Introducing the Revd Jennifer Brown as Director of Training
The College of Preachers is pleased to announce the appointment of Revd Jennifer Brown as our new Director of Training. She will hold this part time appointment alongside her existing teaching post at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and her parish ministry as an associate priest of Abingdon-on-Thames.
Her doctoral research in the psychology of religion involves examining the influence of religion in forming ethical values, whilst her previous experience as a Science Missioner in Oxford Diocese equips her to enable preachers to reckon with some of the ethical and social challenges in their preaching.
Jennifer’s primary role will be to develop a rolling programme of preacher training events. She takes up her appointment in early September and will attend the Festival of Preaching.
From the Chair of Trustees of The College of Preachers, Canon Roger Spiller
I am delighted to be able to announce the appointment of the Revd Jennifer Brown as Director of Training for the College of Preachers. She brings with her much relevant experience and expertise, and we are very much looking forward to working with her.
Introduction by the new Director of Training, the Revd Jennifer Brown:
I am very excited to be taking up the post of Director of Training for the College of Preachers. I am passionate about good preaching and believe that preaching is still a valuable part of the life of the Church, even in this more visually focused age.
One of the reasons that I am so passionate about good preaching is that sermons are one of the main ways in which we encourage and inspire those in our congregations and teach them how to be faithful disciples of Christ. I am currently researching for a PhD in the Psychology of Religion, looking at the ways in which participation in worship shapes individuals’ moral thinking and attitudes. One of the things that I am looking at as part of my research is the role that the sermon plays in communicating moral values.
I have been ordained since 2005 and have experience of both parish ministry and university chaplaincy. I am currently a part-time member of the teaching staff at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, where I am course director of the Cuddesdon School of Theology and Ministry, Placements Tutor for ordinands on the part-time pathway, and study skills tutor. I am also an associate priest in the parish of Abingdon on Thames in the Church of England’s Diocese of Oxford, a post that allows me to continue to be involved with parish ministry and preaching.
From June 2014 to December 2018, I held the post of Science Missioner in the Churn Benefice, also in Oxford Diocese, which I have often described as, ‘talking to scientists about Christianity and talking to churches about science.’ This post gave me opportunities to network with a variety of individuals and groups, experience that I hope to employ as I develop the training programme of the College of Preachers from its current foundations. Being Science Missioner also gave me an opportunity to preach on science and issues around science and religion to a range of congregations. Science and technology are integrated into many areas of our lives today, and so I hope that preaching about science and the issues arising from scientific and technological advances will become a part of the College of Preachers’ training programme.
I look forward to starting as Director of Training in September, and to working with the College’s trustees, regional tutors and others to expand and develop our training programme, and to help others in ministry to develop their own preaching skills.