Iwan Russell-Jones to Step Down from Eugene and Jan Peterson Chair of Theology and the Arts
After nearly a decade at Regent, Dr. Iwan Russell-Jones, Eugene and Jan Peterson Associate Professor of Theology and the Arts, has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of the 2019/20 academic year. He and his wife, historian and frequent Regent lecturer Dr. Amanda Russell-Jones, will be returning to their home in Wales in order to be closer to their family.
Dr. Iwan Russell-Jones joined Regent College in 2011, having spent the previous 25 years as a producer and director for the BBC in both radio and TV. In 2013 he was installed into the newly created Eugene and Jan Peterson Chair in Theology and the Arts, Regent’s first fully-endowed academic appointment.
During his tenure at Regent, Iwan has developed a reputation as a dynamic and grounded lecturer, a perceptive interviewer, and a committed presence in the community. He has been the voice of encouragement and insight behind student-driven artistic projects of every imaginable stripe, from traditional landscape paintings to experimental postmodern literature.
While at Regent Iwan has continued to pursue the art of filmmaking. In addition to serving as Executive Director for ReFrame, he produced the documentary Making Peace with Creation with a team of Regent students. The film, which premiered at the College on December 7, 2016, explores human responsibility to creation in light of the gospel.
Academic Dean Paul Spilsbury expressed the College’s regret over the departure of the Russell-Jones family. “Since their arrival in 2011 both Iwan and Amanda have been integral to the heart and soul of Regent, and they will be sorely missed by students, staff, and faculty alike.
“Iwan’s role as the inaugural holder of the Peterson Chair in Theology and the Arts has been of critical importance to the integrative nature of Regent’s educational vision, and he has set an extremely high bar for the kind of person we will be seeking to fill this position in the future.”
We sat down with Iwan to hear his thoughts on his role cultivating the arts at Regent College and his plans for the future. Here’s what he had to say:
“Coming here has been tremendously enriching theologically, artistically, and personally. Contributing, being a part of the flourishing of so many students who come here, has been just brilliant. I believe I've got the best job at Regent. You really see students coming alive, both in their faith and in their art. There's nothing better in my view.
“Amanda and I are leaving with sadness, but also because we feel it's time. For the last nine years we've basically been trying to live in two places. We've been living in Vancouver during the term times, but we've also been trying to keep a life in Wales. Our families are there. We just feel it's time to move back for their sakes and for ours as well.
“I hope very much that links will continue with Regent, but also that we'll be able to make a contribution back in Britain. We love Britain. It's going through a rough time at the moment. But we are keen to make a Christian contribution there in whatever capacity we can. At the moment I'm not sure what that looks like. Maybe some more teaching. Maybe some more filmmaking. Who knows?”
Please join us in celebrating Iwan and Amanda’s faithful service to the Regent community and in wishing them well as they prepare to return to the UK.
Regent has begun the search for a new candidate to fill the upcoming vacancy in the Eugene and Jan Peterson Chair in Theology and the Arts. The job posting can be viewed here. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply.