Robin Barden

Contact information:

Role at Ridley:

Director of Lay Ministry and Formation at Ridley Hall

robin bardenRobin is Director of Lay Ministry at Ridley Hall, having led and manged the transition from Cambridge CYM.

Robin’s first youth ministry experience was ‘an amazing time’ aged around 10 on a youth retreat. He was a volunteer youth worker from the age of 16 and 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 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. Robin’s practice specialisms include working with young people and adults facing mutiple issues in complex situations. He also has experience as a social work practice teacher, CBT group facilitator and facilitating solution-focused therapy.

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 (theory of interpretation -

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 RLM be a place where all those called to ministerial roles within the church can be equipped to play their part in building and equiping the church: to see God's kingdom come, God's will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.


Personal Background

Robin is married to Sam and has a number of nieces and nephews.  In his spare time Robin enjoys most things fitness (callisthenics).  Having completed various obstacle course races (OCR), he completed Man versus Mountain with his three brothers and one of his sister’s-in-law in 2015.  Robin is currently training for a 63 mile ‘Ultra’ run along the route of Hadrian's Wall