Sabbatical Fellows

We are now offering a Sabbatical Fellow programme for pastors, laypeople, and missionaries based in the UK or abroad. The aim of the programme is to provide time and space for research and theological reflection on the Methodist, Wesleyan, and Evangelical traditions. Applicants are not required to have academic specialism in these traditions. Proposed projects might be (but are not limited to) development of a sermon series, a teaching series on the history, theology, and/or spirituality of an aspect of the Wesleyan tradition, youth programmes, spirituality programmes, a congregational history, or a liturgy.

The Manchester Wesley Research Centre library and Nazarene Theological College (NTC) library and archives will be available. If necessary for the project, the MWRC will help facilitate access to the internationally renowned Methodist Archives and Research Centre at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, and the University of Manchester Library. Additionally, we can help you connect with faculty at NTC, pastors and churches in the Manchester area, and Methodist historical sites in the UK.  

Accommodation will be provided for 2 to 3 weeks on the campus of Nazarene Theological College. (Requests for longer stays at the Sabbatical visitor’s expense will be considered as availability of accommodation allows.) All other expenses are the responsibility of the Sabbatical visitor. Accommodation is limited on campus, but is most readily available from July to early September. If suitable accommodation is available, spouses may accompany the Sabbatical visitor, but will need to pay for the accommodation at a discounted rate. It is generally not possible to accommodate children in campus housing.

Applications should consist of 1) a short proposal of approximately one page including the title, scope, sources, and intended outcomes of the project; 2) a short CV; 3) the name and contact details of a pastoral reference; 4) an indication (even if provisional) of your preferred dates of residency and whether you intend to bring family with you. Application materials should be sent to the MWRC Director, Geordan Hammond ( by 31 January 2020.

For information on the related Visiting Fellow programme and the ‘Orientation to Research in Manchester’ guide, see:

Reflections from the Revd Donna Fowler-Marchant, a United Methodist Church pastor and sabbatical visitor in summer 2017: ‘I would highly recommend MWRC to any pastor or researcher who is considering a sabbatical or study leave. The level of hospitality and wealth of knowledge made this one of the most enjoyable and helpful aspects of my immersion into the world of John Wesley.’  

Past Sabbatical Fellows

2018: Our first sabbatical fellow was Revd Douglas Childress, Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (Tallinn, Estonia), who worked on a seminary project on translating Wesley's Standard Sermons and then preaching and publishing modern versions preached by current educators and church leaders in Estonian. A video of his presentation on ‘What Would Wesley Preach?’ can be found here.

2019: Tarmo Lilleoja, a member of the Estonian Methodist Church who is involved in publishing the Upper Room devotional in Estonian.