Revd Ash Barker

Revd Ash Barker BA, MA, PhD (MCD)

Lecturer in Urban Leadership, MA & PhD Supervisions (Visiting Lecturer)


Rev’d Dr Ash Barker is a pioneering urban activist, leadership developer, writer and Minister. A husband to a force of nature and Dad to 2 amazing kids, Ash spent over 25 years immersed and ministering in urban poverty contexts in his native Melbourne and Bangkok’s largest slum.

Since November 2014 Ash has been based in Lesslie Newbigin’s old inner city, multi-racial parish of Winson Green, Birmingham (UK) living in a residential community, seeking renewal of this neighbourhood as a Pioneer Minister and modelling what a seedbed for urban change might look like. (NewbiginHouse.uk).

Ash founded and leads Newbigin School for Urban Leadership (NewbiginSchool.uk) which partners with NTC for formal studies (MA, PhD supervision) as well as emerging leaders programmes like UrbanChangeMakers.org to mobilise, prepare and equip Christians leaders for our new urban world.

In 2018 Ash began working with Dr Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne and a core group of key UK activists, communicators and leaders to instigate ‘Red Letter Christians UK’. As Executive Director, Ash hopes to see RedLetterChristians.uk become a Christian movement taking Jesus and justice seriously in the UK, as well as mobilising, connecting and amplifying diverse UK voices responding to this call for radical discipleship.

Ash earned his PhD from Melbourne College of Divinity (now University of Divinity) with a thesis on a Christian response to the rise of urban poverty. He is the author of 8 books including ‘Risky Compassion’, ’Slum Life Rising’ and ‘Make Poverty Personal’ and speaks and lectures widely. Ash co-founded and led Urban Neighbours of Hope(UNOH.org 1993-2014), as well as Surrender Conferences (Surrender.org.au 2003-2007) and Micah Global/World Evangelical Alliance’s Urban Shalom Society (UrbanShalomSociety.org Nov 2012-2018, formerly known as International Society for Urban Mission) all of which now carry on very well without him!