Michael Stewart Robb
Christian Educator, Spiritual Director, Writer, Theologian
The first true inkling of my future I had in my senior year of high school when I told classmates that I wanted to do something with people. The first classes in life I had in which we discussed topics that seemed interesting and important were college classes in Christian Education and Ministry, leading me to take that as my major. I was exposed to foreign cultures in those years but it was, first, a graduate class in “Culture and Ministry” and, second, a summer in the Czech Republic which made me think I should work cross-culturally and in Europe.
I’m an American but I’ve been in Europe (mostly Germany) for thirteen years. When I started with my first church in Germany, I soon realized that I needed much more serious theological education in order to do my work as a cross-cultural missionary. Hence, I went to Aberdeen, Scotland to study Systematic Theology with the late John Webster (1955-2016) for two years. After returning to Germany, I started a doctorate at Tübingen. But God had better plans for me.
In 2012 — officially at Aberdeen, Scotland but living in Munich, Germany — I set out to write a PhD and in the process become an expert on Dallas Willard (1935-2013). In theological circles, announcing a research project on Dallas Willard isn’t quite as celebrated an undertaking as one on St. Augustine or other more familiar theologians. But I had an inkling that something important was there in this USC philosopher who moonlighted as a Bible teacher and author. I wasn’t disappointed. What I found was richer and more life-giving than I ever could have imagined. Theology. Spiritual Formation and Soul Care. Ministry Philosophy. The three themes of our work. Though I’m not a Willard-groupie (I have many other authors I draw from and do disagree with Willard on some key points), I do think he was on to something.
Now I feel called into a time of letting the world know.