What is Theologian in Residence?
I teach and equip Reading's urban immigrant pastors who have limited or no access to accredited theological and pastoral training, at no cost to them.
Typically, an institution with the funds to pay for it (large church, seminary, religiously-affiliated university or college, etc.) will provide a “theologian-in-residence” for their members so as to have her/his expertise available when needed, to add depth and color to their ministry or programs, and write, speak and teach as needed.
It’s one of the privileges of relatively-wealthier institutions, an option that Reading does not have. After the 2010 census, Reading was named the nation’s poorest city. A 2016 Rutgers study identified the Reading School District (18,000 students) as the nation’s worst-funded.
TIR turns “typical” on its head. I raise my own personal support to serve leaders who have never had accredited theological and pastoral training. I provide this tuition-free, although they may contribute small amounts occasionally as they are able. I maintain an active academic agenda of teaching, research and publishing, and use the fruits of that research, as well as my urban pastoral experience to help these leaders become better pastors, preachers, and community and congregational leaders.