Prof. Johannes Eurich, holds a chair in Practical theology and diaconal studies at Heidelberg University, Germany. He earned a master’s degree from Bethel University, USA, a doctoral and post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) from Heidelberg University, Germany, and has held positions at the National German Research Fellowship (DFG), the Protestant University at Bochum, and Heidelberg University. Since 2009 he is also director of the institute for Diaconal Studies and was from 2013-2015 dean of the Theological Faculty at Heidelberg University. In 2011 he was awarded an extraordinary professorship in Practical Theology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He has lead several research projects of the European Union and has published and edited numerous journal articles, book chapters, books and reports. Prof. Eurich serves on the board of national and international diaconal and university organisations and is member of the editorial board of the international journal diaconia. Prof. Eurich has lectured in Australia, China, European countries, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan.
The Reverend Matthew Ross is Programme Executive for Diakonia and Capacity Building with the World Council of Churches (since June 2018), based in Geneva, Switzerland. He was editor of the joint WCC and ACT Alliance document “Called to Transformation: Ecumenical Diakonia” (published in 2022) and has contributed to many other publications, including the “International Handbook on Ecumenical Diakonia”. He has organised numerous capacity building residential seminars for diakonia and sustainable development for the WCC in partnership with the All Africa Conference of Churches and the Christian Conference of Asia. He is also a member of the Board of Interdiac, based in the Czech Republic.
Matthew is from Scotland. He has degrees in law and divinity from the University of Edinburgh. He also has a postgraduate Master of Theology degree from the University of Glasgow. He is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland. He served as a parish minister for ten years in local congregations, where he developed a keen interest in Diakonia at the local level. He has extensive experience in and commitment to ecumenical relations at local, national and international levels. He was an Executive Secretary of the Church & Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches, based in Brussels, Belgium (2003-2009) and General Secretary of Action of Churches Together in Scotland (2014-2018).
Eurodiaconia is a European network of churches and Christian NGOs providing social and health care services and advocating social justice. Its membership represents the needs and unique experiences of 51 national and regional organisations in 32 countries. Eurodiaconia hosts the office of ReDi. This means that Eurodiaconia collects and administrates the membership fees and coordinates the newsletter and the website.
Vera Nygård is the ReDi contact person at Eurodiaconia. Vera is Head of Membership Services, Projects and Engagement at Eurodiaconia in Brussels. Since 2020 she works among other topics on Eurodiaconia’s research agenda, EU-funding policies, European social policy, and international project development. Vera holds a research degree (Lic.Phil.) in Ethnology from Åbo Akademi University in Finland. After having worked as a researcher in social history projects for a few years, she relocated to Sydney, Australia to study pastoral leadership and work in social outreach projects. In Brussels she has also worked for the information service of the European Commission and the Salvation Army EU Affairs Office.
Rev. Godwin G.D. Ampony comes from the Republic of Ghana and is a minister of the Gospel. He is also a development and diaconia expert. He holds from his previous studies a Bachelor in Theology, Bachelor of Science in Integrated Development Studies, and Intermediate certificate from Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana. Rev. Ampony has worked previously in public health on HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria prevention programmes. His interest is deeply rooted in diaconic actions for addressing social and economic determinants of health outcomes, trauma healing training programs, and ageing programs in the local context as diaconic actions. Rev. Ampony is working with the United Evangelical Mission – (UEM) in Germany as Coordinator, International Diaconia with responsibility for International Master of Arts Diaconic Management (IMADM) and also the Course Mentor for the same. He has co-edited the International Handbook on Ecumenical Diakonia (2021).
Rev. Ampony is studying for his PhD at the University of Bielefeld in Germany. His doctoral research topic focuses on “Social and Economic Impact Measurement of Lymphatic Filariasis, Soil – Transmitted Helminthiasis, Schistosomiasis, and Onchocerciasis: A study on Ghana’s progress toward Sustainable Development Goal – SDG Agenda 2030”.
Jacques Beukes is a senior lecturer in practical theology at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Theology and Religion. He specializes in the fields of youth and children’s ministry, diaconal studies, theology and development, congregational studies, social justice and community development and has published various articles, book chapters and a book in these areas of study. He previously lectured at Hugenote College. He is also an ordained reverend in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern-Africa.
ThD Suvi-Maria Saarelainen is a university lecturer of Applied studies of Theology at Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland. Her teaching consists of courses in pastoral care, chaplaincy, and existential wellbeing and focuses on the work life skills of theologians.
In her doctoral thesis of pastoral theology (2017) she studied the experience of meaning in life among young adults with cancer. Themes such as meaning, holistic wellbeing and (religious) coping in pastoral care and diaconia are at the heart of her research interests. In her post-doctoral studies Suvi has studied care and spirituality in palliative care; the use of technologically assisted existential care among older people; experience of meaning among the troubled youth as well as holistic wellbeing of postgraduate students. Starting from the spring 2020, she has been working with two Covid-19 related studies and is trying to figure out how the pandemic has impacted to the experience of meaning and how the employees of the church find their work-related wellbeing during the pandemic.
Suvi-Maria Saarelainen is a part of the editorial team of Diakonian Aikakauskirja (Finnish Journal of Diaconia) as she has been working as editorial secretary of the journal since 2018. She has been a member of ReDi since 2016.
Janka Adameová is Director of the International Academy for Diaconia and Social Action, Central and Eastern Europe (interdiac), based in the Czech Republic. She has an MA in Diaconic Management. She is an expert in international project management and in vocational and specialisation training for youth, social & diaconal workers. In 2008, jointly with Tony Addy she founded interdiac, which currently has 15 partner organisations in 13 different countries in Central and Eastern Europe and joint work with churches and organisations in a growing number of countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
In interdiac, Janka leads and supervises the working & learning process and manages the projects with a small core team. Interdiac is an innovative learning community which organises specialised international programmes in Diaconia and Social Practice as well as having an active research platform which is recognised by ReDi and a publishing programme. Janka also leads the international voluntary service programme of Silesian Diaconia. Janka is fluent in Slovak/Czech, English, German & Russian and can communicate in basic Spanish