The Theology and Action Research Network is co-ordinated by a Steering Committee, made up of theologians, sociologists and action researchers. Brief details of the Committee are given below.
Dr. Clare Watkins, University of Roehampton. Network Director.
One of the original developers of Theological Action Research, Clare is a Lecturer at the University of Roehampton in Ministerial Theology. A Catholic lay theologian, Clare’s work has been in ecclesiology, sacramental theology and the theology of ecclesial practice. She is chair of the British and Irish Association for Practical Theology, and a member of the Ecclesiology and Ethnography Group. More details of Clare’s background and publications can be found here.
Dr. Martine Thompson, University of Roehampton. Network Research Assistant and Administrator.
Martine is a theologian working as Research Assistant and Administrator for TARN, she is also the Assistant Administrator for BIAPT (The British and Irish Association of Practical Theology) and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Roehampton. She received her PhD in 2015 from Heythrop College, University of London. Martine’s cross-disciplinary PhD in Literature, Theology and Spirituality, was a study into the renowned 20th century writer and journalist, G.K. Chesterton, and his concept of holiness in the ordinary and the sacramentality of everyday life. She is currently rewriting her thesis for publication and became Chairwoman of the English G.K. Chesterton Society in January 2017. As well as her work at Roehampton, Martine recently became Coordinator of Formation and Projects in February 2017, at the marriage preparation and counselling charity, Catholic Marriage Care.
Martine is interested in how we can use language to teach theology effectively and in an engaging manner. She is excited to be a part of the Network, and particularly passionate about its work towards social change, especially for those living on the margins of society.
Dr. David Adams, Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University
David is an experienced, pragmatic and creative professional with a cross-disciplinary background in engineering, media and professional education. This positions David as a freelance consultant and action researcher with a particular focus on professional development and organisation change through practice-centred inquiry. His early experience was in international media (radio, television and the internet) and included work in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, India and Hong Kong. For the past 15 years this has been combined with an involvement in higher education and the not-for-profit sector.
Specialties include: Professional Learning; Reflective Practice; Action Research; Collaborative Inquiry; Communication; Appreciative Inquiry; Organisational Development; Work based learning; Narrative Inquiry; Online Learning; Post-graduate Accreditation; Academic Management; Storytelling; Media in Social and Spiritual Transformation.
Revd. Dr. Jason Boyd. Tutor at the Congregational Institute for Practical Theology.
Jason C. Boyd has served three Congregational Churches belonging to the Congregational Federation, UK (1994-present). Born in Canada (1971) he has lived in the UK since 1993. Biblical studies, Ignatian spirituality, and action research are sources for his vocation. He is a tutor for the Congregational Institute of Practical Theology. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Chester in 2015, an action research thesis focusing on his practice of preaching with his congregation.
Based on his doctoral research, “The Naked Preacher” is to be published by SCM in 2017/18. Professor David Coghlan writes, “Jason Boyd has engaged in a radical examination of his preaching practice, not as mere upskilling but as rigorous and reflective theological inquiry… What is particularly exciting is how he adopted an action research approach which by applying a rigorous methodology enabled him both to learn from his own experiences and to generate actionable knowledge for the field of preaching and practical theology.”
Dr. Susy Brouard. Theology Programme Advisor for CAFOD.
Susy’s first degree was in French and Spanish. She spent her third year of the degree working with the sisters of Mother Teresa in Chile. After an MA in Pastoral Theology at Heythrop College, University of London, Susy went on to work in a variety of settings with those who are marginalised, as well as in a retreat centre. She has worked as a Theology Programme Advisor for CAFOD for the last 13 years, and last year completed a professional doctorate combining two of her great passions: adult theological education and Catholic social teaching.
Dr. Susy Brouard’s research has, in particular, highlighted the specifically pedagogical value of theological action research, drawing attention to its similarities with liberationist educational theory and practice ‘Using Theological Action Research to embed Catholic Social teaching in a Catholic development agency: abseiling on the road to Emmaus.’ Unpub. ProfDoc thesis, Anglia Ruskin University, 2015.
Her work demonstrates the possibilities for organisational learning, within a diverse work environment, using these approaches. Thus, Susy’s expertise here, will be an important part of extending the questions of collaborative, participative learning within church community contexts within the Southlands Methodist Trust and Susanna Wesley Foundation project
Dr. Helen Cameron
Helen Cameron is a practical theologian and founding Director of the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology where she still holds a fellowship. Since 2010 she has been Head of Public Affairs for The Salvation Army where she leads a team that lobbies on behalf of those the organisation serves in the interests of greater social justice. She has written on her own and with others books on practical theology, theological reflection and the mission of the local church.