The Ridley Institute seeks to cultivate mature love for God, committed service to his church, and thoughtful engagement with his world. Because we believe the local church is God’s primary plan for spiritual growth and equipping, we pursue our mission by partnering with churches to promote biblically and theologically grounded discipleship.
From its earliest days, the Church has practiced educating her members in the Christian faith. Even a seasoned believer is still a learner (the basic meaning of the word “disciple”). To grow, a disciple requires consistent quality Christian Education. Without it, the Church becomes unstable, ineffective, and vulnerable to false teaching (see Hebrews 5:11-14, Ephesians 4:11-16, 2 Timothy 3:14-17). Unfortunately statistics show that the average churchgoer lacks basic knowledge in bible and doctrine. This urgent need for Christian Education is what motivates the mission of the Ridley Institute.
The Ridley Institute began as the St. Andrew’s School of Theology in 2009 and was renamed “The Ridley Institute,” in the Spring of 2012. The Institute’s namesake is the martyred Bishop of London, Nicholas Ridley. Upon his death Bishop Ridley was encouraged by his good friend and fellow bishop Hugh Latimer, with these words:
“Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man, for we shall this day light such a candle in England as I trust by God’ grace shall never be put out.” We seek to fan the flame of the Gospel faith that Ridley and many others gave their lives for through the work of the Ridley Institute.
What We Believe
We are committed to the authority of the Bible as God’s written Word for us. We also are anchored to the historic and global church by upholding the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed as necessary to be received by Christians and as thoroughly Biblical. In addition to the creeds, we maintain that the Articles of Religion of the Church of England are authoritative for Anglicans today, setting forth a precise confession of faith on many of the great points of Christian doctrine.
THE RT. REV’D STEPHEN D. WOOD – Bishop and Theological Advisor
Bishop Steve Wood is the Bishop of the Diocese of the Carolinas and the Rector of St. Andrew’s ~ Mount Pleasant, S.C. Bishop Wood upholds the importance of biblical and theological education and believes that this happens best in the local church. With the aim of presenting every Christian mature in Christ, he founded the School of Theology at St. Andrew’s, what is now the Ridley Institute, and continues to oversee its ministry.
THE REV’D CANON DR. ASHLEY NULL – Theological Advisor
As a teacher and advisor, Dr. Null is a vital resource to the Ridley Institute. His teaching and scholarly work focuses on the grace and gratitude theology of the English Reformation, and its lead reformer, Thomas Cranmer. Dr. Null is the author of Thomas Cranmer’s Doctrine of Repentance: Renewing the Power to Love and is currently working on a critical edition of Cranmer’s “Great Commonplaces.”
THE VERY REV’D PROF. CHRIS HANCOCK – Theological Advisor
Chris spans the world of academia, pastoral ministry and diplomacy as a theologian, advisor, mentor and specialist on Asia. He taught theology, Anglicanism and spirituality at Virginia in his 30s, having previously taught at Cambridge University. Since then he has been Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge, a Cathedral Dean, and for the last fifteen years Director of research institutions in Oxford and London.
THE REV’D RANDY FORRESTER – Director
Randy is an ordained pastor in the Anglican Church and is on staff at St. Andrew’s overseeing Christian Education and Equipping. In addition to teaching classes through Ridley, Randy advances the mission of the Institute and helps develop its curriculum for Christian Education.
KAREN GADDY – Program Coordinator
As a former Account Manager for Coca-Cola Consolidated, Karen leverages her business expertise to effectively coordinate Ridley’s programs. Through her love for people, she relishes the opportunity to engage and assist others in their faith walk.