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

Vice Principal (Academic)
Tutor in Practical Theology

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 embraced a sense of call to ordained ministry and went to BAP when my eldest daughter was just three 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 2017.

In my free time, I enjoy crocheting, camping, paddle boarding 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, preaching and Mary. I am open to receiving enquiries from potential new PhD students.

How to get in touch with me

Some highlights of my work

  • 2023 Charismatic Christianity: Introducing Its Theology Through the Gifts of the Spirit, Baker Academic.
  • 2023 Book review: The Struggle to Stay: Why Single Evangelical Women are Leaving the Church by Katie Gaddini, Studies in Christian Ethics, 36.3 https://doi.org/10.1177/09539468231179567f
  • 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).
  • Forthcoming, Charismatic Christianity, SCM Press

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