Thinking Theology: Human trafficking & Sexual Violence (November 2016)

Join us at
Thinking Theology: Human trafficking & Sexual Violence
15–18 November 2016 

Take time to reflect on the Bible and be inspired to let God’s word shape your work.


What is ‘Thinking Theology’? 

Thinking Theology gatherings provide space to reflect on what the Bible has to say about the pursuit of justice and the way in which Christians do development work. We believe that our theology shapes who we are and how we live as disciples, and that it should guide our work as well. 

The gatherings aim to support theologians, church leaders and other Christian leaders working in relief and development, helping to envision and equip them for holistic mission. 

The conference challenged me to build the capacity of the church and to focus on the transformational development of God’s kingdom.’ (Testimonial from Thinking Theology: Bangladesh). 

‘The reflection was refreshingly inspiring and it has awakened a burden or concern in me about integral mission. I have taught “A Theology of Development” before, and the reflection challenged me to get more involved.’ (Testimonial from Thinking Theology Burkina Faso) 

Who are the organisers? 

Thinking Theology: Human trafficking and Sexual Violence is being coordinated by Tearfund, with the support of a number of local organisations and churches in South Asia.

Who is the gathering for?

Whether you’re involved in church ministry, working for an NGO, or teaching or studying theology, this gathering is for you. Please note: the content will be targeted at undergraduate level.


The gathering will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal.



The 'Thinking Theology: Human trafficking and sexual violence' gathering is now fully booked. If you wish to place your name on a waiting list please email You will need to provide the following details: 

  • Your name
  • The organisation/church you wish to represent
  • The country you are travelling from 
  • Your email address 

Please note: in the event that spaces become available, waiting list places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Who is speaking?

We are inviting pastors, theologians and Christian development practitioners from within the region to share their learning, wisdom and experiences with us. They will help us to explore how our faith and reading of the Bible can shape our work. But this gathering isn’t just about listening to others. It is going to be an interactive event, where you can ask questions, share your own thoughts and experiences, and develop new ways of working. Through discussion groups, workshops and reflection, you will have the opportunity to learn from other delegates. There will also be daily times of prayer and worship.

Meet three of our speakers...

Elaine StorkeyElaine Storkey is an English theologian, philosopher and sociologist. Elaine has authored many books, including her latest, Scars across humanity: Understanding and overcoming violence against women. She has considerable experience of writing for newspapers, as well as of teaching and researching in universities. After lecturing at Manchester College, Oxford, and Stirling University, she spent many years teaching and writing with the Open University, and presenting radio and television documentaries on gender, race and ethnicity. Following a time in the USA, Elaine became the Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity in 1991, a post she held until 1999. She also taught with King’s College London, and has held brief visiting professorships in Australia, Canada, Sweden, Haiti and Ethiopia. From 2003 to 2007, Elaine was a Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and is currently a member of Newnham College, Cambridge. 

Nikki Toyama-SzetoNikki Toyama-Szeto directs the International Justice Mission (IJM)’s Institute for Biblical Justice. In her role as Vice President of Global Strategies for Christian Engagement, she also oversees Global Prayer for the organisation. Nikki works with leaders of faith communities to help ignite a passion for biblical justice in the global church. 

The IJM Institute serves as an action-oriented think tank. Nikki directs the development of IJM’s educational materials and helps design its global prayer strategy. The Institute recently released God of justice, a curriculum for churches, which she co-authored. Nikki writes, speaks and teaches on behalf of IJM on the intersection of faith and justice at various forums, including the Underground Railroad Museum’s Freedom Summit, the First Ladies Initiative (hosted by Laura Bush) and the Micah Global Consultation (Peru, 2015). 

Prior to joining IJM, Nikki worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for 13 years. Most recently, she served as the programme director of Urbana, InterVarsity’s international conference of 18,000 young adults from 120 countries. She has served on the board of Mission Year, an urban immersion programme for young adults, and helped develop the programme for the 2010 Lausanne Global Congress. Her work has been profiled in Christianity Today and Rejuvenate Magazine (‘Forty under 40’). 

Before entering full-time ministry, Nikki worked as an engineer in Silicon Valley. Nikki has authored several books, including God of justice, Partnering with the global church and More than serving tea

Nikki received her degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. Nikki and her husband live with their two children in the Washington, DC, area. 

Prabu DeepanPrabu Deepan is a human rights activist and practitioner based in Sri Lanka. He has more than eight years of experience in working on HIV, sexual and reproductive health, gender and masculinities, with a specific focus on young people and the engagement of men and boys. He currently leads the evidence-based work being carried out by Tearfund’s Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) team around engaging men and boys in positive masculinities and gender equality. Prabu is the primary researcher for Tearfund’s Men, faith and masculinities baseline studies for the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi. The Transforming masculinities approach developed by Prabu is currently being implemented in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and is being adapted for Middle Eastern and South Asian contexts. 

Prior to joining Tearfund, Prabu was the Project Manager for Youth Engagement, Communications and Advocacy for CARE Sri Lanka’s project on Empowering Men to Engage and Redefine Gender Equality (EMERGE), and was part of the team that led the Broadening gender: Why masculinities matter study on masculinities in Sri Lanka as part of the UN multi-country study on men and violence in Asia and the Pacific. He also developed the policy and programming brief for working with youth to prevent and respond to SGBV, based on the findings of this study. Prabu is the co-founder of the STITCH Movement, a youth volunteer movement in Sri Lanka promoting activism and volunteering, with over 320 volunteers at present. 

Prabu is an alumnus of the US Department of State IVLP programme for youth leadership from 2011, and was the World Bank and IMF Youth Fellow for the spring meetings in 2013. Prabu holds an MBA awarded by the University of Wales, UK.

What is being covered?

The gathering will focus on issues relating to the challenges of human trafficking and sexual violence. Human trafficking and sexual violence are often hidden issues within communities. Nearly two-thirds of human trafficking victims are from Asia.

We will think about what scripture has to tell us about the church's call to respond to these issues, and how the following topics can impact on human trafficking and sexual violence:

  • gender relations
  • livelihoods and resilience
  • social inclusion and exclusion
  • healing and reconciliation

Our aim is to inspire and support the church to take action to prevent, challenge and end trafficking and sexual violence. We will do this by exploring theology that is directly and indirectly connected to trafficking and discussing what it means to apply this theology in practice. 

What language will the gathering be in?

The gathering will be in English.


If you have any questions about the gathering, please email You can also register your interest for Thinking Theology: Human Trafficking & Sexual Violence and join the mailing list by completing this short form.


After the gathering a conference report will be made available on this page.

We hope to see you there!

The Thinking Theology team