Robin Barden

Contact information:

Role at Ridley:

Director of Lay Ministry and Formation at Ridley Hall

robin bardenRobin is Director of Lay Ministry at Ridley Hall, having led and manged the transition from Cambridge CYM.

Robin’s first youth ministry experience was ‘an amazing time’ on a youth retreat aged around 11 years of age. He was a volunteer youth worker from the age of 16 and following a number of jobs in catering and administration ‘while he was working things out’, he worked as a full-time church youth worker before undertaking the then new CYM degree as a mature student.

Following graduation, Robin stayed with the local faith-based charity he had been placed with during the course, working in a number of senior youth work positions and even returning to them following a stint in a maximum security prison as a substance misuse worker. Robin’s practice specialisms include working with NEET young people, detached youth work, and facilitating open youth groups. He also has experience working with high risk offenders and facilitating solution-focused therapy.

Research Interests

Robin’s academic career could be considered unconventional, having been ‘asked to leave’ school at 17.  However, following successful completion of the CYM degree as a mature student, Robin has gone on to complete a PgDip in Oral Life History, an MA in Philosophy and Religion, and is currently undertaking a Prof Doc in technology-enhanced learning within theological education.  Robin retains an interest in philosophy, in particular its relation to hermeneutics (theory of interpretation -

Robin’s interest in hermeneutics informs his interest in discipleship of young people within the church.  Robin is a firm believer that while the church has become better at communicating with young people its approach to discipleship is less well developed.  Robin is committed to working with youth workers and all in the church, in developing the church’s ability to nurture and disciple young people at all stages of their faith journey.

Personal Background

Robin is married to Sam and has a number of nieces and nephews.  In his spare time Robin enjoys most things fitness (callisthenics).  Having completed various obstacle course races (OCR), he completed Man versus Mountain with his three brothers and one of his sister’s-in-law in 2015.  Robin is currently training for a 63 mile ‘Ultra’ run along the route of Hadrian's Wall