Ryan Turnbull

Ryan Turnbull

Department of Theology and Religion
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Toward a Christian Grammar of Place
Supervisors: Jeremy Kidwell and Karen Wenell
Home country: Canada
PhD Theology and Religion


  • BA in Biblical and Theological Studies, 2013, Providence University College
  • MA in Theological Studies, 2017, Providence Theological Seminary


I grew up on a small cattle ranch on the Canadian Prairies. I went on to study Theology and Biblical Studies at Providence University College and Theological Seminary in Otterburne, MB, Canada from 2010-2017. After graduation I taught online courses for Thorneloe University and became the Director of CHAI Immigrant Centre in Winnipeg, MB. I became interested in questions of place as a result of the convergence of my agrarian upbringing, my work with newcomers, and the ongoing reconciliation work that my denomination (Anglican Church of Canada) is engaged in with Indigenous Peoples. I am currently a postulant for ordination with the Diocese of Rupert’s Land and my hope is that my research can contribute to new ways for Indigenous, Settler, and Newcomer peoples to live together as Treaty people in an increasingly pluralized country.


My research is focused on Christian concepts of place. There has been a deep ambivalence around the concept of place in Christian theology and Western philosophy more broadly. This ambivalence to place has contributed to the colonial displacement of racialized peoples world-wide and has made space for the commodification of everything which is a major factor in our current ecological crisis. In Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, Francis wrote, “The history of our friendship with God is always linked to particular places” (§84). In articulating a coherent theology of place, I hope to contribute to the life of the church, such that the formerly displaced bodies human and non-human creatures discover the joy of the gospel promise in Christ’s words “I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn. 14:3).

Other activities

  • Member, CATA – Canadian American Theological Association (2017-Present)
  • Member, Society for the Study of Theology (2019-present)
  • Member, European Academy of Religion (2019-present)
  • I teach pastoral theology at Thorneloe University (Sudbury, ON, Canada)
  • I also TA for Dr. Robert Dean at Providence Theological Seminary
  • Fall, 2019 Invited Lecturer, Star Lake Lodge Lecture: “Toward a Christian Grammar of Place”
  • Winter, 2018 Guest Lecturer, Providence Theological Seminary Course Title: Church and the Mission of God,                         Lecture: “The Sacramental Life in Ecumenical Perspective”
  • Fall, 2018 “Scripture, Violence, and Peace” (CATA) –Wycliffe College, Toronto School of Theology; Scheduled to present a paper entitled, “Violence and the Foundations of Place.”
  • Spring, 2018 Congress for the Humanities (CATA) – University of Regina; Presented paper entitled, “Toward a Christian Theology of Place: Wendell Berry and Linguistic Theology after Wittgenstein.”
  • President’s Academic Scholarship ($1000/yr, 3 yrs)
  • Stanley Ray Scholarship (£10,000/yr, 3 yrs)
  • Academia.eduhttps://bham.academia.edu/RyanTurnbull
  • Linkedin


  • 2019 Turnbull, Ryan. “A Tale of Two Fields.” Rupert’s Land News (Forthcoming, December 2019).
  • 2019 Turnbull, Ryan. “Humans and Humus: In Search of a Christian Ecology.” Rupert’s Land News (May, 2019) 15-16, .
  • 2018 Turnbull, Ryan. “The Gift of the Church: A More Excellent Form of Life.” Didaskalia 28 (2017-18): 1-28.
  • 2018 Turnbull, Ryan. “The Day We Become Friends of God.” The Messenger, (March, 2018): 6-9.