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St John's College, Nottingham - Discipleship, Mission and Leadership in a World of Change

Revd Mark Rodel

Tutor in Pioneer Ministry
Photo of Revd Mark Rodel

Mark Rodel is responsible with Nick Ladd for developing St John's as a regional centre for training people for ordained and lay pioneer ministry. But that doesn't mean he's here just for those preparing for those particular forms of Christian ministry. He's contributing to the teaching programme for all students at both St John's and the Midlands Centre for Youth Ministry. Mark's role involves developing pioneering placements and helping all members of the St John's community develop as theologically reflective mission practitioners. 

His own reflection and teaching is grounded in real and continuing practice. As well as being on the faculty at St John's, Mark will be engaged in enterprising mission in the Lady Bay area of Nottingham, alongside an established worshipping community.

Mark was previously City Centre Pioneer Minister in the heart of Portsmouth, where he led a tiny and struggling parish congregation into new territory. Together they moved out of the parish church building and into one of the nearby tower blocks, sharing breakfast and stories with resident families as 'the Sunday Sanctuary'. Before that, as curate of St Jude's, Southsea, he helped establish 'Friday Fridge' - a late night drop-in and chill-out event for pubgoers in the area.

Before ordination, Mark worked for 13 years as a graphic designer. He graduated in Visual Art from Winchester School of Art in the mid-90s and later trained for ordination on the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme (STETS) course, based in Salisbury. Alongside his pioneering work in two parishes in Portsmouth, he completed an MA in Theology for Christian Ministry and Mission, also from STETS. As part of that he developed an interest in spiritual practices of discernment, particularly in pioneer ministry.

Mark came to faith in his early teens and has a broad church experience. He has been part of house-church, Baptist and URC church communities but found his spiritual home in the Church of England. His background is evangelical and charismatic but he has been profoundly influenced by catholic and contemplative spirituality and theology too. Mark has long been concerned with people at the margins, both of church and society and is passionate about helping people to encounter, embrace and live-out the life-transforming story of Jesus in ways that take their own stories seriously.

Mark was born in London and grew up in Kent. He moved to Portsmouth twenty years ago chasing a girl who, happily for him, is now his wife. He and Barbara, a primary school teacher, have three children - Elliott, Toby and Lois. Mark loves the cinema, contemporary art and photography. He's interested in science too - especially cosmology and particle physics, though he makes no pretense to understand either! He enjoys cooking and occasionally runs, especially when he has rather too much enjoyed his own cooking or when he needs to console himself about the fortunes of Portsmouth FC.

The Revd Mark Rodel BA, DipHE, MA