We are delighted to announce that we have a new member of the core teaching staff. On September 1st, the Rev. Dr. John Seymour will begin his work as Tutor in Mission and Contextual Theology. Over the past few years, Mission has moved into the core of our curriculum and of our formational vision at St Augustine’s. We looked, therefore, for a inspiring teacher, able to tackle the breadth of missional theology and practice today and to enable our students to develop their own thinking and committment in this essential and apostolic calling. During the course of his interview, we asked John to present an imaginary module in mission and evangelism, showing both what he’d teach and, equally important, how he would set about it. John impressed us with the way his proposed course moved nimbly between teaching important material and engaging students in reflection on practice. He also very much demonstrated the compelling energy of thought that marks a teacher as still excited about their own learning and still thinking about the big questions.
For the past eight years, John has served as a senior leader and chaplain in the Twyford Academies Trust, developing the school’s ethos and identity in preparation for the Trust’s expansion. Thanks to his innovative theological work a second school, with a strong Christian ethos, now pursues its educational mission, operating with a successful open admissions policy in an ethnically and religiously diverse part of West London.
John is a qualified medical doctor who came to faith in Christ whilst studying medicine in Bristol. Christian faith inspired for him new questions about human wholeness and its implications for full-time ministry. After two years in a lay community created at St. Paul’s cathedral, John trained for ordained ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge; at the Venerable English College in Rome; and on placement in Manchester.
In addition to his medical training, John has a BSc in Biochemistry, a BA in Theology, and an MA in Philosophy and Religion. He is presently completing his doctoral studies through the Institute of Education at University College London. His thesis explores the effectiveness of a Trinitarian model for education and a Christian school mission and ethos. John has co-authored an RE teaching resource for Primary and Secondary schools which enables partnership with local parishes as well as international links. When he’s not working, John writes that he “may be found running, swimming, cycling or in an art gallery.”