Robin Barden

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Robin Barden

Director of New Opportunities

01223 746583

As a member of Ridley's leadership team and working closely with the Principal and Trustees, Robin is responsible for the initiation and development of new projects both in the UK and internationally.

Initial projects include the development of a teaching centre in North London – Ridley London – and the development of innovative Sports Ministry training as part of a national initiative to promote evangelism and discipleship through sport and well-being.

Previous roles

Previous roles

Following a career in administration and various volunteer roles in his local church, Robin trained as a youth worker at Ridley Hall in 1998, before undertaking various roles working with substance misusers in a maximum security prison and with marginalised young people in a local Christian faith charity.

Robin joined Ridley Hall in 2007 as a tutor on the then practical theology, youth and community degree. Since then Robin has held various roles as Assistant Director, Director and Dean of Lay Ministry. As Dean of Lay Ministry Robin established RLM (Ridley Lay Ministry) in response to the changing training needs of the church in line with Ridley's vision to be a beacon of excellence in ministerial theological training.

Robin's practice specialisms focus around working with young people and adults facing multiple issues in complex situations. He also has experience as a social work practice teacher, CBT group facilitator and facilitating solution-focused therapy.

Research interests

Research interests

Robin completed a youth ministry degree at Ridley as a mature student, before completing a PGDip in Oral Life History, an MA in Philosophy and Religion, and further postgraduate research in philosophical hermeneutics and technology enhanced learning.

His research in hermeneutics informs Robin's interest in the discipleship of young people. He is a firm believer that while the Church has become better at communicating the gospel, its approach to discipleship is less well developed. Robin's prayer and vision is for Ridley to be a place where all those called to ministerial roles within the Church can be equipped in both mission and discipleship: to see God's kingdom come, God's will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Personal background

Personal background

Robin is married to Sam and has a number of nieces and nephews. In his spare time, he enjoys most things fitness (particularly callisthenics). Having undertaken various obstacle course races, Robin completed Man versus Mountain (Mount Snowden) with his three brothers and sister-in-law in 2015.

Having pulled out of the previous year's race after 80km with blisters that were 'the size of my foot'! Robin completed the 63-mile 'Ultra' run along the route of Hadrian's Wall in 2017, running with his eldest brother and ably supported by the remaining brothers. He is currently entering the ballot for the OCC race (Mount Blanc) for 2019 (brothers optional).