Dr Mike Pears began his doctoral studies in Prague in 2011 and completed his doctorate in Amsterdam, being one of the first IBTS Centre students to graduate at the Vrije Universiteit. His ongoing research interests include: the theology of place, especially as that relates to issues of power and inequality; the use of ethnography in relation to theology and mission; urban theology. Along with Prof. Paul Cloke (Exeter University), Mike is co-editing and authoring a series of six books entitled Mission in Marginal Places currently published by Paternoster.
In terms of both conviction and identity Mike is strongly baptistic. The core aspects of his faith have been shaped and enriched through a broad variety of ministry and mission contexts including significant involvements in inner-city London, Vancouver, Frankfurt, Sofia, and Bristol. This breadth of experience has deepened his appreciation of the way that Baptist identity is expressed and grounded in diverse contexts and how baptistic convictions are embodied in various cultures.
Mike’s view is that ‘IBTSC is strategically situated, both culturally and geographically, to encourage research and learning of baptistic theology and spirituality across Europe, the Middle East and further afield. At the same time its primary areas of research – identity, mission and practical theology – present a particular resonance with key contemporary themes both within the theology and mission of the church as well as in wider society.’
Chair of IBTS Centre Board Revd Dr John Weaver stated that ‘this appointment comes with the unanimous approval of the Board and with their enthusiastic appreciation of the gifts that Mike will bring to the post.’