The Revd Nicholas J. Wood BA (Manchester), MA (London), D.Phil (Oxford), PGCE (Warwick) taught Religious Studies and Sociology in secondary schools in Coventry and South London before training for the Baptist Ministry at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, where he completed his doctoral research in mission and inter-religious relations. He was a local Baptist Minister in two Oxfordshire churches for eleven years, where he also served as the Chair of Oxford Council of Churches and as President and subsequently Moderator of the local Baptist Association. He was until recently the Chair of Churches Together in Oxfordshire.
Since May 2000 he has been Fellow and Tutor in Religion and Culture at Regent’s Park College and Director of the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture. As only the second director of this important initiative he has been responsible for the organization of termly lecture series and occasional study days and conferences in the area of theology and culture and arranging associated events and publications.
Within the University of Oxford he has been a member of the Faculty of Theology since 1995 and has played a major role in the implementation and development of the M.Th in Applied Theology Degree. He has served on the M.Th Studies Committee since its inception and has twice been its chairperson. In 2005 he was appointed by the Faculty to the part-time role of M.Th Co-ordinator. He also contributes to the teaching of both the M.Th and B.Th degrees within the OPTET colleges. He is an active member of the Study of Religions teachers’ group within the Faculty and has contributed to the development of the area within Oxford, speaking at study days within the Faculty and to staff and students studying the subject at A Level. He teaches papers in Religious Studies for Prelims and for the Final Honours School in Theology and has supervised several undergraduate dissertations in this field. He has supervised numerous M.Th dissertations and currently supervises three Doctoral candidates.
He is Chair of the Joppa Group, the Baptist Inter-Faith Network, and contributed to and edited the Joppa publication ‘A Baptist Perspective on Inter-Faith Dialogue’ (1992). Among other publications, he contributed a chapter Inculturating Christianity in Postmodern Britain to ‘Faith in the Centre’ (ed P.S. Fiddes, Oxford 2001), and gave the Whitley Lectures (Manchester, Oxford, London and Cardiff) for 2002 on ‘Confessing Christ in a Plural World’ and has twice delivered the McCandless Lecture at Georgetown College, Kentucky, ‘Faith in the Future? Secularization and Society in Europe and the USA’ (2004) and ‘Playing with God? Rediscovering a Theology of Play’ (2008). He has contributed several articles to the forthcoming ‘Dictionary of European Baptist Life and Thought’. His research interests include the Study of Religion, especially Hinduism; Interfaith Relations, especially development of a Christian Theology of Religion; Christology; Contextualisation, Culture and Missiology.
He has served on both the Baptist Union Council and the BMS General Committee and is currently a member of the council of the Southern Counties Baptist Association. He has been active in inter-faith relations for over fifteen years in local inter-faith initiatives, in national arenas such as the Churches’ Commission for Inter-Faith Relations of CTBI and now as a President of the Christian Muslim Forum under the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr Rowan Williams).
He has preached and lectured in Eastern Europe, the USA and India. He has been a speaker on several occasions at the annual Baptist Assembly and has given training sessions for both BUGB and BMS in the fields of mission and inter-faith relations. He currently teaches Contextual Theology, Study of Religion, Theology of Mission and Inter-Faith Relations for Regent’s Park College, for the University of Oxford, and for Oxford Centre for Youth Ministry.