Research Profile: Randall Prior

Research interests

Randall held the position of Professor of Ministry Studies and Missiology at the Uniting Church Theological College within the United Faculty of Theology and was, for nine years, the Principal of the Faculty. He is also the Director of Gospel Vanuatu Books which specialises in the publication of theology within the oral cultural context of Vanuatu.

Following five years of full-time ministry in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu in the 1980s, during the early post-colonial years of that nation, Randall became immersed in the emerging global issues of ‘Gospel and Culture’. This led to the creation of the ‘Gospel and Culture in Vanuatu’ movement. After his departure from Vanuatu he studied at Selly Oak Colleges (UK) during the latter era of Lesslie Newbigin’s involvement. This acted as a catalyst for a more formal investigation of ‘Gospel and Culture’ within the South Pacific and within Western cultures. His Masters Thesis offered a critique of the impact of the first missionary on the cultural context of Vanuatu and he followed this up with a recently awarded PhD on the Contextualisating of Theology in South Pacific Cultures.

Conscious of the challenges for the theology of people in oral cultures to be recognised globally, in collaboration with the ‘Gospel and Culture in Vanuatu’ movement he established a publishing company with the specific purpose of bringing the oral theology of Vanuatu into print. So far, eleven publications have been produced under this series. The current project focuses on the controversial and perplexing topic of ‘Vanuatu Women in Leadership’. Four volumes are planned, two of which have been completed.

Research supervision

no current supervision

Recent publications

Mission Education and Oral-based Cultures, Australian Journal of Mission Studies, (June 2018): 44-7

Vanuatu Women in Leadership, Vol 2 – Development. Melbourne: Gospel Vanuatu Books, 2018



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