Lesslie Newbigin and the Household of God

Lesslie Newbigin and the Household of God

July 10-13, 2017  |  Westminster College

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Lesslie Newbigin was trained in Presbyterian Reformed theology but was also deeply shaped by the 20th Century Ecumenical movement, which led him to reformulate some key Reformation emphases. In particular, he felt that the doctrines of justification and election had not been fully understood. He engaged the tradition but also challenged it in the light of the critical missionary situation facing the church in the West. Newbigin believed that these renewed perspectives were essential if the church was to unite and regain its missionary character.

Join us as we explore these vital themes and assess their implications for the mission of the church today.

Highlights of the week include:

  • Expert teaching on the thought of Lesslie Newbigin and its contemporary implications
  • Historic walking tours of Cambridge
  • A punt trip in the historic centre of Cambridge
  • Opportunities for discussion and relaxation
  • Worship at the Chapel and a banquet at the Hall of Magdalene College (where C.S. Lewis was professor of Renaissance and Medieval Literature)

Schedule of the Week

Click to print/download a one-page overview: 2017 LNSI Schedule

9:00-9:30am: Registration

9:30-11:00am: Session 1. Welcome, Introductions (Revd Dr Scot Sherman)

11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break

11:30am-1:00pm: Session 2. ‘Towards the Household of God’ (Revd Dr Paul Weston)

1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-5:00pm: Afternoon Activities – The Reformation Walking Tour of Cambridge

  • Tour #1:  2:00pm
  • Tour #2:  3:30pm

*After tour, explore Cambridge on your own

5:00-6:00pm: Afternoon Squash

6:00pm: *Optional dinner at St. John’s Chophouse (Please RSVP)

9:00-9:30am: Morning Prayer

9:30-11:00am:  Session 1. ‘The Significance of Martin Luther for Today’ (Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin)

11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break

11:30am-1:00pm: Session 2. ‘Did the Reformation Have a Theology of Mission?’ (Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin)

1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-5:00pm: Afternoon Activities – Punting (Please RSVP)

5:00-6:00pm: Afternoon Squash. ‘Lesslie Newbigin’s Legacy in Winson Green Today’ (Ash Barker)

6:00pm: Evening meal at your own expense

9:00-9:30am: Morning Prayer

9:30-11:00am: Session 1. ‘Ecumenism in the Newbigin Tradition’ (Dame Mary Tanner)

11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break

11:30am-1:00pm: Public Conversation with Dame Mary Tanner – ‘The Ecumenical Venture: Promise and Prospect’ (Revd Dr Scot Sherman Chair)

1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-3:15pm: Explore Cambridge on your own

3:15-3:30pm: Coffee/Tea Break

4:00-5:30pm: Public Lecture. ‘Reformation and the End of Christendom’ (Prof Eamon Duffy)

5:45-6:15pm: Afternoon Drinks

6:15pm: Evening meal at your own expense

9:00-9:30am: Morning Prayer

9:30-11:00am: Session 1. ‘Beyond the Household of God: Newbigin and Reformed Theology’ (Revd Dr Scot Sherman)

11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break

11:30am-1:00pm: Q&A and Group Discussion

1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-3:15pm: Explore Cambridge on your own

3:15-3:30pm: Coffee/Tea Break

4:00-5:30pm: Public Lecture. ‘Rethinking the Church: Lesslie Newbigin and the Household of God’ (Rt Revd Dr Rowan Williams)

5:45-6:15pm: Afternoon Drinks

6:30-7:30pm: Closing Chapel Service – Preacher: Rt Revd Dr. Rowan Williams

7:30-10:00pm: Closing Banquet (Must have paid and RSVP’d)


Rowan Williams


Dr. Rowan Williams took up the mastership on 1 January 2013. He was educated at Dynevor Secondary Grammar School in Swansea, he came up to Christ’s College in 1968. He studied for his doctorate at Christ Church and Wadham College Oxford, working on the Russian Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky. His career began as a lecturer at Mirfield (1975-1977). He returned to Cambridge as Tutor and Director of Studies at Westcott House. After ordination in Ely Cathedral, and serving as Honorary Assistant Priest at St George’s Chesterton, he was appointed to a University lectureship in Divinity. In 1984 he was elected a Fellow and Dean of Clare College. During his time at Clare he was arrested and fined for singing psalms as part of the CND protest at Lakenheath air-base. Click here for more…

Dame Mary Tanner

Dame Mary Tanner was European President of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 2006 until 2013. She has been a member of the WCC Faith and Order Commission since 1974, serving as its moderator from 1991 to 1998, and on many occasions worked closely with Lesslie Newbigin. She has been a member of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation for the World Council of Churches as well as the Anglican—Roman Catholic Dialogue.  In 2008, she was appointed Dame Commander of Order of the British Empire (DBE) by Queen Elizabeth II “for services to the worldwide Anglican communion.” She was described by Dr Rowan Williams, whilst Archbishop of Canterbury, as “the greatest gift to 20th-century ecumenism.”

Eamon Duffy

Eamon Duffy is Professor of the history of Christianity at the University of Cambridge and Fellow and former President of Magdalene College. A “cradle Catholic” from Ireland, he specializes in the religious history of Britain from the 15th through the 17th centuries. A frequent presenter on radio and television, he is the author of several bestselling and prizewinning books. His most recent, Reformation Divided: Catholics, Protestants and the Conversion of England (Bloomsbury, 2017) is written to mark the 500th anniversary of the events of 1517. He’ll be speaking about his new book, which explores the impact of the cataclysmic transformations of European Christianity in the 16th and 17th centuries on England and whose legacy continues to shape the modern world.

Graham Tomlin


Dr. Graham Tomlin is President of St Mellitus College and Bishop of Kensington. Graham was a curate in Exeter, Chaplain of Jesus College Oxford, and tutor in Historical Theology at Wycliffe Hall, where he eventually became Vice Principal. In 2005 he helped found St Paul’s Theological Centre, which is now part of St Mellitus College. He mainly teaches historical theology, particularly specialising in the Patristic and Reformation periods. He is the author of many articles and several books, including ‘The Power of the Cross: Theology and the Death of Christ in Paul, Luther and Pascal’ (Paternoster 1997), ‘The Provocative Church’ (SPCK 2002), ‘Luther and his World’ (Lion 2002), ‘Spiritual Fitness: Christian Character in a Consumer Culture’ (Continuum 2006), ‘The Prodigal Spirit’ (SPTC 2011), ‘Looking Through The Cross‘ (Bloomsbury 2014) and most recently, ‘The Widening Circle – Priesthood as God’s way of blessing the world’ (SPCK 2014). Graham is married to Janet and has two grown-up children. He is a keen follower of various kinds of music and sport, especially football, rugby and cricket.

Please click here to view a selection of articles by Graham Tomlin.

Paul Weston

PWeston_Pic2 copy

Dr. Paul Weston is Director of the Newbigin Centre, Cambridge, lectures in mission studies and homiletics at Ridley Hall, Cambridge and is an affiliated lecturer in the Cambridge University Divinity Faculty. He is a graduate of Cambridge University, and has research degrees from the  Council of National Academic Awards (MPhil), and King’s College, London (PhD).

Paul’s PhD was on Lesslie Newbigin’s missionary engagement with Western culture, and he has written widely on his work.  He is editor of Lesslie Newbigin, Missionary Theologian: A Reader (SPCK/Eerdmans, 2006),  Faith in a Changing World (St Paul’s Theological Centre, 2012), and co-editor with Mark Laing of  Theology in Missionary Perspective: Lesslie Newbigin’s Legacy (Wipf & Stock, 2012). His most recent book (co-written with David Male) is The Word’s Out: Speaking the Gospel Today (Bible Reading Fellowship, 2013).

Paul enjoys reading, climbing in the Alps, mountain and landscape photography, and most kinds of music (especially classical and jazz). Married to Ginny, he has two grown-up children, and possesses a sense of humour that is slightly on the dry side.

Scot Sherman


Dr. Scot Sherman is the Executive Director of the Newbigin House of Studies, a center for graduate theological education and spiritual formation based in San Francisco. He oversees the Newbigin Fellowship, a nine-month intensive training program that seeks to provide a framework for wise integration of faith, work, and life, and hosts the speaker series Conversations For the Common Good. He is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M), and the University of Wales (Ph.D).

Scot’s doctoral dissertation focused on the early ecumenical influence of the British missionary-theologian Lesslie Newbigin, a pioneer in thinking through the challenges facing churches in the contemporary West. He is currently working on his first book, an exploration of the ideas of the French philosopher and social theorist René Girard.

Scot lives with his wife, Catherine, and they have four sons. He loves opera, detective fiction, playing the piano, and goes wine tasting as often as possible.



Airport – Attendees may fly into either Heathrow or Gatwick airports.
Bus – Bus tickets from the airport to Cambridge are available from National Express.
Train – Train tickets from the airport to Cambridge are available from National Rail.
Taxi – Taxi companies in Cambridge A1 Cabco TaxisCamCabPanther Taxis.

Reminders for U.S. Attendees

  • If you plan to bring any small appliances (hair dryer, curling iron, etc…) you will need a voltage converter and a three prong adapter.
  • Please contact your bank to ensure that you are able to withdraw money from an ATM in the UK.
  • Alert your bank and/or credit card company that you will be traveling oversees to avoid an account freeze due to suspicion of fraudulent charges.
  • A raincoat and/or umbrella is a must for summer in Cambridge.
  • Please check with your health insurance company to understand your coverage internationally.
  • Remember: your cell phone will not work internationally unless you have purchased additional coverage.
  • You can receive VAT (value added tax) refunds on some goods bought in the UK. Visit Gov. uk for more information.


General Information

All travel and accommodation fees are the responsibility of the attendee. Summer lodging fills up very quickly in Cambridge. Please book your accommodation as soon as possible. Many hotels offer free cancellation in the event that you change your mind or find a less expensive option.

Westminster College

We are pleased to offer on site accommodations this year with both single (£53/night) and double (£77/night) room options.

Book Now

Home/Apartment Rental

Sometimes home/apartment rentals are the same price as a hotel if you are looking for space for more than 1 person. Here are a few websites to get you started in this search.

Bed & Breakfast


*These prices are not guaranteed, do not include VAT, and are to aid in your research only. Please contact each hotel directly for pricing and availability.

**Distances are calculated from 21 Magdalene Street, Cambridge CB3 0AG, UK


Registration for the Lesslie Newbigin Summer Institute is now CLOSED.

We apologize for any inconvenience, but hope to see you next year!


Regular Registration
INCLUDES: All lectures & programing, Lunch Monday–Thursday, Banquet, Refreshments, Activities
DOES NOT INCLUDE: Lodging, Travel (airfare where applicable), Breakfasts, Dinner on Monday-Wednesday
Regular Registration
INCLUDES: All lectures & programing, Lunch Monday–Thursday, Banquet, Refreshments, Activities
DOES NOT INCLUDE: Lodging, Travel (airfare where applicable), Breakfasts, Dinner on Monday-Wednesday

Refund Policy

Attendees may request a refund until June 10, 2017. After this date all registration fees are final and will not be refunded. Funds will be returned via PayPal in the currency originally paid only.