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 around age 10 on a youth retreat was a formative experience that inspired him to become a volunteer youth worker from the age of 16. Following a number of jobs in the civil service and banking, he worked as a full-time church youth worker before undertaking the then new Centre for Youth Ministry (CYM) 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.

His practice specialisms include 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. However, following successful completion of a youth ministry degree at Ridley 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.

Robin’s interest in hermeneutics informs his interest in the discipleship of young people. Robin 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 Lay Ministry (RLM) to be a place where all those called to ministerial roles within the Church can be equipped to play their part in building and equipping the Church: 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, he completed Man versus Mountain with his three brothers and one of his sisters-in-law in 2015. Robin is currently training for a 63-mile ‘Ultra’ run along the route of Hadrian's Wall.