Revd Dr Helen Collins, BA, PGCE, MA, PhD

Tutor in Practical Theology

Director of Formation

A bit about me


I initially got a place at Oxford University to read chemistry, but within a week I knew I could never be fulfilled around test tubes and Bunsen burners, and so I changed to read theology and I have never looked back. I sensed a call to ordained ministry at this point, but my mum was going through the ordination process and the last thing I wanted to do at 21 was copy her, so I trained as a primary school teacher. I worked abroad in schools in Egypt and Russia before getting married, moving to London, and studying for an MA at Kings College London in the Social Anthropology of Religion while working for a local church Community Project. It was here that I finally stopped running from my calling and went to BAP when my eldest daughter was just 3 months old.

I had the delightful pleasure to train at Trinity College for two years in 2010, where I began my PhD research into charismatic worship and motherhood. Our second daughter was also born during our time at Trinity and so the college holds very special memories. I served my curacy in South Bristol, where our energetic youngest son joined the family.

I worked for Bristol Diocese as the Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Warden of Readers with responsibility for IME phase 2 training and the strategic development of vocations across the diocese before joining the faculty here at Trinity.

In my free time I enjoy crocheting, camping, reading, drinking gin and exploring the outdoors with my family.

My research interests


My PhD was a practical theology study examining the experience of charismatic worship and motherhood. I am therefore particularly passionate about anything to do with qualitative research, practical theology methodology, feminist studies, spirituality, charismatic theology, worship and Mary!

How to get in touch with me


Email me on helen.collins@trinitycollegebristol.ac.uk.

Some highlights of my work


2020 Reordering Theological Reflection: Starting with Scripture, SCM Press.

2019 ‘When Worship Doesn’t Work – Contrasting concepts of transformation for mothers in the charismatic movement’, Practical Theology, DOI: 10.1080/1756073X.2019.1636174.

2019 Mary the Worshipping Mother: Reclaiming Mary’s Motherhood for Contemporary Mums (Grove Books).

2017 ‘Weaving a Web: Developing a Feminist Practical Theology Methodology from a Charismatic Perspective’, Researching Female Faith, Nicola Slee, Fran Porter and Anne Phillips (eds.), (Oxford: Taylor & Francis).

Latest blog posts

Telling the stories of God’s faithfulness

Tutor in Practical Theology Director of Formation Tutor in Practical Theology Director of Formation A bit about me I initially got a place at Oxford University to read chemistry, but within a week I knew I could never be fulfilled around test tubes and Bunsen burners, and so I changed to read theology and I […]

Coronavirus update

Tutor in Practical Theology Director of Formation Tutor in Practical Theology Director of Formation A bit about me I initially got a place at Oxford University to read chemistry, but within a week I knew I could never be fulfilled around test tubes and Bunsen burners, and so I changed to read theology and I […]

The persevering people of God

Tutor in Practical Theology Director of Formation Tutor in Practical Theology Director of Formation A bit about me I initially got a place at Oxford University to read chemistry, but within a week I knew I could never be fulfilled around test tubes and Bunsen burners, and so I changed to read theology and I […]

Poverty in the Early Church and Today

Tutor in Practical Theology Director of Formation Tutor in Practical Theology Director of Formation A bit about me I initially got a place at Oxford University to read chemistry, but within a week I knew I could never be fulfilled around test tubes and Bunsen burners, and so I changed to read theology and I […]