Eeva John

Contact information:

Dr Eeva John

Role at Ridley:

Director of Pastoral Studies

Eeva’s role is to pull together the different threads that make up the multi-coloured experience of training at Ridley Hall. Her deepest desire is to see God’s transforming power at work in the lives of students, infusing every aspect of life and learning. By enabling and encouraging students to reflect theologically, she hopes that they begin to make connections across different areas of theology and between ‘academic’ study and ‘reality’.

In the news:
Eeva John honoured by
Archbishop Welby for her
'vision of holistic formation'
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Eeva coordinates the ‘Mission and Ministry’ programme in which all students participate in their first and final years of training. She also teaches pastoral theology, spurred on by the conviction that the Gospel brings to relationships dimensions that go beyond therapeutic approaches to pastoral care.

Eeva organises church and social placements for students, building on the diverse range of experiences and skills that students bring to their training. She encourages students to try out contexts that will stretch them beyond their comfort zone – and so to discover God’s enabling as they grow in their understanding of how God is calling them to be co-workers in his kingdom.

Personal Background

ej286Born in Finland, Eeva has had a fairly itinerant life growing up in Finland, the USA and Switzerland, and working in Ethiopia and Sudan before eventually making her home in the UK with her husband, Rob. Her career is best described as a multi-coloured patchwork: from being a lecturer and researcher in organic chemistry to relief and development work, it was the experience of leading a community regeneration project that eventually drove her to her first love, namely the study of theology, which she pursued part time over a number of years at Wycliffe Hall and the London School of Theology.  Eeva has worked in three other theological colleges – Wycliffe Hall, Trinity College Bristol and Westcott House – as well as for the Ministry Division of the Church of England.

Eeva is married to Rob and has two grown up children who were born in Khartoum and are now in Singapore and London. She loves the outdoors – especially cycling and mountain hiking – as well as music and reading.

Roles outside Ridley

Eeva is the founder and chair of a charity that supports the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan in its ambition to establish a Christian foundation university. While at Trinity College Bristol, she established a link between the college and Bishop Gwynne College, organizing two visits of Trinity students to BGC. In addition she accepted the invitation to carry out a feasibility study on behalf of the Episcopal Church relating to the establishment of an ECS University. This involved a two-week visit to a number of training institutions around South Sudan, as well as to Uganda Christian University and St Paul’s University Limuru. She has visited South Sudan on numerous occasions since then.

Research interests

Eeva’s interest is in the pedagogy of theological education in its widest sense. She hopes to stimulate the church in exploring creative and transformational approaches to learning for discipleship and ministry. This year she has presented papers at the British and Irish Association of Practical Theology and at the Common Awards Staff Conference.

She has one previous publication related to another area of interest:  ‘Challenging Consumerism: Prophetic Paradigms from the New Testament’ in the Evangelical Review of Society and Politics, 2008, Vol 2, No 2, 1-13.

Education

Eeva studied chemistry at Oxford University, where she also did her doctorate on the biosynthesis of penicillin. Much later, she completed a Diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies at Wycliffe Hall and a Masters in Biblical Interpretation at the London School of Theology. She also has completed qualifications in Group Facilitation Methods and Participatory Strategic Planning.