My Story

john2014-croppedI am a teacher-educator and a speaker and writer on education from a Christian perspective.

I was born and brought up in rural Ireland. I came to a personal faith in Jesus Christ in my late teens while living in Dublin and working in the motor insurance industry. My aim in life is to be a follower of Him and to serve Him.

During a year spent in East Africa teaching in a primary school in Mogadishu, capital of the Somali Republic, I discovered that I loved teaching. Upon return to the UK in 1970, I embarked upon a three-year course at Wall Hall College of Education, Watford followed by a year at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. During those four years of education studies, I developed a keen interest in educational philosophy and, in particular, in the need to bring a Christian perspective to bear upon education.

After graduating from Cambridge with a BEd degree, I worked for seventeen years (1974 –1991) as a teacher of Mathematics at secondary level in a grammar school in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. During this time, I also studied part-time at the University of London Institute of Education for MA and PhD degrees in the philosophy of education.

In 1991, I became director of the Stapleford House Education Centre, a study centre near Nottingham run by the Association of Christian Teachers. I was the founding Director of the Charis Project, an initiative based there which produced classroom materials for the promotion of spiritual and moral development across a range of curriculum subjects.

In 1997, the Stapleford Centre was formed as a charity separate from ACT but still in close relation with it and I worked there for a further three years. At this time also, the mainly UK-oriented journal ‘Spectrum’ (of which I was the editor) became the international Journal of Education & Christian Belief and I was one of its editors up to 2011. (This journal has recently merged with the Journal of Christian Education to form the International Journal of Christianity and Education.)

In 2000, I left the Stapleford Centre to become the Travelling Secretary for EurECA (European Educators’ Christian Association) and I have worked among teachers across Europe and beyond since then. I have also been an adjunct professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and I presently work part-time as Professorial Fellow in Christian Education at Liverpool Hope University and am also Senior Adviser to EurECA.

bible-shaped%20teaching%20front%20coverMy most recent book is Bible-Shaped Teaching. It was published in December 2014 by Wipf & Stock in the USA. It has been translated and published in Russian, Latvian, Spanish and Ukrainian.

I am married to Val (and she is still lovely, even after over 50 years of marriage to me!) and we have two grown-up sons (both of them great guys of whom we are very proud), a lovely daughter-in-law and two lovely grandsons. We live in the UK.