About the Team

Project Director: Dr Christopher Southgate

Christopher Southgate

Dr Christopher Southgate is Professor of Christian Theodicy at the University of Exeter. Originally trained in research biochemistry, he has worked for many years on the problem of suffering in the natural world. See in particular his monograph ‘The Groaning of Creation: God, Evolution and the Problem of Evil’ (WJK, 2008), his chapter in ‘The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil’ (CUP, 2017), and his most recent book, ‘Theology in a Suffering World: Glory and Longing’ (CUP, 2018).

Chris has also worked as a lay chaplain in a university and on mental health wards, and in the training of those being formed for Christian ministry in the South-West. His other work is as a poet, and includes eight collections, the most recent being ‘Chasing the Raven’ (Shoestring, 2016) and ‘Rain falling by the River: new and selected poems of the spirit’ (Canterbury Press, 2017).

For further information see christophersouthgate.org.uk.

The Revd Hilary Ison

Hilary Ison

Hilary has been in authorised ministry in the Anglican Church since 1980 and ordained ministry since 1987. She has been a parish priest, hospice chaplain, adviser for women in ministry and member of a Bishop’s senior staff team, a theological educator, and, latterly, a member of the team of Selection Secretaries overseeing the national selection panels for those offering for ordained ministry in the Church of England.

As a theological educator, Hilary taught practical and pastoral theology with a special focus on enabling learning through group reflection and on leading groups and teams as a minister.

Having discovered, through the experience of working in teams in various contexts, a real affinity for and interest in the dynamics operating in teams and organisations and the impact on individuals within them, she undertook a Masters Degree in Organisational Consultancy (Psycho-dynamic Approaches) at the Tavistock Clinic (University of East London 2002). Her recent training is in Systems Constellations, a method of exploring traumatic events and difficult personal and organisational issues in individual or group settings.

Her freelance work has included individual supervision, facilitation of reflective practice groups, and practical theology research projects as an associate member of the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology (Ripon College, Cuddesdon).

The Revd Canon Dr Carla Grosch-Miller 

Carla Grosch-Miller

The Revd Canon Dr Carla Grosch-Miller has spent over 20 years in parish ministry in the US and the UK and 12 years as a staff or short-course theological educator in diverse ministerial training institutions including the South West Ministry Training Course, the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme and the Cambridge Theological Federation.

As Senior Minister of a Chicago area United Church of Christ between 1996 and 2003, she led the church through responses to the Columbine High School shooting, the 9/11 terrorist attack, and the disappearance of a teenaged member, as well as less extraordinary church family crises.

She has academic expertise in practical theology and qualitative research, and an informed interest in narrative, liturgy and poetics. She is the author of ‘Psalms redux: psalms and prayers’ (Canterbury Press, 2015), and ‘Lifelines’ (Canterbury Press, 2020). Her work as a minister and educator leading short courses in theological education institutes enables her to share her practical knowledge and skill with trainees. She is at work now on a pastors’ manual to distil insights from the project for ministers in a whole range of contexts.

Dr Megan Warner

Dr Megan Warner was the project’s Post-Doctoral Researcher until April 30 2019, and has been the lead editor of the project book ‘Tragedy and Congregations: a practical theology of trauma’ (Routledge, 2019). She is a scholar of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, specialising in both academic and more accessible writing and teaching. Meg is now Tutor in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language at URC Northern College, based at Luther King House, Manchester.

She has extensive experience of teaching in both Universities (most recently King’s College London) and Theological Education Institutions (including Trinity College Theological School in Melbourne, Virginia Theological Seminary near Washington and The College of the Transfiguration in Grahamstown, South Africa), and travels regularly around the United Kingdom and internationally teaching for national churches and dioceses.

She is a lay member of the General Synod of the Church of England and is licensed as a Reader (LLM) in the Diocese of London. From 2006 to 2009 she was Executive/Research Assistant to the Primate of the Anglican Province of Australia, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall. Megan Warner is author of Re-Imagining Abraham: A Re-Assessment of the Influence of Deuteronomism in Genesis (Leiden: Brill, 2018) and (writing as Meg Warner) of Abraham: A journey through Lent (London: SPCK, 2015), SPCK’s Lent Book for 2016.

For further information see megwarner.wixsite.com/bible


Project Advisory Board 

The Revd Dr Roger Abbott, Faraday Institute, Cambridge

Dr Sarah Horsman, Warden, The Society of Mary and Martha, Sheldon

Dr Ruth Layzell, Director of the Institute of Pastoral Counselling

Professor John Swinton, Aberdeen University

The Revd Dr Kate Wiebe, Institute for Collective Trauma and Growth, US


Contributors to Project Volume

Canon Professor Elaine Graham, University of Chester

The Rev’d Deanne Gardner, University of Chester

The Rev’d Mia Hilborn, Hospitaller, Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital

Dr Karen O’Donnell, Sarum College