Rev. Dr William P. Atkinson
Hello! I am delighted to be granted the privilege of serving the Association as its Chair, having been voted into office at the 2016 annual conference in Sofia. I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself and to tell you something of what I hope to do while in the role.
Born in 1961 and having grown up in London, I studied medicine in Edinburgh. After working briefly as a medical doctor, I heard God’s call to church ministry and took up a position on the ministry team at Kensington Temple, London. While there, I gained a Master’s Degree in Theology from London Bible College.
In 1997, I became Principal of Regents Theological College, the college of the denomination with which I am ordained: the Elim Pentecostal Church. While at the college, I pursued a PhD with Edinburgh University, completing this in 2007. In the same year, I moved back into local church ministry in south-east England. Since 2011 I have worked at the London School of Theology, where for some time I was a Vice-Principal. I continue there as Academic Secretary and a senior lecturer in Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies. I am on the Board of Advisers of the Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship, and have written several books as well as both scholarly and “popular” articles.
I’ve been married to Alison since 1983, and we have two sons: Iain, married to Maggie; and Stephen. Alison and I live near London and enjoy walks and meals out together, as well as getting together with family and friends. I love the natural world in both town and country, and am particularly interested in birds, though all nature fascinates me, as does human interaction with it in farming, conservation, and so forth.
Having served in the two contexts of local church and theological college, I sense that God wants me to devote my remaining years to furthering the cause of Pentecostal scholarship. I believe that God’s outpoured Spirit touches the mind as much as the heart, and that those of us of a more “intellectual” bent can be fervently Pentecostal while also being conversation partners about theological matters with the wider church and indeed the world. We have something to offer, and I want to make my own contribution to that offering and to raise up the next generation of thinking, loving Pentecostals – not to mention Christians of all shapes!
With that in mind, my favourite work at theological college is supervising research students. I love my own research and writing too, and sometimes wish I had more time for it! I hope that what I write helps people to love God more, think more clearly about the Lord, and perhaps do a bit of writing themselves. I hope that my time in office as Chair of EPTA will have the same results, and that I will be able to pull together, as EPTA has always successfully done, thinking Pentecostals and others who take an interest in Pentecostalism.
In my role as EPTA chairperson, I hope to travel round Europe a fair bit to meet EPTA members in their own environments, see how they are serving God in their context, and discuss together how EPTA can strengthen their hand. We might too have ideas together about how we can stimulate and strengthen the work of EPTA. So do get in touch with me. Feel free to share any ideas you might have. And if you care to invite me over to your college or other setting, I will be delighted to come if I can.
I will close by thanking the outgoing EPTA Chair, Prof William Kay, for all his hard work in the role and for his support for me as I have looked towards following in his steps. I am glad that he remains on the EPTA Executive Committee in his ongoing role as Editor of JEPTA, and I look forward to working with the whole EPTA Exec., which apart from the addition of myself remains unchanged in 2016.
With best wishes in Christ,
Els is retired professor of Old Testament at Azusa Theological Seminary and Christelijke Hogeschool Windesheim. She lives in Lelystad, the Netherlands. Since 2007 she has served as vice-chair of EPTA and in 2012-2013 acted as chair of EPTA. She studied Theology at the Christian Academy of Theology in Warsaw (CHAT) and worked in Warsaw (Headquarters of the Union of the Evangelical Churches) and at the Theological Seminary in the 1980s. Currently she is an elder of a church in Lelystad, De Pijler. Her research interests lie in the Old Testament, Theology and practical theological issues, particularly in the Book of Ruth. For twelve years she was editor of the magazine Parakleet, the quarterly of the Verenigde Pinkster- en Evangeliegemeenten.
Dr Anne E. Dyer
Anne gained her PhD from Bangor University, Wales in 2008 within a history of the 20-21st C. However, her BA was in Ancient history and Archaeology (1977). Then she moved onto a Diploma in Religious Knowledge (Cambridge 1979) and went to Thailand as a missionary with OMF International (1980-1993). After bringing up her two children to their A-levels she began a Masters in theology (2001) an MPhil (2005) and PhD (2008) through Bangor University, Wales.
During 2000-2014 she also worked for Mattersey Hall Christian College (Assemblies of God) as Librarian and as personal assistant to her supervisor Dr William K Kay producing a variety of books and articles, while being his co-editor, book review editor and publisher of the Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association.
In 2014-15 an opportunity came to take a single year contract as PhD Missiology Programme leader for Cliff College. Presently she works at Mattersey Hall as the Research Centre (Library and Archives) Manager, with responsibility for supervision at all levels of academic research, including doctoral students.
She is involved out of college hours in a variety of aspects of work within her church – as a Methodist local preacher, tutor for local preachers, and representative of the Sheffield/South Yorkshire District for Methodists GB on the One Mission Forum encompassing global and local mission initiatives.
She is married to Colin and has 2 adult children who work within the charity industry. She enjoys eating Thai food, playing her guitar for worship, and meeting people from many cultures.
Dr Carl Simpson
Carl has been EPTA Treasurer since 2008. During this time, as the Academic Dean of the European Theological Seminary of the Church of God, Kniebis, Germany, he has been their representative at EPTA conferences, accompanied by his wife Jackie. Originally from England they have been in Germany for 18 years, with three adult children and four grandsons. He has written several contributions to JEPTA, and his Ph.D. dissertation on Jonathan Paul and the German Pentecostal Movement was published titled “Revered and Reviled”.
Prof. William K. Kay
William is Professor of Theology at Glyndŵr University and Professor of Pentecostal Studies at the University of Chester. He chaired EPTA from 2013-16. He has two PhDs (Education and Theology) and a DD. He acted as a Moderator for the University of Wales and in this way served Pentecostal educational institutions in Europe for over 10 years. He is currently Chancellor of Mattersey Hall. His research interests lie in the history, theology and diversity of Pentecostalism. His recent research has concerned Pentecostal-style churches in South-east Asia and he often uses empirical methods for the purpose of data collection. He has edited (with Anne Dyer) Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies: a Reader (SMC, 2004), written Pentecostals in Britain (Paternoster, 2000), Apostolic Networks in Britain (Paternoster, 2007), Pentecostalism (core text) (2009, SCM) and Pentecostalism: a very short introduction (OUP, 2011), European Pentecostalism (co-edited with A E Dyer, Brill, 2011 Brill) as well as numerous articles. His most recent publication is an article on apostolic networks entitled ‘Apostolic Networks in Britain Revisited’, Pneuma, 38, 1-18, 2016. A list of publications and further information can be seen on http://www.chester.ac.uk/departments/trs/staff/prof-william-k-kay
Further Executive Members
Rev. Phyllis Thompson
Phyllis has been on the EPTA committee since 2011. She is the Education Director at the New Testament Church of God Leadership Learning Centre located in Northampton, England. Prior to this role, Phyllis served her Church as Associate Pastor at Mile End Church, where she led the small group ministry. She has over 30 years experience in education, specifically Christian education, adult and development education and in this capacity has developed and facilitated training programmes for trainers in community, further and higher education in the UK and Europe. Phyllis is a published writer. Recent publications include her contribution to Faith of our Fathers edited by Donald S Aultman and Steve Land (2009 Pathway Press) and Challenges of Black Pentecostal Leadership in the 21st Century edited by Phyllis Thompson (2013 SPCK).
Rev. Pasi Parkkila
Pasi has been on the EPTA committee since 2011. He is the Director of Iso Kirja College located in Keuruu, Finland since 2000. Prior to this role, Pasi served as a lecturer at Iso Kirja College and before that as Associate Pastor at Nokia Pentecostal Church. He has two masters degrees and studies in educational administration and leadership. During his time of leadership Iso Kirja College programmes got validated by the University of Wales and new partnership with Alphacrucis College, Sydney, Australia started in 2015.
Pasi has served as a member of the Consultative Committee between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Pentecostal Churches in Finland since 2006. He is also a member of the World Alliance for Pentecostal Theological Education Board of Directors since 2013. His publications include How Can Mission Organizations And Training Institutions Find Synergy For Designing Effective Mission Training Curricula? Finland As A Case Study. JEPTA-journal, Vol. 32 No. 2 (2012.1), jointly authored with Dr. Arto Hämäläinen.