Sr Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ

Gemma Simmonds is a sister of the Congregation of Jesus.  She is a senior research fellow at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology in Cambridge, UK, where she is director of the Religious Life Institute, teaching Christian spirituality and pastoral theology. An international speaker and lecturer, she is an honorary fellow of Durham University, past president of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain and chair of trustees of the ecumenical Community of St. Anselm based at Lambeth Palace, London.  Gemma is an ecumenical canon of the Church in Wales and lectured in theology at Heythrop College, University of London from 2005 until its closure in 2018, specialising in Christian spirituality.  She has trained candidates for religious life and ordination in the Catholic and Anglican churches and been a spiritual director and retreat giver for over 30 years.

Gemma has been a missionary in Brazil, a chaplain in the Universities of Cambridge and London and a chaplaincy volunteer in Holloway Prison for 25 years.  She is a regular broadcaster on religious matters on the BBC, Radio Maria England and other radio and television networks.

Recent publications include:

Conspiracy Theories and Ignatian Discernment’ in Martin Dojčár ed., How Do We Discern Conspiracy Theories? (Trnava University Press, 2023)

Contributions on ‘What it Means to be Human’ and ‘Living a Religious Life’ in Peter Vardy ed., The Philosophers’ Daughters, (London, Darton, Longman and Todd, 2023)

‘Religieus Leven: de Toekomst Onderscheiden’ in Henk Witte and Arnold Smeets eds., Religieus leven met toekomst, (Berne Media, Tilburg University, 2023)

Dancing at the Still Point: Retreat Practices for Busy Lives (London, SPCK, July 2021)

Religious Life: Discerning the Future (with María Calderón-Muñoz), Joint Project Report for the Religious Life Institute and Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University, 2020

‘Reflections on Mary and Mission’ in Susan Lucas ed., God’s Church in the World: the Gift of Catholic Mission, (London, Canterbury Press, 2020)

‘Mystical Ecclesiology’ in Mark McIntosh and Edward Howells, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Mystical Theology, (Oxford, OUP, 2020)

Perfectae Caritatis’ in Richard Gaillardetz, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Second Vatican Council, (Cambridge, CUP, 2020)

‘Mary Ward: a Hidden Life in Painting’ in Kathryn Kerby-Fulton and Kate Bugyis eds., Women Leaders and Intellectuals of the Medieval World, (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020)

‘Women at the Grassroots’ Level of Church Leadership’, in Gunter Prüller-Jagenteufel et al., (eds.), Towards Just Gender Relations: Rethinking the Role of Women in Church and Society, Religion and Transformation in Contemporary European Society, vol. 13, (Vienna University Press, 2019), 29-36

‘Hearing the Call: a Theology of Vocation’ in Kevin J. Alban, ed., A Festschrift for Wilfrid McGreal, (Rome, Edizioni Carmelitane, 2019)

The Way of Ignatius: a Prayer Journey through Lent, (London, SPCK, 2018)