New CCCW Director
The Rev. Jesse Zink began his new post as director of the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide on 1 September 2015.
“I am so pleased to begin working at a place which has played such an important role in my own research and life in Cambridge,” he said. “There is an exciting energy around the study of world Christianity and mission right now in both the University and the Cambridge Theological Federation. The Centre is well placed to be part of this flourishing of research and teaching about a set of issues that are central to the future of the church.”
Dr. Emma Wild-Wood, the previous director, has been seconded to the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge University for two years as lecturer in world Christianities. She will continue her teaching in African Christianity as well as her research about religious encounter in colonial Uganda and Congo through critical biography of African evangelists.
The Rev. Zink is an Anglican priest ordained in the Episcopal Church in the United States. He trained for ordination at Yale Divinity School and recently completed a Ph.D. at Cambridge on the growth of Christianity in southern Sudan during the civil war in the 1980s and 1990s.
Prior to ordination, he served as a missionary in the Mthatha, South Africa, an experience he chronicled in his book,Grace at the Garbage Dump: Making Sense of Mission in the 21st Century. He has traveled widely in the world church, with a particular focus on seminaries, theological colleges, and clergy education. His second book, Backpacking through the Anglican Communion: A Search for Unity draws on these travels to offer snapshots of Anglican life at the grassroots level around the world and argue that in an age of globalization, the unity of Christians is part of our witness to the world.
“It’s clear that to be a Christian in the 21st century is to be part of a global body of Christ,” Zink said. “My research and writing has tried to help us reflect on how we arrived in the situation we are in and how we move forward in mission as one body in the midst of all our glorious diversity.”
The Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide is entering its second year in new purpose-designed premises that house its extensive library and archive.
The Centre also runs the Intercultural Encounter program, which funds students and others to take part of the life of the church around the world. “Programs like the Encounter were vital to my own formation as a priest and helped introduce me to the life of other Christians around the world,” Zink said. “They are key to the future of the world church.”
The CCCW welcomes enquiries from researchers and students from around the world.