Our Senior Leadership Team
Principal & CEO
James Archer has worked in education for over 20 years and has extensive experience working with children and young people. James was a primary school educator and science advisor before gaining his Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) and becoming a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at Canterbury Christ Church University. James was the Primary Science, Mathematics Manager and School Research Coordinator at Bradford College and then served as the Director of the International Montessori Institute at Leeds Beckett University. This is now a world-leading research centre on early years and Montessori education. James is currently studying for his doctorate exploring the lived experience of children in the church through the lens of Liberation Theology. He is the Chief Executive Officer and Principal at The Institute for Children, Youth and Mission and he oversees CYM’s offer as well as the charity's strategic direction and partnerships with churches and other organisations across the UK.
James is the author and contributor to several books, including:
- Primary Science for Trainee Teachers London: Sage, (2014)
- Inspiring Primary Learners: Insights and Inspiration across the Curriculum (2021)
Chief Executive Officer for The Institute for Children, Youth and Mission.
Leading the CYM academic team and national strategic oversight.
James is currently completing a professional doctorate exploring the role of the Montessori method in supporting agency and liberation for children in faith-based settings.
Robin is an educator in community-based Practical Theology and has over 13 years of community youth work experience in various contexts. He is the Academic Studies Manager and Principal Lecturer at The Institute for Children, Youth and Mission. Robin completed his degree at London Bible College and his MA in Youth and Community Work and Applied Theology (The Centre for Youth Ministry) from the University of Gloucester, Cheltenham. Robin has qualified teacher status in Secondary Religious Education from Leeds Trinity University and has tutored several ministry training courses over the past 15 years, including the Oasis College of Higher Education London and Nazarene Theological College, Manchester. Robin is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy Distinction Advance HE: York and is currently completing his doctoral studies exploring the intersection of faith-based work and a broader application of spirituality in society.
Robin oversees CYM courses and supports students in their learning and discipleship journeys.
Robin is currently completing a Professional Doctoral in Education.
Director of Research
Sarah has been involved in ministry amongst children and families for over 20 years, and has a passion to find innovative and effective ways to equip children to get closer to Jesus. After completing a Geography degree at Liverpool University (with the aim of being a weather girl or earthquake predictor!), she worked as a church-based children's worker on the Wirral, and then as and as Children and Family Pastor in Altrincham, Cheshire. Alongside this work, she really enjoyed studying at Cliff College: First to gain a Level 5 Diploma in Children's Evangelism and Nurture, and then an MA in Evangelism Studies. She then took some time out of this work to be a stay-at-home mum, but in the midst of this season completed a PhD exploring the role of family in children's faith journeys at Cliff College. Following this, she began teaching Early Childhood Studies at Liverpool Hope University, and researching the topic of children's faith and spirituality. She is excited about the role of Director of Research, seeking to explore together how we can equip and empower the church to enhance ministry opportunities amongst children and their families.
Sarah's primary responsibilities are within research.
Anything about children's faith and spirituality, particularly in the early years; the role of family; church ministry amongst children and families, with particular interest in neurodiversity.
Director of Communications, Relationships, and Engagement
Scott knows first-hand the importance of the CYM mission - as a poor boy from a non-Christian background, he was introduced to Jesus by faith-filled youth leaders in the Boys Brigade. Having honed his leadership craft for over 20 years in the education, charity and corporate sectors, he now runs his own leadership training and organisation development consultancy. In a previous role, Scott was National Director of Education for the Christian charity TLG, where he grew the partnerships to reach under-served young people across the country. He is Chair of Trustees for Acorn Alternative Provision, an Elder at Cornerstone Baptist Church and has two young children with his wife Rebecca. When he is not working, you’ll normally find Scott drinking coffee or in the hills; on foot or on two wheels.
Director of Development and Partnerships
Will has experience working in fundraising and charity governance both overseas and in the United Kingdom. Will also brings project management and operations experience stemming from a ten-year career in the railway industry. He leads social action at his local church in Leeds and spends time working overseas with charity partners.
Our Academic Team
Nigel has worked in youth work and education for 38 years. He led several local centres for Youth for Christ before joining head office as Education Advisor. Nigel continues in this role as he tutors students at the Institute for Children, Youth, and Mission, where he has created and contributed to many of the CYM chaplaincy courses and developed working standards for Chaplains with children and young people. Nigel is a qualified drama teacher and was a community chaplain in a secondary school for 17 years. Nigel also works for the Saltley Trust, developing chaplaincy initiatives in Further Education across the West Midlands. He has a passion for drama and its place in youth work and ministry and led the professional theatre company Red River Theatre for 15 years, winning several awards and performing around the country and in front of the United Nations.
Nigel has contributed to several books and journals, including:
- Core Standards of Christian with Children and Young People, CYM, (2019) Nigel Roberts & Rev. Dr. Sally Nash & Dr. Paul Nash
- Drama and Faith: Using the Arts to Communicate the Christian Faith, Grove, (2022)
His research interests focus on the theology of chaplaincy and models of chaplaincy, particularly in education. He is also interested in spiritual development in schools and colleges and how it is taught and evaluated. He continues to research the use of drama in youth work.
Alia is a youth worker and has over 25 years experience of working with young people in churches, open access youth clubs, education, and targeted youth work projects. Alia currently works for the National Youth Agency which is the PSRB for Youth Work in England and is employed as the Education and Training Standards Officer. Outside of work Alia is a marathon runner having completed over 25 marathons including three ultra marathons and recently ran a marathon in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan. Still involved in grassroots youth work Alia volunteers at her church and is part of the regional Limitless team supporting youth leaders in the North West and can be found walking around Limitless Festival as part of the pastoral team. Continuing professional development is important to Alia and she is currently completing her MA in Theology, Community Development, and Social Change.
Dave leads the CYM module CYU402 Practical Theology and Biblical Studies. Dave also lectures at St Hild Theological College, teaching Introduction to New Testament, and previously taught a Level 5 Christology Module. Dave is the Director of Leeds School of Theology, which delivers informal theological education to Christians in local churches. Dave was also in senior church leadership for seven years with Mosaic Church Leeds. In 2017 he completed a PGDip in Theology, Mission, and Ministry with Durham University and then an MA in 2020. Dave is a Ph.D. Theology Student at Durham University, focusing on New Testament studies.
Dave teaches and tutors Practical Theology and Biblical Studies at the Institute for Children, Youth, and Mission.
Dave's research interests are New Testament studies and Biblical studies in general. He is currently working on a thesis looking at Mark's Gospel as an apocalyptic narrative and how this affects the way the familial pericopes in Mark are best understood.
Rachel Turner has worked within family, youth and children’s ministry for over 18 years. After serving full-time in multiple churches, she then went on to found Parenting for Faith in partnership with BRF. Through her and her team’s work, they have created multiple online courses, resources and podcasts to enable parents and carers to disciple their children and for church leaders to create a parenting for faith culture within their communities. She is an international speaker and the author of ten books. In her work, she has consulted and partnered with national denominations and regional networks to enable growth in intergenerational church, robust family ministry, and church culture change. With a BA in Cultural Anthropology and MScEcon in Critical Security Studies, she has guest lectured with Cliff College, Moorlands College and St. Padarn’s.
Rachel is the author and contributor to several books including:
- Parenting Children for a Life of Faith (2010)
- It Takes a Church to Raise a Parent (2018)
- Parenting as a Church Leader (2020)
- Healthy Faith and the Coronavirus Crisis (2020)
Lecturing on leadership, intergenerational theory and practice, and household faith.
Rachel is interested in researching culture change within churches from an anthropological perspective, unique parenting contexts, and discipleship as culturally embedded patterns.
Dr. Graham Bright
Graham was formerly Director of Research, Senior Lecturer and Practice Co-ordinator with CYM. He has been involved in youth and community work for over 30 years and is a qualified counsellor. Graham has worked in schools, colleges and universities where he taught various programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including Childhood and Youth Studies, Early Childhood Studies, Counselling, Education Studies, and Sociology. He completed his PhD in Youth Work at Durham University in 2021.
He was part of a team which planted The Well Methodist Church in Darlington, where he now serves as Community Pastor. The Well is situated in an area of socio-economic challenge; it is a church committed to working creatively with its local community to bring change and to developing discipleship and expressing worship intergenerationally. Graham maintains a strong relationship with CYM, offering dissertation supervision, consulting on research and teaching occasional modules. His previous research and ongoing interests relate to Growing Faith, Intergenerational Church, Community and Youth Work.
Graham is the author and contributor to several books and journals, including:
- From Neoliberalism to Neopopulism: How Grassroots Faith Communities are Resisting Division and Crossing Borders (2021)
- Journal- Radical Community Work
- Child and Young Person-Centred Approaches: The Handbook of Counselling Children and Young People (2018)
Graham's Ph.D. focussed on Searching for Meaning: Learning from Youth Workers' Lives, Formation, and Profession in Austere Times- a Critical Narrative Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis.
Jaz is a seasoned leader with a distinguished career, currently serving on the senior leadership team at Gateway Church. With a wealth of experience in various leadership roles, she has demonstrated exceptional skills in guiding and inspiring teams towards achieving their goals. Jaz holds a Masters in Missional Leadership from Newman, showcasing her commitment to understanding and navigating the complexities of mission-driven organisations.
Currently pursuing a Doctorate at Asbury Seminary (USA), Jaz continues to deepen her academic knowledge, bringing cutting-edge insights to her leadership role. Her involvement in leading Christian organisations reflects her dedication to advancing the mission of faith-based initiatives. Jaz is a respected leader within her community and a sought-after speaker and host for Christian organisations and churches.
Ali Campbell has worked in children’s and youth ministry for 27 years. After a career in the Ministry of Defence Ali studied for a Certificate in Youth Ministry with OASIS (1996 - 98). Ali went on to be a youth minister at a large church in West London during which time he was also leading children’s and youth work at the New Wine summer events. For nine years Ali was the Adviser for Children’s and Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Chichester, during which time he gained a Masters in Reflective Practice and Applied Theology. In 2014, Ali established The Resource - a Youth and Children’s Ministry Consultancy, to serve the local church through training, equipping events and mentoring and support for those working with children, young people and families. Ali has taught at various academic institutions over the last decade including, Reign Ministries, St Mellitus, Emmanuel College and Cliff College (where he was an adjunct tutor from 2019 - 2023). In July 2022, Ali was the founder of Paraklesis - The Association of Children’s, Youth and Family Ministers. Ali is married to Lisa and they have two teenage daughters."
Dan has taught theology on theological training courses for a decade. He is currently the LEAD course manager for Relational Mission’s Leadership Training course and leads the Biblical Theology component of the course. He also has local church ministry experience, and has regularly preached in local churches. Dan holds a first class degree in Theology and an MA in Biblical Studies with distinction, both from King’s College London. He is also finishing a PhD in New Testament at King’s College London.