The Light College Lecturer Biographies
All our lecturers are passionate about their faith and approved by the University of Chester, with a wide range of experience and practical knowledge.
Rev Chris Duffett
Chris has a wealth of experience in Chaplaincy, having served as Peterborough’s City Centre Chaplain for 10 years, and is currently one of the Bardsey Island Chaplains. Chris’ passion is in Theology, Culture and the Arts, and he also serves at Cliff College lecturing on Pioneering and Fresh Expressions and at Waverley Abbey College lecturing on Chaplaincy. Chris is a former president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and an author of 4 books, his latest a novel on the life of his hero Philip the evangelist. He is an evangelist and artist, and the original founder of The Light Project.
Rev Glyn Jones
Glyn is the co-principal of The Light College. Glyn lived for many years in France before returning to the UK to establish a college of evangelism. He holds a Masters in Applied Theology and is currently conducting doctoral research in how non-churched people find faith. Glyn describes himself as an ‘everyday evangelist and storyteller’. He has published a book of short stories and lectures in history and culture.
Ali is the FdA Programme manager and a lecturer at The Light College. She has two married children. Her husband Andy is self-employed and they both work from home. Ali became a follower of Jesus at 14 years old after hearing God speaking clearly to her. She loves teaching and empowering students to be the best they can be, and to follow Jesus into what he has for them. Ali co-led a church plant for 15 years and has been an airport chaplain at EMA for 6 years, sharing the Good News in creative and pioneering ways. Ali enjoys swimming, collecting thimbles, Pilates and reading. She doesn’t like liver or hot curry.
Rev Dr Robert Beamish
Robert lives with his wife and children in North Wales where he is the minister of Prince’s Drive Baptist Church, a community-minded charismatic evangelical church. Having studied at Oxford, Winchester and Manchester universities, and most recently earning a doctorate in Theology & Ministry from King’s College London, Robert has academic interests which now major on preaching and practical theology. Robert finds it a great joy being part of the Light College, where his responsibilities include teaching evangelistic communication on the BA course and supporting those training for ordination as Baptist ministers. He is also keen on drinking good wine, winter sports and hanging out with his family, preferably all three activities at the same time!
Rev Gareth Thomas
Gaz has undergraduate degrees in both Theology and Philosophy. He has spent some time as a secondary RE teacher and as a University Chaplain, and now works for The Light College and Collective overseeing The Light Collective and the BA programme of studies. He has a particular interest in new monasticism, the thought of Thomas Merton, and the apostolic life of prayer and holistic mission. Gaz is an Anglican Minister and Third Order Franciscan, and enjoys the outdoors, travel, pilgrimage, reading, film and spending time with family and friends.
Rev Simon Goddard
Simon was involved in starting an ecumenical fresh expression of church near Cambridge, before serving for 4½ years as a regional minister for the Eastern Baptist Association. Now he is director of RiverTree, through which he offers a portfolio of ministries. This includes being one of the national Pioneer Ambassadors for the Baptist Union of Great Britain, and being part of the Fresh Expressions leadership community. He is team leader for fx resourcing, he project managed the launch of the free Godsend app (equipping people to start fresh expressions of church) and is now responsible for facilitating the resourcing of the fx movement in the UK. He is married to Lisa, and both of them are Third Order Franciscans. He also happens to be the co-author (with Chris Duffett) of the book ‘Big Hearted: the Gospel of Simple Words and a Large Heart’.
Abi works as a Pioneer Evangelist with The Light Collective in Chester where she is involved in planting fresh expressions of church, developing evangelistic projects and working with young people. Before undertaking studies with the Light College herself, Abi was a part of the organisation Youth With a Mission for a number of years, where she was actively involved in discipleship, mission and evangelism in a variety of different countries and contexts.
Rev Carolyn Skinner
Carolyn Skinner is the founder and CEO of Third Space Ministries, a charity which seeks to demonstrate the love of God in leisure industries through chaplaincy and team outreach. She is passionate about helping people find faith in Jesus, and equipping Christians for evangelism. She loves to be where people are least likely to expect a ‘God encounter’. She has had experience of working as a chaplain at international sporting events, local gyms, in the music industry, and in strip clubs. She is one of the tutors on the Pioneer Chaplaincy and Mission course.
Carolyn lives in London, and outside of her work can often be found going for a run, drinking coffee with friends, or sitting in the sun with her flip flops on!
Gareth started working with the Light Project in 2004 as a volunteer Youth Worker in Chester. He was a student at the University of Chester studying Youth Work with Applied Theology. Working for the Light Project was his first job after university, heading up a network of community youth clubs across Chester supported by The Light Project and local churches. Gareth joined the Light Project lecturing team in 2011 and has taught a variety of modules, with a common theme of serving the communities we live in practically. He has a strong passion for critical reflection as a key way for all learners to develop and grow. Since first training in youth work, Gareth has specialised his work to focus on relationships and sex education for young people with the Christian charity www.acet-uk.com. He has just completed a Masters degree in Public Health with the University of Chester.
Simon is teaching Christian Interpretation and use of the Old Testament in Mission. When not at his day job as a builder, he can be found walking (mostly in Wales) with his wife Caron, their youngest son (aged 11) and their Labrador, Callie, or maybe checking the veggie plot. Simon’s current thinking revolves around a Christian response to sustainability for people and planet.
Philippe committed his life wholeheartedly to Christ at 15, was baptised at 17 and has been an active member of his local church, Whetstone Baptist Church, ever since. In the following 15 years, the Lord has given him many opportunities to serve His people locally and overseas in short-term cross-cultural mission trips. In church, he has devoted the last 10 years to nurturing a post-Alpha small group and working with the associate pastor as a cluster leader for 5 emerging groups of new believers. Philippe served on a discipleship team set up to help encourage and resource the discipleship of the whole church family through the small group network.
Seidel lectures full-time for Spurgeon’s College and is a guest lecturer with us. He teaches in the areas of Christian mission, evangelism, apologetics, world religions, homiletics and ministerial training. He has a first-class honours degree (BA) in applied theology specialising in evangelism from Moorlands College. He completed his Baptist ministerial training and a Master of Theology (MTh) degree in homiletics with distinction from Spurgeon’s College. Seidel is currently pursuing a professional doctorate in homiletics and apologetics from the University of Chester. Seidel’s reputation as a preacher, teacher and evangelist became established over the last decade as he spoke at many churches, conferences, seminars and university Christian unions. He has a rich experience in mission, evangelism and apologetics in countries such as the UK, USA, India, Romania and Italy. Recently, he was one of the speakers at the International Congress of Preaching in Cambridge. He is married to Linda and loves to play cricket and badminton.
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