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Regent Appoints Dr. Iwan Russell-Jones as Research Professor

November 01, 2022
"Iwan wholeheartedly embodies Regent’s commitment to weave theology with all of life."

Regent College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Iwan Russell-Jones as Research Professor of Theology and the Arts. This appointment is a continuation of Iwan’s significant relationship with Regent College, which began over a decade ago when he joined our faculty in 2011.

For over ten years, Iwan has helped students discover the prophetic and deeply theological witness of the arts. On January 26, 2013, Iwan became the first incumbent of the Eugene and Jan Peterson Chair in Theology and the Arts, and held that role until 2020, when he and his wife, Amanda Russell-Jones, moved back to Wales to be closer to family. Iwan has continued to teach remotely since 2020.

From documentary film-making to the poetry of T.S. Eliot and David Jones, to the fiction of Marilynne Robinson and Chaim Potok, Iwan has helped students see how timeless theological truths are revealed through the materiality of art-making. Whether teaching courses on The Christian Imagination, Image and Word, or The Vocation of the Artist, Iwan has always modelled a deeply integrative life where his own film-making informs his scholarship, and vice-versa.

As a Research Professor at Regent College, Dr. Russell-Jones is recognized as a senior scholar who will maintain an ongoing connection to the school’s educational mission. He will contribute to Regent’s scholarly community through research, teaching, writing, and public speaking. Just last month, Iwan arrived in Canada to teach The Vocation of the Artist to a group of students studying Christianity and the Arts at Regent, and he will continue to teach a mix of both online and on-campus courses for the 2022/2023 academic year.

“Iwan wholeheartedly embodies Regent’s commitment to weave theology with all of life, with a particular emphasis on the vital and rich dialogue between theology and the arts,” commented Paul Spilsbury, Regent’s Academic Dean. “His contribution to our community over the past decade has been invaluable, showing students how the life of faith and life as an artist intersect and inform each other. I am grateful that our students will continue to learn from him, and that his thinking will continue to shape the life of the College.”

“I am absolutely delighted to continue my relationship with Regent College,” said Iwan. "Regent's emphasis on theology for life has always been very close to my heart, and it's a real privilege to continue working with students from all over the world who are seeking a deeper integration of their Christian faith and their approach to the arts.”

Iwan has over 25 years of experience as a producer and director for the BBC, in both television and radio. He produced documentaries that include The Crucified King (2003) and American Prophet (2008), which both explore the religious dimensions of Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership of the civil rights movement, and Who Do You Say I Am? (2007), in which British poet Michael Symmons Roberts reflects on the meaning of Christ. In addition, Dr. Russell-Jones has had the privilege of working with Desmond Tutu, Rowan Williams, and Malcolm and Kitty Muggeridge, among other influential Christian thinkers. With the help of a team of students from Regent College, he directed a film presented by Loren Wilkinson called Making Peace with Creation (2016). We are delighted to see how his integrative work will continue in coming years, and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.

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