The Rev. Robert S. Heaney, Ph.D., D.Phil., is the Director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies and Associate Professor of Christian Mission. He joined the faculty in 2013. Dr. Heaney’s areas of expertise include intercultural theology, mission theology, and World Anglicanism. Before coming to VTS, he was director of Postgraduate Studies and Research at St. John’s University of Tanzania, where he was also Senior Lecturer in the School of Theology and Religious Studies.
Dr. Heaney holds the D.Phil. in Theology from the University of Oxford; the Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology from Dublin’s Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy; a Master of Theology from the University of Oxford; and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Theology from the London School of Theology.
Heaney has experience in teaching and ministry on three continents. He continues to travel extensively and is often invited to lecture, consult, and preach throughout the Anglican Communion. Widely published, his books include: From Historical to Critical Post-Colonial Theology (Wipf & Stock, 2016); Post-Colonial Theology: Finding God and Each Other Amidst the Hate (Cascade, 2019); and, with William L. Sachs, The Promise of Anglicanism (SCM, 2019). He is senior editor of Faithful Neighbors: Christian-Muslim Vision and Practice (Morehouse, 2016) and senior editor of God’s Church for God’s World (Church Publishing, 2020).
His contributions to collected volumes include: The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013); Great Awakenings: Evangelical Engagements with Postcolonialism (IVP, 2014); The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Volume V: Global Anglicanism, c.1900–2000 (Oxford University Press, 2018); Preparing for Lambeth 2020: Witnessing Together: Global Perspectives on Evangelism and Witness (Anglican Communion Office, 2019); The SPCK Study of Ministry (SPCK, 2019); and The T&T Clark Handbook of Modern Theology (T&T Clark, forthcoming).
His research and teaching at VTS focuses on the development of a critical missiology that provides students with a passion for the field that does not shy away from difficult issues in thought and practice, nor result in ministries characterized by missiological isolationism or reductionism. As a theologian of culture, he seeks to nourish theological imagination that is ever cognizant of social location and the theological inevitability and necessity of contextualization and inter-contextualization. As an Anglican theologian, he has a particular interest in modern World Anglicanism and the emergence of a renewed Anglican Communion.
Heaney was ordained a priest in the Church of Ireland in 2002, and has been active in parishes in Ireland, England, Tanzania, and the United States of America. He is married to Dr. Sharon E. Heaney, and they have one son, Sam.