Visiting Staff

David G. Cashin

David G. Cashin PhD

Subjects: Folk Islam, Spiritual Warfare

Dr. Cashin is professor of intercultural studies at Columbia Biblical Seminary and School of Missions. Dr. Cashin obtained his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Indology from Stockholm University, Sweden. For nine years Dr. Cashin served in Bangladesh with SIM International. Dr. Cashin is the author of several books and has published numerous articles on Islam and other subjects.

Leslie Foster MA(Linguistics)

Subjects: Tools for Language Learning

Leslie, originally from the USA but now living in New Zealand, spent eight years in Indonesia and Singapore teaching linguistics and English as a second or foreign language in two Indonesian universities, Kartidaya and Asia SIL. Since April 1999, Leslie has been a trainer for Wycliffe Bible Translators New Zealand where she has been teaching language learning and linguistics in New Zealand and around the Asia-Pacific area.

Russell Thorp

Russell Thorp MTh (merit), BMin, Dip Tch, DipTLA

Subjects: The Letter to the Romans

Russell is the NZ Missions Director for Global Connections in Mission. Russell grew up in PNG and has been involved in teaching and administration in Bible Colleges in PNG and NZ. Russell’s role is helping churches be more strategic in mission, having been involved in a variety of local and overseas mission initiatives. Russell and Pearl who manages Olive Shoots Early Childhood Centre at Laidlaw College, have four children and live in Auckland. Russell’s interests include fitness activities, reading, boating and spending time with family and friends.

Lewis Varley

Lewis Varley MA, BA(ICS), MA(BiblStud)


Subjects: Biblical Studies, Biblical Theology of Missions

Lewis worked as a lawyer in London for several years before becoming aware of God's call to missions. He served with SIM in Bangladesh from 1999 to 2016 in a variety of areas, including theological education, personnel and leadership. He and his wife Susie met in Bangladesh, and they have four children. He enjoys cricket and keeping up with world events.

Meryl (Becky) Bee

Meryl (Becky) Bee MEd(TESOL), BEd, GradDipMin, DipTchg(Secondary), ThA, Cert IV TESOL

Subjects: Children and Youth at Risk/in Crisis (Modules 1-3)

Becky enjoyed teaching secondary English, German and Study of Society before responding to God’s call in 1978 to train and serve with WEC. After French study, she taught in the Isiro Bible Institute in Zaire until evacuation in 1991. There followed 10 years on the Faculty of Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies and one year as Candidate Director in NZ before she married Graham in 2002. Currently Becky facilitates intensive courses - Children in Crisis, SYIS (sharpening your interpersonal skills), Cultural Anthropology, Member Care and ESOL in various parts of the world.

Chris Hill

Chris Hill MSc, MTh

Subjects: Cultural Anthropology

Chris’ experience of the world of missions began as the age of 8, when his family went to south India. Eight formative years there shaped his awareness of the scope of God’s work in the world. In 2003, while teaching English in Japan, Chris and his wife Lee sensed that God had other purposes for them in Japan. That required further training, so back in New Zealand Chris began an MTh exploring Christian rituals as culturally relevant modes of discipleship for Japanese Christians. Between 2007-2011 Chris and Lee spent 3 ½ years working in a small Japanese-led international church. Now Chris is the at-home-parent for his family of two girls and a baby boy. Chris enjoys writing poetry and theologically-themed garden landscaping projects at home.

Ron Barber

Ron Barber PhD

Subjects: Church Planting Across Cultures

Ron and his wife Amy served for 20 years church planting in Japan where they were missionaries with TEAM. They also served as permanent staff at Eastwest College for four years 2012-2015. They now teach in the Philippines at a Christian ministry traing college in Manila and remain members of TEAM.