Rev. Robert Heaney

The Rev. Robert S. Heaney, Ph.D., D.Phil.

Professor of Theology and Mission

The Rev. Robert S. Heaney, Ph.D., D.Phil., is Professor of Theology and Mission. Dr. Heaney’s areas of expertise include intercultural theology, mission theology, and World Anglicanism.

  • Ph.D., Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin
  • D.Phil., University of Oxford
  • Th.M., University of Oxford
  • B.A., London School of Theology

The Rev. Robert S. Heaney’s research and teaching at VTS focus on the development of critical and constructive missiology that provides students with a passion for the field, without shying away from difficult issues or resulting in ministries characterized by missiological isolationism or reductionism.

Dr. Heaney has experience in teaching and ministry on three continents. He travels extensively and is often invited to lecture, consult, and preach throughout the wider Church and Anglican Communion. As a theologian of culture, he seeks to nourish theological imagination that is ever cognizant of social location and the theological inevitability and necessity of contextualization and inter-contextualization. As an Anglican theologian, he has a particular interest in modern World Anglicanism and the emergence of a renewed Anglican Communion.

In 2022, the Archbishop of Canterbury awarded Dr. Heaney with the St. Augustine’s Cross for services to the Anglican Communion.

Widely published, his books include:

  • From Historical to Critical Post-Colonial Theology (Wipf & Stock, 2016).
  • Post-Colonial Theology: Finding God and Each Other Amidst the Hate (Cascade, 2019).
  • The Promise of Anglicanism with William L. Sachs (SCM, 2019).
  • Building Dialogue: Stories, Scripture, and Liturgy in International Peacebuilding, Senior Editor (Seabury Books, 2022).
  • God’s Church for God’s World, Senior Editor (Church Publishing, 2020).
  • Reconciling Practices: Listening, Praying and Witnessing in the Midst of Division, Senior Editor (VTS Press, 2022).
  • When Churches in Communion Disagree, Editor (Pickwick, 2022).
  • Faithful Neighbors: Christian-Muslim Vision and Practice, Senior Editor (Morehouse, 2016).

Prior to joining the faculty of VTS in 2013, Heaney was director of Postgraduate Studies and Research at St. John’s University of Tanzania, where he was also Senior Lecturer in the School of Theology and Religious Studies. Dr. Heaney was ordained a priest in the Church of Ireland in 2002 and has been active in parishes in Ireland, England, Tanzania, and the United States of America.

He is married to Seminary faculty member Sharon E. Heaney, Ph.D., and they have one son, Sam.