Postgraduate Researchers

The Centre for Religion in Society is home to a thriving postgraduate research community who are progressing knowledge in a wide range of areas.

Chukwuemeka Iwuagwu

I am church of England self-supporting priest, currently working in the Diocese of Oxford looking after St Andrew’s church in Great Linford, Milton Keynes. I am married to Adanna, who is a project manager, and our marriage of 11 years is blessed with 3 children. Our son is 10 years old, and we have two daughters 8 and 5 years. I am also an independent consultant, working with the UK government in running successful IT and digital transformation initiatives. 

My doctoral research, titled “Exploring the religious experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and practices of fringe members of the Church of England”, examines the faith and belief of people who have some connection to church, but who do not normally attend worship services. The participants are those who would seek occasional offices such as baptism, weddings, and funerals and those who attend and support church events such as coffee mornings and bell ringing, but who do not attend church regularly. 


I am in my first year of this journey and I am looking forward to an exciting time. 

Jean Carter

I am a Registered Nurse with 38 years experience in the NHS. I initially specialised in Critical Care, then moved to senior posts at Hospital, Regional and National level. I have an MBA and LL.M (Medical Law) as well as several professional and leadership qualifications.

I have also held various roles as a bi-vocational leader in Independent Pentecostal Churches for over 30 years. I am currently a Senior Pastor in the North East of England.

I am undertaking the DMin programme at York St John and my area of research interest is faith and work in an Independent Pentecostal church setting. Academic research in Independent Pentecostal church settings is not common in my experience but I hope to access the wealth of theological experience and knowledge within the congregation that I serve. I am developing a model ‘Appreciating Theology’ which brings together the research methodology of Appreciative Inquiry and the Four Voices of Theology to explore the important area of faith and work.

Alexander McMeekin

I am Pastor of Beacon Community Church in Burntwood, Staffordshire which is an Elim Pentecostal Church. This is my third Pastorate over a 26-year period. Prior to this I studied Fine Art at the Ulster Polytechnic graduating in 1985 with a BA followed by working in retail before recommencing study at Regents Theological College in 1993 graduating in 1995 with Dip/H.E. in Christian Ministry with Distinction. Coincidental to serving in full time Christian ministry I have developed roles in community work designing, securing funding, and delivering a range of community empowerment and enhancement projects and as well as achieving a qualification in teaching that has led to me teaching Art and Theology.

I am particularly interested in thinking about the place the church finds itself in contemporary culture, and especially where the Pentecostal church may find itself as culture shifts away from a Judeo-Christian shaped worldview towards a secular a post- Christendom shaped worldview. Apologetics is no longer a process restricted to a defence of the faith, a word to the culture it encounters, it now includes a reading of the culture as an explanatory word to the church. This broader area of state, culture and church encountering eachother provides the background to the specific area I am researching.

Returning to part time study with York St John in 2021 under the supervision of Revd Andrew Village, Professor of Practical and empirical Theology, my current broader research question is; “What may be the impact on the practice of church discipline within the Elim Pentecostal Church from same sex marriage/relationships”. This is question in process requiring further reflection and refining. As such though it represents the starting point from which my research will evolve.

Joseph Wandera

I have a Pentecostal ministry background and form part of the eldership team in Grace church, Scotter and District in Rural Lincolnshire. Following a cross culture ministry for over two decades, I am now an apprentice as a research practitioner at YSJ university under the supervision of Revd Andrew Village, Professor of Practical and empirical Theology. 

My research focuses on issues of Interstitial Ministry and to this end, I am exploring the place of Interstitial ministry in the spread of the gospel (evangelism).