Michael Volland appointed Principal
The Board of Trustees of Ridley Hall is pleased to announce that the Revd Dr Michael Volland, our current Director of Context-based Training, has accepted the position of Principal, following the appointment of the Revd Canon Andrew Norman to the new post of Director of Ministry and Mission in the Diocese of Leeds.
The appointment follows a comprehensive search by the Board of Trustees to find the right person to lead the college forward, as we seek to continue and build on our core commitment to provide the substantial and challenging training that will equip the leaders of the Church to meet the ever-changing demands made upon ministry.
The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Chair of the Board of Trustees welcomed Michael to the new position:
“This is a significant appointment as Ridley looks to the future. Michael brings energy and a spirit of innovation that will set us in good stead to meet the changing nature of ministry in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion."
In his current role, Michael teaches in mission, leadership and practical theology on our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and is also a pastoral tutor, while working closely with staff at CYM (Ridley Hall), which trains youth, children's and family workers. He is well positioned to take Ridley Hall into this new period of its ministry, and we welcome the gifts he brings to the college in this new role.
Michael said: "I am hugely excited to accept the invitation to become the next Principal of Ridley Hall. My experience of residential theological education, both as an ordinand and a staff member, have convinced me of its profound value to the Church. I look forward to working with an exceptional staff team and to seeing Ridley continue to flourish as a community in which men and women grow in Christlike character and are prepared for faithful and effective gospel service in the communities of this nation and across the globe."
Please pray for Michael as he transitions from his role in Ridley and starts on a new journey leading the college staff and students.
Before coming to Ridley Michael was Director of Mission at Cranmer Hall, Missioner to the East Durham Mission Project; a group of 9 parishes in the east of the Diocese of Durham, and Acting Area Dean of Easington.
Prior to his ministry in Durham, Michael spent three years on the staff of Gloucester Cathedral, during which time he pioneered and led a fresh expression of church in the city centre. Before ordination training he spent six years engaged in parish-based youth ministry.
Michael has led a number of mission teams to Newquay in Cornwall and also spent a number of years on the worship planning team for Greenbelt Festival. He holds a commission in the Royal Army Chaplains Department (RAChD) and has served as chaplain to Durham Army Cadet Force.
Michael is married and he and his wife have three children. He enjoys surfing and has been a member of Christian Surfers UK for over twenty years.
Academic background and research interests
Michael undertook his doctoral studies at the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. His thesis was titled: ‘An Entrepreneurial Approach to Priestly Ministry in the Parish: Insights From a Research Study in the Diocese of Durham’. He maintains an ongoing research interest in the area of missional entrepreneurship and a version of his thesis was published by SPCK in 2015.
He holds a Durham University Learning and Teaching Award and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Association (AFHEA). He trained for ordained ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He has an MA in Youth Ministry and Theological Education from Kings College London. His first degree was in Fine Art.
Michael has published a number of books, chapters and articles, including:
- The Minister as Entrepreneur: Leading and Growing the Church in an Age of Rapid Change (SPCK, 2015)
- Fresh: An Introduction to Fresh Expressions and Pioneer Ministry (SCM Press, 2012)
- Through the Pilgrim Door (Survivor, 2009)
- God on the Beach (Survivor, 2005)