The Reverend Dr Richard Higginson
Roles at Ridley:
Director of Studies
Tutor in Ethics
Director of Faith in Business
When Richard is asked how long he’s been at Ridley he replies "a very long time!". He’s actually the longest serving member of staff, having been here since 1989, but he remains youthful and enthusiastic in spirit. One of his more peculiar habits is making anagrams out of people’s names – he recently created a World Cup football anagram team, ranging from Lionel Messi as Lone Missile to Patrice Evra as Prevaricate!
The first role in which you’re likely to encounter Richard is as Director of Studies. He sorts out which course each student is on before they arrive, and during the first week of the academic year has a face-to-face discussion with everyone to settle module and paper options. This role involves lots of administrative detail but is really satisfying when he sees it contribute towards students achieving their academic aspirations.
Ridley is quite simply a great place to be – otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed so long! Not only is it a special physical location, but it attracts some wonderful people, staff and students, who make up its mutually supportive community.. It engages with contemporary culture in diverse, stimulating and mission-focused ways.
Richard’s main teaching subject is Christian Ethics. He co-teaches the Federation Ethics course with Beth Phillips from Westcott. What we ought to do and who we ought to be – in all the manifest complexity of life – remain subjects of abiding fascination to him. He also teaches the MA Christian Leadership module which runs every two or three years. For a long time he was a layman in theological education, but he got ordained in 2004 and for seven years combined his Ridley responsibilities with serving as an Assistant minister at St Philip’s Church in the Romsey Town area of Cambridge.
Further afield Richard is best known in his role as Director of Faith in Business. He is passionate about wanting to support and challenge Christians in business to be faithful disciples in what are often very demanding working contexts. He organises an annual spring conference – which Ridley students are very welcome to attend - co-edits the Faith in Business journal, writes books when sabbaticals give him the opportunity, and speaks on faith and business topics in places as varied as Oslo and Hong Kong.
Richard grew up in a Christian home but made a definite commitment to Christ around the time he came up to Cambridge University to read History and Theology at St John’s College. A highlight of his undergraduate years was helping organise the memorable 1974 CICCU mission.
For three years he taught at Handsworth Grammar School in Birmingham where he became an Aston Villa supporter, a habit which has sometimes felt like a poisoned chalice. He then did a PhD at Manchester University, where he met and married Felicity, before landing his first lecturing job at Cranmer Hall in Durham (1981-9). Along the way they have parented five children, two of whom are now married and running their own businesses.