Marvin Lee Anderson is a theologian and a consultant on congregational renewal and community development, with a particular vocational calling to teach, equip and mentor all those―ordained and lay ―who are called to ministry and leadership in rural as well as small membership congregations. Within the last year and a half, Marvin has also been serving as a lay interim minister to two different rural pastoral charges in Northern Waters Presbytery in Toronto Conference.
One of Marvin’s dreams for the church coincides with his lifelong passion for ministry and leadership development in local congregations as well as communities. Quoting the late Episcopal U.S. Bishop, Jim Kelsey, “Our professional leaders (clergy) need to shift their stance from being ministry deliverers to becoming ministry developers. This is a different job description, and it calls for different gifts than we might be looking for in a charismatic, lone-ranger parish priest…” Instead of delivering ministry, this intentional emphasis on ministry and leadership development is all about calling forth the various gifts of the Spirit among the very people to whom we minister―in order to help them incarnate the Gospel and living presence of Christ in their own community.
Marvin has taught for numerous theological faculties and seminaries in Canada and the U.S. over the past twenty years. In addition to working as a consultant and lay minister, his research as a Reformation historian and historical theologian while teaching at the University of Toronto have further informed his work as an adult educator and theological educator. Marvin channels his knowledge of the past “movers and shakers” of the historical church into his passion for engaging adults in reflecting on the meaning of their lives and Christian faith for today.
Marvin lives in the east end of Toronto with his wife of 25 years, and still relishes being a father of two sons, one of whom is attending King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and one soon to graduate from Riverdale Collegiate Institute. As the joke goes, dogs have masters and cats have staff, so Marvin also opens and closes doors daily in faithfully serving their two cats.
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