Dr John M. Usher BA, MA, PhD

Image of Honorary Research Fellow, Dr John M. Usher

Department of Theology and Religion
Honorary Research Fellow

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a Church historian with a specialism in the history of Pentecostalism. I am also the founder and editor of the Polhill Collection Online: a unique collection of rare missionary-related Evangelical and Pentecostal papers from the private collection of the Anglican-Pentecostal pioneer Cecil H. Polhill (1860-1938).


  • BA (University of York)
  • MA (Bangor University/Regents Theological College)
  • PhD (University of Birmingham).


I was born in Scotland but have lived most of my life in England. Between 2003-2006, I read Applied Social Science at the University of York. After graduating I worked in a vibrant, international and student-orientated Pentecostal church for four years. During this time, I read for an MA in Theology. I began pursuing doctoral research, on the significance of the Anglican-Pentecostal pioneer Cecil H. Polhill (1860-1938), in 2012 at the University of Birmingham. 

Other activities

I have been a visiting lecturer of Church history, at the University of Roehampton, since 2012. I am also a keen amateur Christian apologist and convener of the Kidbrooke Village Lecture series, in London. The lectures bring together curious members of the general public and highly esteemed professional scientists to explore the intersection betweeen faith and science. I am also a frequent visitor to mainland China and have some proficiency in Mandarin.


  • “Cecil Henry Polhill: The Patron of the Pentecostals.” Pneuma (Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies) Vol.34/No.1 (2012), p37-56.