Meet the Teaching Staff

Neil Thorogood 

Neil Thorogood

Direct Office Line: 01223 33 06 49

Email: contact via our Tutorial Office to admin@westminster.cam.ac.uk

Neil became Principal of Westminster College in January, 2014, having previously served as Westminster’s Director of Pastoral Studies since 2005.

Church Background
He was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacraments in the United Reformed Church in 1992, serving pastorates in West Yorkshire and Hertfordshire before coming to Cambridge.

Training History
Neil completed ordination training at Mansfield College, Oxford. He completed his MA in Missiology at Northern College, Manchester.

Neil’s responsibilities include the good running of the college and the building up of its community and the campus with its partners. With other heads of Cambridge Theological Federation institutions he shares oversight of the Federation’s life and work. He works alongside others across the URC in educational and learning provision. His teaching focuses around pastoral theology, the practice of ministry and theology and the visual arts.

Robert Pope

Email: contact directly via rpp20@cam.ac.uk

Robert came to Westminster in September 2017 as Director of Studies in Church History and Doctrine. Since January 2018 he has also been Vice-Principal.

Church Background:

He was ordained Minister of Word and Sacraments in 2001 and served as minister of St Paul’s United Church (Methodist and URC) in Penmaenmawr, North Wales. Before coming to Cambridge he taught theology at Bangor University and then at the University of Wales: Trinity St David, the latter based in Lampeter.

Training History:

Robert completed ordination training at Westminster College, Cambridge. Prior to that he was an undergraduate and postgraduate student in the University of Wales.

Particular Responsibilities:

Robert contributes to CTF programmes teaching doctrine and history. He is engaged with others in delivering education and learning events in the United Reformed Church and currently serves on its Faith and Order Committee. He is also the editor of The Journal of the United Reformed Church History Society.

Research Interests:

Robert’s research interests are in the field of Nonconformist and Dissenting history and theology with a secondary interest in theology and culture.

Select Publications:

Books

Building Jerusalem: Nonconformity, Labour and the Social Question in Wales 1906-1939 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998; paperback edition, with new preface, published 2014).

Seeking God’s Kingdom: The Nonconformist Social Gospel in Wales 1906-1939 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1999; paperback edition, with new preface, published 2015).

Salvation in Celluloid: Theology, Imagination and Film (London: T & T Clark – Continuum, 2007), pp. xii + 208.

(ed.) T & T Clark Companion to Nonconformity (London: Bloomsbury, 2013; paperback 2016).

Articles and Chapters

‘Defending the Faith: Theology in the Diocese of St Davids, c.1534-2000’, in William

Gibson and John Morgan-Guy (eds), Religion and Society in the Diocese of St Davids

1485-2011 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 63-89.

‘Immediate Revelation or the Basest Idolatry? Theology and Religious Experience’,

in Bettina E. Schmidt (ed.), The Study of Religious Experience: Approaches and

Methodologies (Sheffield: Equinox, 2016), pp. 105-124.

‘Conscription, Conscience and Building God’s Kingdom: Welsh Nonconformists and the

Great War’, in The Journal of the United Reformed Church History Society, Vol. 9, No. 10

(May 2017), pp. 575-597.

Sam White 

Sam White

Email: contact via our Tutorial Office to admin@westminster.cam.ac.uk

Samantha (Sam) has been Director of Pastoral and Church Programmes since July 2014.

Church Background
She was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacraments in the United Reformed Church in 2006 and has experience in pastoral ministry and hospital chaplaincy.

Training History
She was trained in the Cambridge Theological Federation and holds an MA in Pastoral Theology from Anglia Ruskin University.

She teaches and supervises in the field of Pastoral Theology within Cambridge Theological Federation and also leads Westminster’s context-based Living Ministry Programme. She has a remit to develop Westminster as place of learning for lay and ordained in the United Reformed Church.

 

Alison Gray

Email: contact via our Tutorial Office to admin@westminster.cam.ac.uk

Alison Gray joined Westminster in July 2016 as Tutor in Old Testament Language, Literature & Theology.

Church Background

Alison was brought up in the URC and then a joint URC / Methodist Church. For seven years she was involved in parish ministry in Hertfordshire with her husband Brett, an ordained Anglican minister, before moving to Cambridge in 2011. She has been on the staff of the Cambridge Theological Federation since 2014 as Director of Studies and Tutor in Old Testament at Westcott House, and is delighted to be returning to the URC to serve at Westminster.

Training History
Alison studied Theology at Cambridge University, where she completed her BA, before training to be a secondary school teacher in R.E. She later returned to Cambridge to complete her MPhil in Old Testament and PhD (on Hebrew metaphors in the Psalms).

Particular Responsibilities
Alison teaches and supervises in the fields of Old Testament, Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Interpretation in the Cambridge Theological Federation and the University of Cambridge at all levels from beginners through to PhD. She is Director of Studies for Westminster students undertaking Cambridge University awards.

Research/Other Interests
Alison’s research interests include the Theology of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, Semantics of Ancient Hebrew, Reception History of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, Book of Psalms, and Metaphor in Bible translation and interpretation.

Publications
‘g’l’ in H.-J. Fabry and U. Dahmen (eds.), Theologisches Wörterbuch zu den Qumrantexten 1 (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2011), pp. 556-559.
Psalm 18 in Words and Pictures: A Reading Through Metaphor (Biblical Interpretation Series 127; Leiden: Brill, 2014).
‘pdh’ in H.-J. Fabry and U. Dahmen (eds.), Theologisches Wörterbuch zu den Qumrantexten 3 (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2016).
‘Reception of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible’ in J. Barton (ed.), The Old Testament: A Princeton Guide (Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016).
(Forthcoming) ‘Reflections on the Meaning(s) of ‘yr in the Hebrew Bible’ for H. Marlow and J. Aitken (eds.), The City in the Hebrew Bible (LHBOTS, 2016).

Peter Ball 

Email: contact directly via pb694@cam.ac.uk

Peter Ball joined Westminster in August 2017 as Director of Church Resource Development.

Church Background

Peter previously had pastorates at Sawston Free Church, Little Abingdon and St John’s URC Ipswich  and from 2008 Mission & training Officer for Eastern Synod.

Training History
Peter trained at Westminster College Cambridge (1991-94) and has an MA in Pastoral Theology from Anglia Ruskin University (2005).

Particular Responsibilities
Peter will play his part in the teaching and community life of the college but his main emphasis will be giving a lead in Westminster’s wider remit of being one of the Resource Centres for Learning of the United Reformed Church. He will aim to work closely with Training and Mission Officers and other networks and is a part of the steering group for the Walking the Way initiative.

Research/Other Interests
Fresh Expressions of Church, community engagement and Pioneering Ministries.

Publications
Within Eastern Synod a series of seven focus booklets on different aspects of church life. For the wider church “Embracing Eldership” with Ruth Whitehead and “A Time to Die” looking at various scenarios of dying and bereavement.

Jonathan Soyars 

Email: contact via our Tutorial Office to admin@westminster.cam.ac.uk

Jonathan Soyars joined Westminster in August 2019 as Tutor in New Testament Language, Literature and Theology.

Church Background

Jonathan is a priest of the Episcopal Church, a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Training History

Jonathan earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago. Previously, he earned an M.Div. and a Th.M. in Biblical Studies (New Testament) at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Particular Responsibilities

Jonathan lectures and supervises primarily in New Testament and early Christian studies in the Cambridge Theological Federation and the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge.

Research/Other Interests

Jonathan’s current research analyses the transmission and transformation of authoritative traditions in texts produced by Christians in the first and second centuries C.E., particularly the so-called Apostolic Fathers.

Publications

The Shepherd of Hermas and the Pauline Legacy (Novum Testamentum Supplements 176; Leiden: Brill, 2019).