Our Faculty is drawn from all over the world and from diverse disciplines in order to provide the best learning experience for our students.

Dr Sara Afshari

Research Tutor

Experience and research interests:

Originally from Iran, Sara Afshari is Research Tutor at Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. She received her PhD from Edinburgh University in Media Religion and Culture. She is co-founder and former Executive Director of SAT-7 PARS, a Christian television channel in Farsi/Persian language. She has MTh in World Christianity from Edinburgh University and an MA in Media Communication from Wales University. Her recent book is titled: Religion, Media and Conversion in Iran: mediated Christianity in an Islamic Context.

Dr Paul Bendor-Samuel

Executive Director

Experience and research interests:

Paul’s professional training in family medicine and public health fostered a spirit of enquiry and reflective practice. He and his family served for 12 years in Tunisia, leading a development organisation and then 12 years leading Interserve, an interdenominational, international mission agency focused on Asia and the Middle East. His interests include Christian organisational spirituality and development, the changing cross-cultural mission paradigm, mission as discipleship and leadership development.

Degrees and awards:

MBBCH (Cardiff) 1983; MRCGP (London) 1987; CDRS (Cambridge) 1989; MBE, awarded for medical services to Tunisia 2000

Dr Tom Harvey

Academic Dean

Tom’s expertise is in China and Southeast Asian Church and State. In Singapore he served as Chair of the Theological Review and Response Committee of the Presbyterian Church, Singapore and as an executive board member of the National Council of Churches, Singapore. He authored Acquainted With Grief: Wang Mingdao’s Stand for the Persecuted Church in China as well as numerous articles on Christianity and Christian social engagement in Asia and Southeast Asia. Tom is a member of the Lausanne Congress Global Diaspora Network and European Coordinator of the Lausanne European Diaspora Educator’s Group and is a missionary co-worker with the Presbyterian Church USA.

Academic qualifications:

BA (Wheaton College), MDiv (Asbury Theological Seminary), MA (University of Notre Dame), Ph.D (Duke University)

Dr Marina Ngursangzeli Behera

Research Tutor, MPhil Stage Leader and Editor of Transformation

Dr Marina Ngursangzeli Behera is from Mizoram, a state in Northeast India and belongs to the Mizoram Synod of the Presbyterian Church of India. She obtained her M. Th. in Missiology from the North India Institute of Post Graduate Theological Studies, a joint programme between Bishop’s College, Kolkata and Serampore College. Her D.Th. in the History of Christianity is earned from the Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture in Kottayam, Kerala, India. All of these institutions belong to the Senate of Serampore College, in West Bengal, India.

From 2005 to 2012 she served as an Associate Professor and Chairperson in the Department of the History of Christianity at the United Theological College (UTC) in Bangalore, India. From September 2012 to July 2016 supported by the CWM she held the chair of Ecumenical Missiology at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, a programme of the World Council of Churches and attached to the University of Geneva.

Dr Kirk Franklin

Associate Faculty - Global Missional Leadership

Kirk has authored the Regnum-published books Towards Global Missional Leadership (2017) and co-authored A Missional Leadership History (2022) and The Mission Matrix (2024). Kirk was born in Papua New Guinea and served as a missionary there. He has had executive leadership and governance roles in Australian and global mission agencies. He is a lecturer in missional leadership and doctoral supervisor based in Melbourne, Australia.

Research interests:

Mission theology, globalization and missional leadership, collaboration in mission, and cultural diversity in mission teams.

Current research projects:

Insights into collaboration in the missio Dei, the future of Western missions, and responsible use of AI in research and scholarship.

Academic qualifications

BA Intercultural Studies (Tabor College, Victoria), BA Theology (Honours) (University of Pretoria, South Africa), MA Theology (University of Pretoria, South Africa), PhD (University of Pretoria, South Africa).

Dr Guichun Jun

Research Tutor – Congregational Studies, Admissions Tutor
Guichun is an ordained minister who has experienced various ministry contexts in both Korea and the UK. He is a practitioner who is interested in discovering local knowledge of a particular congregation situated in a specific time and space to improve his and others’ understanding and skills of ministry and mission through understanding the congregants’ lived experiences and realities.

Research interests:

Congregational studies, church conflicts, cultural studies, ethnographic methodology and skills, multicultural ministry, practical theology, futuristic church ministries in the era of AI and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, cyber-theology and self-theologising.

Current Research Projects:

Guichun is currently exploring theological controversies and missional potential of Virtual Reality Church.

Academic qualifications:

BA Theology (Seoul Theological University), MDiv (Seoul Theological Seminary), PhD (OCMS / Middlesex University)

Dr Ralph Lee

Associate Faculty for Orthodox Mission

Research interests:

Orthodox theology; non-Chalcedonian Orthodox theology; Oriental Orthodox biblical interpretation; the transmission and textual history of the Bible in Ethiopia; 1Enoch; Ethiopian and Syriac Christian thought; Second Temple Judaism; revival movements in Orthodox Churches; Evangelical-Orthodox relations; Orthodox-Islamic relations

Other professional interests:

Chair of Trustees of the Jubilee Centre, Cambridge (a charity aimed at developing biblical thinking for public life); member of the board of trustees of the Lausanne Orthodox Initiative; doctoral supervisor in the Cambridge Theological Federation (at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, and Wesley House). Representative of the Navigators UK, focussing on disciple-making in Orthodox contexts, and on ministry to young academics.

Academic qualifications and awards:

PhD (SOAS University of London, 2011) Symbolic Interpretations in Ethiopic and Early Syriac Literature; MA (SOAS, 2007) African and Asian Christianity; PhD (1997, University of Strathclyde) Ethiopia: The Environmental Implications of Industrial Technology; MEng (Cantab, 1988) Chemical Engineering; MA (Cantab, 1987) Natural Sciences + Chemical Engineering. MBE (2014) for services to the British and Commonwealth community in Ethiopia.

Pengxiang Li

Research Tutor

Pengxiang is a DPhil candidate in Historical and Systematic Theology at Oxford. He is an elder of Oxford Chinese Gospel Church and serves in preaching and youth ministry. His past ministry experience includes leading student Bible study at Harvest Chinese Christian Church, preaching, leading student Bible study and children’s Sunday School at Philadelphia Bible Reformed Church, and translating English theological works into Mandarin. He has been participating in theological training in China regularly since 2014.

In addition to theological degrees (ThM and MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary), Pengxiang also holds master’s degrees in finance (George Washington University, 2009) and public administration (The University of Findlay, 2007) and a BA in marketing (Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, 2003).

Research interests:

Theologians: Geerhardus Vos, Meredith G. Kline, Cornelius Van Til, and John Webster

Doctrines: various doctrinal topics, especially theology proper, covenant, hamartiology, soteriology, common grace, and eschatology

Broader topics: theological interpretation of Scripture, public theology, theology of work, Christianity and capitalism, and contextualised theological education

Dr Anne Moseley

Research Tutor & Leader of OPRI

Anne is an experienced educational researcher who has been working for the last 10 years in the areas of religious education and intercultural learning. She has been a primary school practitioner teaching across the curriculum from reception through to Y6 pupils for over 20 years. Skills include qualitative educational research, teaching and communicating, curriculum design, collaborative team building and action research methodology.

Research interests:

Action Research Methodology, Scriptural Reasoning, Intercultural Communication, Religious Education, Interfaith dialogue, Peace building and reconciliation ministry, specific interest in Bosnia

Current research projects:

Anne is currently developing practical teaching resources in collaboration with the Rose Castle Foundation drawing on the findings that came out of her PhD research. The material is based on an age appropriate adaptation of Scriptural Reasoning principles and current religious education pedagogic principles.

Academic qualifications:

B.Ed. (Reading), Cert HE in Theology and Vocation (St Johns Theological College, Nottingham), MA in Education: subject specialism Religious Education, (Warwick), PhD in Education: subject specialism Religious Education (Warwick).

Rev. Canon Mark Oxbrow

Programme Director - Guided Research Programme
Having recently retired Mark now serves with the Anglican Communion Office (on discipleship issues globally) and is a board member of a number of Christian organisations including chairing the board of Solomon Academic Trust which runs the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies in Oxford.

Mission experience:

Mark is an Anglican priest who has spent most of his ministry in cross-cultural mission, initially with the Church Mission Society as International Mission Director and then as the International Director of Faith2Share, a global network of mission agencies. Prior to this he worked in local church ministry and community mental health care.

Research interests:

Orthodox theology of mission; Discipleship and Disciple-Making Movements; Islamic origins in the context of Jewish and Christian praxis

Current research:

Impact of Jewish and Christian communities on Islamic origins

Other professional interests:

Advisor on Discipleship, Anglican Communion Office; President, Feed the Minds; Board Chair, Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies (Oxford); Council Chair, Overseas Bishoprics Fund.

Academic qualifications:​

BSc (Theoretical Physics), BA, MA (Theology)

Dr John Padwick

Research Tutor - African Studies
John lived and worked in Kenya for forty years, mostly as a mission partner with CMS. His Kenyan ministry was initially in secondary education, but from 1978 he worked with African Independent Churches (AICs). John was instrumental in the setting up of the Organization of African Churches, a continental umbrella for AICs, and served OAIC in the areas of grassroots development, the articulation of AIC theologies, and research. He is an apostle in the Holy Spirit Church of East Africa, and currently serves as a lay minister in the Church of England. His research interests are African Independent and Pentecostal Churches; African religious movements; contextual, local and oral theologies; and the interface between development and faith.

Academic qualifications:

MA, Oxford; PGCE Institute of Education, University of London; PhD, University of Birmingham.

Dr David Emmanuel Singh

Research Tutor - Islamic Studies; PhD Stage Leader

David joined OCMS faculty in 2003 after a varied exposure to academic and administrative work with the Bible Society (NW India), the Henry Martyn Institute for Islamic Studies, and Union Biblical Seminary. He has a BSc (Allahabad), BD and MTh (Islamics) (Serampore) and PhD (Islamics) (Wales). His researches for the last two awards focussed on a 12th century Islamic theosophist, Ibn ‘Arabi and a marginal sect of Islam called the Mahdawiyya. He has since been researching and supervising postgraduates at OCMS. His areas of interest are Sufism, Islam and interfaith relations in South Asia and theology of religions. He is author of over 50 research papers, 7 edited volumes including a trilogy on Jesus and Islam, several encyclopaedia entries and book chapters and two research monographs: Sainthood and Revelatory Discourse: An Examination of the Basis for the Authority of Bayan in Mahdawi Islam (Oxford: Regnum and ISPCK 2003) and Islamization in Modern South Asia: Deobandi Reform and the Gujjar Response (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 2012).

Dr Damon So

Research Tutor – Trinitarian Theology, Christian Theology and Doctrine; OCMS Stage Leader
Damon, originally from Hong Kong, is the Stage Leader of the OCMS stage, overseeing all new students at OCMS. He was a student at OCMS from 1999 to 2003 during which time he wrote a thesis on the Trinity in conversation with Karl Barth and other theologians and New Testament scholars. His thesis was published by the Paternoster Press in 2006. In 2010, he published his second book on the Trinity which is entitled The Forgotten Jesus and the Trinity You Never Knew. As a theologian and scientist, he also does research in quantum mechanics from the theological perspective of God as wonderful creator and faithful sustainer.

Research interests:

Trinitarian Theology; Christology; Gospel Narratives; Karl Barth; Narrative Theology; Hermeneutics; Epistemology; Ecclesiology; Creation, Culture and Redemption; Linguistics and Theology; Theological Perspective on Global Warming

Academic qualifications:

Ph.D (Theology, OCMS), Postgraduate Diploma in Theology (Oxon), DipHE (London Bible College), Ph.D (Atmospheric Physics, Imperial College, London)