuing research in the area of volunteering within the Methodist tradition, looking particularly at the future of the church that relies so heavily on its volunteers.

Rev. Andrew Dunlop is an Anglican minister who is currently Tutor in Context-Based Training and Pioneering at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. Andrew is interested in new forms of church, fresh expressions, and pioneering.

Andrew’s PhD research concerns the differences new forms of church can make to the missional and ecclesiological landscape in the UK in a mixed or blended economy. He is looking at the changes in theology that come about using the collaborative theological action research method (TAR). The benefit of the research then extends beyond the local to the district or diocesan level.

Andrew’s publications include the book Out of Nothing: A Cross-shaped Approach to Fresh Expressions, suggesting a theological foundation by which the success of new churches can be measured, and Mixed Economy Mission: Collaborative ministry for deanery-wide growth (co-authored), a booklet analysing a collaborative project amongst small village churches in the North East of England.

Andrew enjoys running and football (NUFC and NTFC), is married to Sarah, and they have two children.

The Revd Keith Elford is sponsored by the Susanna Wesley Foundation to pursue a part-time doctoral research project on the relationship between ecclesiology and organisational theory.

Keith has been a consultant on the theme of organisational effectiveness since 1998. He is an Anglican clergyman, now self-supporting, but with experience as an incumbent and as Bishop’s Chaplain.  These two strands come together in his desire to bring the insights available from organisational theory and practice to the challenges facing the Church today.

His book, Creating the Future of the Church, was published by SPCK in 2013.

His other great love is rock music and he plays in a couple of bands and runs a monthly open mic session in Weybridge.  He lives in Chertsey with Annabelle and their three whippets.



The Revd Shanon Ferguson is an ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Church and currently serves as the Senior Pastor in North London. Shanon was the chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement until June 2014 when she moved to Kent to take on the care of her two adopted brothers who have learning disabilities.

Shanon is also the co-president of the European Forum for LGBT Christian groups. She holds first degrees in both Psychology and Theology and combined these in an MA in the Psychology of Religion where her focus was on reconciling faith and sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Shanon’s current research, ‘Transgression, Transfiguration, Transcendence’, explores what it means to go beyond a binary gender construct and how this affects our relationship with God, the church and one another.



Cristina Gangemi is beginning a DTh which seeks to explore theology, in theory and practice, through the lens and story of disability. The work aims to enable faith traditions to reflect upon their teachings and practice with a view to ensuring a rightful place of belonging for people who have been disabled. Her thesis will help record the providential shift that has occurred over the past 30 years in the field of disability theology as well as explore how the Methodist and Carmelite traditions might develop effective resources for people who have been disabled, enabling them to be part of their own mission, practice and teaching.

Sally is Community Worker with Younger Adults at Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission and is also a Methodist Lay Preacher. Prior to moving to London she spent two years as a lay Free Church Chaplain at Aston University in Birmingham and before that she was a Sociology Lecturer in Further Education for fifteen years. She has undertaken a range of study alongside these roles.
Her research focus will be Methodist lay employees working with 18-30 year olds and how their work relates to the mission of God in the world. Previously, whilst at Durham, she has researched the experiences of single parents within evangelical churches for a M Litt in Theology.
She also has an interest in sexuality and gender identity issues and has acted as a Equality, Diversity and Inclusion champion in several of her previous employed roles.
Her hobbies include going to the cinema and heritage sites with her husband, a Methodist Presbyter.

Professor Anne-marie Greene is Professor of Employment Relations in the Contemporary Research on Organisations, Work and Employment Group (CROWE), at Leicester Business School, De Montfort University.

She has expertise in researching employment relations and equality and diversity issues in areas of work that stand outside of the standard employment relationship. A specific interest is the interface between work, life, family and community, particularly in areas of work where a sense of calling, mission or activism are required. This has included research exploring the employment context of women clergy.

Her latest research is concerned with the management of volunteers in the National Trust, while a current British Academy project looks at the careers of diversity consultants in the UK.

She has two small children and is a Trustee of the non-professional Criterion Theatre, Coventry and regularly involved in plays – acting, directing and backstage.


Megan Seneque is honorary research fellow at Roehampton University. She is working with the Methodist Church’s Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network exploring what it means to build communities of practice and to effect systemic change.

Megan is involved in several global projects, using social process and collaborative design. Among these are the Wellbeing Economies for Africa Network and Innovation Labs. Since 2008 she has been Social Process Advisor to Catholic Earthcare Australia. She was founding director of the Leadership Centre of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa in the 1990s.

Two research publications capture the essence of her work:
Seneque, M. and Bond, C. (2010) Working with competing ideologies for transformational change – a South African caseEuropean Business Review 24:5, pp. 425-443.

Bond, C. and Seneque, M. (2012) Exploring Organizational Identity in the Context of Transformational Change: A South African Case StudyJournal of Change Management 12:1, pp. 13-30.






Chris Bond has been involved with the SWF since its formation conducting small scale research projects and being an active participant in a number of the conferences that SWF has organised.  This has involved both presenting research funded by the SWF and chairing sessions. Chris has been Principal Investigator for two SWF funded projects on ‘Methodism, Ministry and Management’ which led to the production of formal reports for the Methodist Church and academic outputs in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles and refereed conference papers.

Formerly Principal Lecturer in ‘Management and Organisational Behaviour’ at the University of Roehampton London Business School, Chris still maintains strong connections with the university as a student registered for his PhD by publication and a contract researcher.

Chris is now embarking on a more portfolio-based career which involves academic and international development consultancy, contract research and quality assurance and enhancement activities for a number of UK universities operating franchise and international collaboration activities. His research and publication focus remains in leadership as a social process.



Tim Harle lives at the interface of business and faith. He has worked at senior levels in organisations ranging from a FTSE100 company to a family-owned SME. Earlier in his career, Tim worked in Whitehall. He is Programme Leader for Sarum College’s MA in Christian Approaches to Leadership, and a Visiting Fellow at Bristol Business School.

A graduate of Cambridge University, Tim undertook advanced management studies at INSEAD, Fontainebleau. He is a member of the British Academy of Management, and a regular contributor to management conferences across Europe. A former Lay Canon of Bristol Cathedral, Tim is a Licensed Lay Minister (Reader) in the Church of England. His research interests include organisations as ecosystems, insights from complexity sciences, and applications of attachment theory. His publications include Embracing Chaos (Grove, 2011), ‘Approaching Transitions’ in Moving on in Ministry (CHP, 2013) and ‘Questioning Business Schools’ in Developing Leadership (Sage, 2015).





Dr Leonard Holmes has been engaged as a professional practitioner, teacher  and researcher on employment issues for over four decades. More recently, this has included engagement with workplace chaplaincy, through his membership of the Board of Directors and Trustees of Workplace Matters, an ecumenical  workplace chaplaincy organisation based in St Albans. He is particularly interested in the relationships between the nature and experience of meaningfulness (and meaninglessness) of work, identity and personhood, wellbeing and understandings of spirituality.

Leonard gained his PhD from the University of London Institute of Education (now part of University College London), is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development, a Life Fellow of Royal Society of Arts, and a member of the British Academy of Management. He has worked, in various roles, in several universities and higher education institutions and was until recently Reader in Management in the Business School, University of Roehampton.

Dr Kathryn Kissell is a Counselling Psychologist who engages with the intersection of psychology and ministerial practice.

Kathryn originally studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and Theological Studies at Trinity College, Bristol. Her professional doctorate in Counselling Psychology research project investigated the impact of Bowen group systems coaching on the work-related psychological health of Church of England clergy.

As a visiting research fellow at London South Bank University Business School, Kathryn’s research focuses on the interaction between individual and group functioning, organisational dynamics, and its impact on work-related psychological health. Her work applies these insights to enhance the well-being of individuals and organisations including ministers and congregations.

Kathryn has over 15 years’ experience working within the NHS, mental health charity and pastoral care settings as an integrative, relational clinical practitioner. She currently runs an on-site counselling service for prison service employees.

Nick Mayhew-Smith is a writer and researcher specialising in the impact that religious activity and ideas have on culture and commerce, on heritage, and on the environment. The specific topics he has written about include environmental theology, faith-based businesses and enterprises, and the ongoing legacy of religious activity in the British landscape.
He began his career as a journalist working at the Financial Times and moved on to found the publishing agency Wardour Ltd, before embarking on a series of media projects looking at Britain’s spiritual and natural heritage. His previous books include Britain’s Holiest Places (2011), a guide to 500 sacred sites which was made into a BBC Four television series in 2013. In 2019 he is publishing The Naked Hermit: A Journey to the Heart of Celtic Britain, which is based on a recently completed PhD at Roehampton University. These recent projects examine the intense interactions between Christian missionaries and the natural world, and have been used to develop a modern environmental theology based on Celtic Christianity and the Desert Fathers and Mothers.
He is a licensed lay minister (Reader) in the Church of England.

Mark Wakelin is a Methodist Minister in the Sutton Circuit at Epsom Methodist Church. He has served the Church in various ways: as President of the Methodist Conference, Connexional Secretary for Internal Relationships, Director of the Guy Chester Centre, National Secretary for the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs, and Circuit Minister in Stockport and Lincoln. He is married with three grown up children and four granddaughters.

Research interests are in the area of adult education in particular theological formation and educational policy. He was a research fellow at the University of Roehampton Business School 2013/14 and is a visiting Tutor at St Augustine’s College of Theology.

His hobbies include gardening, insects and singing.