Robin Barden

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Robin Barden

Dean of Lay Ministry

01223 741065

Robin is a member of Ridley’s Leadership Team with particular responsibility in the three areas of lay ministry training, partnerships and new initiatives.

In his role as Dean of Lay Ministry, Robin ensures the academic and formational aspects of the degree meet the needs of those training at Ridley for children’s, families’, youth, pioneer and pastoral ministry.

As the Team member responsible for partnerships and new initiatives, Robin works with dioceses, Christian organisations and churches to ensure Ridley’s ongoing contribution continues to meet the needs of the Church as a whole.

Previous roles

Previous roles

Robin's first youth ministry experience on a youth retreat around 10 years old was a formative experience that inspired him to ministry. His first role was as a volunteer youth worker in his village church. Following a number of jobs in the civil service and banking, Robin worked as a full-time church youth worker before undertaking a youth ministry degree at Ridley as a mature student.

Following graduation, Robin worked in a maximum-security prison as a substance misuse worker before returning to the local faith-based charity he had been placed with during his time at Ridley.

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's academic career could be considered unconventional, having been 'asked to leave' school at 17. Proving that your initial academic experience doesn't need to define your future academic story, 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 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 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.

Robin then 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 (who had pulled out of the previous year's race after 80km with blisters 'the size of my foot'!). He is currently entering the ballot for the OCC race (Mount Blanc) for 2019 (brothers optional).