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John Roxborogh

John Roxborogh, BE, BD, PhD is a Presbyterian minister and retired theological educator and mission historian living in Dunedin, New Zealand. He was born in Morrinsville, New Zealand in April, 1945, lived in Haywards Heath, Sussex in 1957, and attended St Kentigern College, Auckland from 1958 to 1962. He is a writer, researcher and teacher with a background in the study of Reformed Christianities, Christian mission, Southeast Asian church history, and church and mission archives, and has a special interest in Malaysian church history. Prior to training for the Presbyterian Ministry in Dunedin in 1974, he worked as a telecommunications engineer.

Assisted by the travelling scholarship of the Presbyterian Church he studied under Andrew Walls in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen, and in 1978 completed his doctorate on the Scottish Evangelical, Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847). After returning to New Zealand he was in parish ministry in Wellington from 1979 to 1983 when with his wife Jenny and their four children he became a member of the overseas staff of the Presbyterian-Methodist Council for Mission and was appointed as a teacher at Seminary Theology Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. He was faculty member in charge of the library, taught biblical studies and church history, and was active in the Malaysian Church History Society, encouraging denominational and local histories as a foundation for other historical and theological studies.

In 1991 John Roxborogh took up the position of Head of Department of Mission Studies at the Auckland campus of the Bible College of New Zealand, developing courses in the history and theology of mission, world religions, and Third World theologies. In 1999 he became Coordinator of Lay and Recognised Ministry Training at the School of Ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand in Dunedin, working with elders and locally ordained ministers, and developed online and class-room courses at diploma and post-graduate level for Presbyterian and Reformed Studies.

Since retirement in April 2008 he has continued part-time distance teaching of Presbyterian Studies through the Ecumenical Institute for Distance Theological Studies in Christchurch and the University of Otago. He is an Honorary Fellow at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Otago and also a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for the Study of Asian Christianity at Trinity Theological College, Singapore, involved in their study programme on Popular Christianity in Southeast Asia. He continues to be involved in the supervision and marking of research papers, masters’ and doctoral theses.

From 1992 to 2005 Roxborogh was chair of the Documentation, Archives and Bibliography workgroup of the International Association for Mission Studies of which he became an honorary life member in 2012. For some years he was a board member of World Vision New Zealand.

In 1985, with Stuart Piggin, John Roxborogh authored The St Andrews Seven: The Finest Flowering of Missionary Zeal in Scottish History, published by the Trust.