Revd Dr Donna J. Lazenby BA, MPhil, PhD

Tutor in Theology

A bit about me

I was blessed to be raised in a Christian household, and so God has always been consciously part of my life and worshipping Him part of the rhythm of being alive. I grew up in a B&B in Torquay – excellent preparation for public ministry and vicarage life! I first felt called to ordained ministry at 12 yrs old, saw a DDO at 17, was advised at that stage to gain more ‘life experience’. I therefore pursued my intellectual passion for God through a BA in Philosophy and Theology, MPhil in Philosophy of Religion, and PhD in Theology, through Cambridge University. My PhD was a winner of The John Templeton Award for Theological Promise. God has designed me to be most joyful when worshipping Him with my mind, and I am deeply committed to thinking through the meaning of Christ for All Things and communicating this meaning as part of the Church’s witness to the world through prophetic and intellectually robust mission and apologetics.

I trained for Ordained ministry at Westcott House, then served a 4-year curacy in the Diocese of Southwark across charismatic evangelical and anglo-catholic contexts, and within both fresh expressions of Church and inherited models of ministry and mission. A strong feature of my own formation and ministry has been engagement with the breadth of the Anglican Church, and a cherishing of the riches to be found in each place. I then joined St Mellitus College as Lecturer and Tutor in Christian Spirituality and Apologetics, and Formation Tutor to both full-time and part-time Ordinand and lay students. During this time, I co-planted and co-led a new church in a Primary School in Kenley, Surrey, ‘The Hayes Church’, within my husband Chris’ Parish where he was serving as Incumbent. I then moved to Plymouth to be Founding Director of St Mellitus College South West, where I led a team and built a college community over 4 years, before being called to Trinity College.

I am married to the Revd Chris Thomson, who is Convenor of the Pioneer Community, and Tutor in Contextual Learning, for St Padarn’s Institute and Wales. He is also a Coach for the Gregory Centre for Church Growth and Multiplication in the Diocese of London, a Member of the Archbishops’ College of Evangelists, and Founder of evangelistic digital-ministry and YouTube Channel God Stories Today.

My research interests

My personal and research interests include Christian Spirituality, both historical forms and contemporary revivals, and Christian mysticism in particular; all aspects of Christian Doctrine; mission, apologetics, and prophetic reading of culture; preaching/homiletics; leadership; emerging Church life, including pioneering, church planting, fresh expressions of Church, and renewing the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church. I pray and long for the refreshing of the Church’s life and witness in our Age, and love working with others to equip emerging patterns of lay and Ordained ministry.

How to get in touch with me

Some highlights of my work

  • A Mystical Philosophy: Transcendence and Immanence in the Works of Virginia Woolf and Iris Murdoch (Bloomsbury, 2014)
  • Divine Sparks: Everyday Encounters with God’s Incoming Kingdom (SPCK, 2017)

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