About Us

Equipping Christian Leaders for Christ-Like Ministry in Today’s World

Who Are We?

The Shepherd's Academy is a part of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life (OCRPL). We work with existing institutions, networks, and churches across the Global South to deliver training programmes that address the gaps in theological training for grassroots Christian leaders.

Our Vision

Recent statistics show that there are over two million untrained church leaders in the Global South. In light of increasing persecution and marginalisation, equipping the Church and her leadership becomes crucial. Furthermore, Covid-19 has had and continues to have devastating effects on the state of theological education across the world.

Within such a context, it is essential that we ask ourselves how we can best support and train those who are most in need. Our goal and vision is to see grassroots church leaders equipped with the necessary tools they need to faithfully and effectively lead in their churches and communities.

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Our People

We are led by a team of people from different backgrounds and church traditions, united by a common purpose: to equip Christian leaders for Christ-like ministry in today’s world.

This team helps to organise, develop, and deliver The Shepherd’s Academy programme in collaboration with many partners across the world.

Joshua Nurcombe-Pike

Programme Leader for the Shepherd’s Academy

Joshua Nurcombe-Pike is the Programme Leader for The Shepherd’s Academy. He oversees the development and delivery of the TSA programme, and works closely with TSA partners and collaborators.

He is a graduate from Cambridge University, with a first-class BA in Theology and Religious Studies and MPhil in New Testament and the Early Church. His research interests are in the areas of World Christianity and New Testament Studies.

Dr. I Lanusenla Ao

Course Development Coordinator

Dr. I Lanusenla Ao coordinates the development and delivery of courses within the Christian Ministry and Management cluster.

She hails from Nagaland, India, and is a member of the Ao Baptist Church. She earned her Doctor of Theology (D.Th.) at Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Madurai. She has served as Associate Professor at Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur, India and at Gossner Theological College, Ranchi, Jharkhand.

Lanusenla has two books to her name, entitled ‘Communicating Christian Thoughts on Voiceless Tribal Women: A Sociological Perspective.’ and ‘Preaching the Gospel in a Media Saturated World.’ She was also an editor of journals Sandeshharika (Prophetess’s Voice) while at Leonard Theological College and Adivasi Journal of Theology at Gossner Theological College. She has presented papers and contributed numbers of articles in various national and international journals.

John Lalnuntluanga

Course Development Coordinator

John Lalnuntluanga coordinates the development and delivery of courses within the Christian History and Missions cluster. He also is the TSA registrar, liaising between study centres and OCRPL.

He is a member of the Mizoram Synod of the Presbyterian Church of India. He has taught History and Missions at Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur, and Gossner Theological College, Ranchi. He has worked as a coordinator-cum-instructor at the Mission Foundation Movement, Aizawl, and also taught at various levels from primary school up to high school.

He received his MTh from the Senate of Serampore College (SSC). At present, he is doing his research on Tribal Pentecostalism towards a Doctor of Theology under the South Asia Theological Research Institute (SATHRI), SSC.

Vadivel Victor

Course Development Coordinator

Vadivel Victor coordinates the development and delivery of courses within the Bible, Culture and Context cluster.

He has been a theological educator since 1996. As a teenager, he underwent two years of evangelistic training with Operation Mobilization India. With his Graduate degree in Sociology from Madras University, he pursued theological education and earned his B.D. and M.Th. (NT) degrees from Serampore University. Later, he earned a Post-graduate degree in Philosophy and Religions.

He has experience in teaching in the department of biblical studies for more than a decade, heading up research activities and development of a training program for youth in Christian apologetics, and coordinating activities of academic as well as devotional publications.

Dr Taimaya Ragui

Course Development Coordinator

Taimaya Ragui oversees the design and development of the Christian Theology and Ethics cluster, as well as quality assurance and tutor training. He has a PhD in theology from South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (Bangalore). His research focuses on interfacing theological interpretation of Scripture and contextual theology (i.e. tribal theology).

Orcid: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5797-3925

John Jebaraj

Tamil Coordinator

John Jebaraj coordinates the Tamil work of The Shepherd’s Academy, handling the translation and delivery of the Tamil programme.

He holds master's degrees in Religion & Philosophy and Journalism & Mass Communication and also BD from Union Biblical Seminary, Pune under the Senate of Serampore College.

For over 2 decades, he was actively involved in developing new leaders to impact the Church and society. He served as the editor of an evangelical national magazine. He was instrumental in establishing and leading a publishing house, raising native writers, authors, and international partnerships as well. He strengthened the grassroots ministry among the university students in the Eastern states of India. He continues to equip leaders, in the art of studying & teaching the Scripture. He has contributed articles to national and international magazines on mentoring, publishing, and contemporary witnessing.

Godfrey Paruthivilai Sundararaj

Digital Learning Developer and Learning Management Coordinator

Godfrey coordinates and administers the Learning Management system and is involved in online course design at TSA.

He comes with experience in pastoral ministry at Maharashtra Baptist Society, Mumbai, India and online theological education at SAIACS, Bangalore, India. He holds degrees in several disciplines that include Bachelor in Theology, BA in History, M.Div (Theology), MA in Philosophy, Religion and Culture and M.Phil in Theology and Ethics. His research interests include Christian Apologetics, Contextual Theology and Philosophical Theology.

Adeboye Godwin

Regional Coordinator for Africa

Adeboye Godwin is the Regional Coordinator for Africa. He is involved in promoting the TSA programme and courses, alongside providing support and guidance for TSA study centres in Africa.

He has been involved in theological education and pastoral leadership in Africa since 2013. He is passionate about impacting the African Church through providing sound theological formation and education which is relevant and sensitive to the African context.

Adeboye Godwin holds both a first class honours degree and a Masters degree in Philosophy of Religion from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Most recently he has completed a Masters degree in Islamic Studies from the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life (UK) in collaboration with the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is currently a doctoral student with OCPRL.

As a theologian and researcher, he has contributed more than 10 academic papers which are published in reputable national and international journals.

Lois Funmilola

Regional Administrator and Student Support Coordinator

Lois Funmilola holds extensive experience as an Academic Librarian and Student Development Support Officer across theological institutions in Nigeria. Lois was involved in mentoring students and providing academic support at various levels. She studied at the Federal University of Technology, Nigeria, both for her Bachelors and Master’s degrees. As well as her extensive training in academic development, Lois has published papers on students’ academic needs and mentorship.

Silas Prabhu

Digital Learning Developer and Learning Management Administrator

After obtaining his Diploma in Theology at Mission India Institute, Silas worked as the Media Manager and System Administrator for New Life Fellowship Church in Bangalore for 16 years. He has been working as a System Administrator and IT Consultant at the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies over recent years. He is now pursuing his MDiv in Biblical Studies at the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies in Bangalore.

Josh Ludlow

Academic Research Coordinator

Josh Ludlow assists in coordinating all operations of The Shepherd’s Academy. Josh graduated from Cardiff University with a First Class Honours BA in Religious and Theological Studies, having won numerous academic awards and scholarships. He is currently studying an MTh at the University of Oxford, with research interests in Practical Theology, Biblical Studies and the Hebrew Bible.

Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life: Board

Cor Eposcopos Dr Patrick Sookhdeo

OCRPL Executive Director

Dr Prasad D R J Phillips

OCRPL Deputy Executive Director

Dr Gerhard van Emmenes

OCRPL Academic Registrar

Rev. Dr. Daniel Jeyarej

OCRPL Academic Dean