Kenneth Ross, author of this blog, grew up in Scotland and was educated at Kelvinside Academy and Edinburgh University, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1987. After serving as a parish minister on the Shetland island of Unst, in 1988 he was appointed by the Church of Scotland to serve as a mission partner with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian in Malawi. Seconded by the Church to the University of Malawi he was responsible for the introduction of Malawi’s first theology degree programme as well as being Secretary of the Board for the Diploma in Theology. At the same time he served as parish minister of Nkanda CCAP, near Zomba (1989-98). From 1990 to 1994 he was Secretary of the Association of Theological Institutions in Southern and Central Africa (ATISCA). From 1994 he was a founding member of the Editorial Board for the Kachere Series (books on religion and theology from Malawi) and supervisor of Masters and Ph.D. students in theology.
In 1998 he returned to Scotland to become General Secretary of the Church of Scotland Board of World Mission. He also served as Honorary Secretary of Jubilee Scotland (2000-10), Chair of the Scotland Malawi Partnership (2004-06 and 2010-present), and Chair of the Edinburgh 2010 Scottish Committee (2001-10). He has published many books and articles on Christian mission, notably the Atlas of Global Christianity(Edinburgh University Press, 2009). In 2010 he returned to parish ministry, serving at Netherlorn in Argyll. He was also appointed to a Presbytery-wide pastoral carer role by the Presbytery of Argyll.
From 2012 he also served as an adviser to the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, chairing the final drafting committee for the Together Towards Lifemission affirmation (2012) and co-chairing the drafting committee for the Arusha Call to Discipleship(2018). Since 2014 he has been Series Editor of the Edinburgh Companions to Global Christianity (Edinburgh University Press). In 2016 he was awarded an OBE for services to the community in Malawi and Scotland-Malawi relations.
In 2019 resumed mission partner service with the Church of Scotland in Africa, working from a base with the CCAP at Zomba Theological College in Malawi on the development of theological education and leadership formation. Besides his regular teaching at Zomba Theological College, he is Visiting Professor at the University of Livingstonia, University of Nkhoma, Blantyre Synod University and Nile Theological College in Juba, South Sudan. He is also a consultant to the Theological Department of the Evangelical Church of Christ in Nampula, Mozambique. In January 2020 he was inducted as Associate Minister at Bemvu Parish, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Synod of Blantyre. Since March 2020 and the advent of the coronavirus pandemic he has been largely based in Zomba where he is writing, editing, teaching and working online with institutions and partners in a variety of contexts. In January 2022 he was appointed Dean of Postgraduate Studies with responsibility for the new Master of Theology programme in Contextual Theology. In December 2022 he was appointed Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Kenneth is married to Hester and they have three grown-up children.