Senior Lecturer (Scholarship)
Born in Northern Ireland and brought up in Holywood where he attended Sullivan Upper School, Ken Jeffrey went to Stirling University in 1988 where he studied History with Professor David Bebbington.
After graduating, he went to Malawi where he taught English and Bible Knowledge for two years at Livingstonia Secondary School.
In 1994, he returned to Aberdeen University where he gained a first class honours BD. Ken undertook post graduate studies with David Bebbington and studied the 1859 Revival as it affected the communities of north east Scotland. He was awarded his PhD in 2000 and his thesis was published by Paternoster under the title When the Lord walked the land.
Between 2000 and 2002, he served as a Probationary Minister at Rubislaw Parish Church in Aberdeen, before he was ordained and inducted as minister of The Parish Church of Cupar Old and St Michael of Tarvit in Fife where he served for almost twelve years. During this time, he undertook further studies at Aberdeen University and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was awarded a DMin degree.
In January 2014 he was appointed as the new Director of the Centre for Ministry Studies at Aberdeen University. The CMS has nurtured an innovative working relationship between the academy and the church and provides education and training for people involved in Christian ministry at home and abroad through a suite of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and a calendar of annual activities and events.
Ken has also created a collaborative partnership between Aberdeen University and Zomba Theological College in Malawi where he delivers the MTh Ministry Studies course to ministers of the Central Church Africa Presbyterian, and helps supervise some of the staff from the College on Aberdeen's distance PhD programme.
He continues to develop his interest in nineteenth and twentieth century religious movements, Scottish church history and the missionary movement in Malawi. In 2019 he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Modern Church History.
Memberships and Affiliations
Coordinator of the Centre for Ministry Studies
Coordinator of the Theology and Religion Flexible Learning Programme
Senior Personal Tutor for the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
- External Examiner:
Birmingham University (DPT Programme)
Union Theological College, Belfast (Practical Theology)
- PhD External Examiner at:
- Membership of Scholarly Societies
Christianity and History Forum
Ecclesisatical History Society (Committee Member, 2020-2023)
Scottish Church History Society
Revivals, Renewal, Church Growth and Christian Ministry
I have a particular passion for the history of Evangelicalism and of revivals. I have examined how these 'seasons of grace' have appeared across Britain, and Scotland in particular, during the last four hundred years. More broadly, my interests extend to modern Scottish church history from the eighteenth century, and the history of mission in Malawi in particular.
I also have a keen curiosity in the spiritual renewal of the church today and its expression in new and pioneering forms of ministry. I supervise doctoral students who undertake research into new churches formed in Glasgow between 2000 and 2016, discipleship practices among missional churches in Texas, and the recovery of ancient practices among other neo-liturgical churches in America.
I maintain an enthusiasm for subjects that concern Christian ministry, including leadership, pastoral care, Practices, preaching and spiritual formation. My affection for these matters is informed by an appreciation of the richness of our long and whole Christian tradition.
My current research interests include:
Rev Dr Robert Laws, Scottish missionary and founder of the Livingstonia Mission in Malawi
The 1921 Moray Firth Revival
Billy Graham's mission in Glasgow in 1955.
RECENTLY COMPLETED DOCTORAL SUPERVISION
Dr Sheila Akomiah (Ghana)
The changing landscape of the church in post-Christendom Britain: New churches in Glasgow 2000-2016
Dr Sara Blakeney (America)
'Calling out the gold in me': The Discipleship of Millennials in Missional Communities in Texas
Dr Paul Coulter (Northern Ireland)
Church and Mission in Four Aspects: Locating church planting within a missionary ecclesiology for the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church in contemporary Northern Ireland
Dr Nam Vo (Vietnam)
Spiritual Formation Practices and Youth Ministry in Vietnam
Dr Stuart Sheehan (America)
The Changing Theological functions of Corporate Worship among Southern Baptists: What they were and what they became, 1638-2008
CURRENT DOCTORAL SUPERVISION
Winfield Bevins (America)
Examining the Impact of the Evangelical Ressourcement Movement on the Liturgical Practices of Neo-liturgical Churches in the United States
Erin Crider (America)
What theological and practical resources might a conversational ecclesiology offer to church planters?
Sam Crossley (England)
Revivals in the Potteries, 1807-1886: From 'Mow Cop' to 'Gipsy Smith'
William Hamilton (Northern Ireland)
Ministries of Reconciliation within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland
Seonkuk Kim (South Korea)
Disappearing GenZ: A missional challenge in the changing context of South Korea
Billy Linscott (America)
The Evangelical Church and the Urban Poor
Rubens Muzio (Brazil)
Sanctification in seventeenth-century English Puritan pastoral theology
Brian Theu (Malawi)
The Impact of Witchcraft Beliefs and Practices on members of Church of Central Africa Presbyterian: A Case Study of Livingstonia Synod
Bethany Watt (Scotland)
Presbyterian Secession in north east Scotland
George Weagba (Liberia)
A contemporary survey of narrative preaching among United Methodist Pastors in Liberia
An Introduction to Pastoral Care
An Introduction to Christian Spirituality
Scottish Church History and Theology
Theology and Practice of Preaching
2. PGT: MTh Ministry Studies: (At Aberdeen University and Zomba Theological College, Malawi)
3. PGR: Doctorate in Practical Theology
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