Welcome New GSC Scholars – John & Anne Span

John & Anne will begin serving with Global Scholars Canada in South Africa in 2020. They have many years of international travel, education, and mission behind them already, and they are excited to embark on their newest adventure at Mukhanyo Theological College. John will serve as a Senior Lecturer in Theology and Anne will teach ESL. Both will contribute to a theological writing centre.

COVID-19 restrictions have delayed the Span’s move to South Africa, but they are busy gathering necessary documents and growing their support base before they begin their roles at Mukhanyo Theological College. They hope to move in August 2020.


The Spans are no strangers to international ministry, and they served in Guinea and Egypt while earning their training and education, as well as raising 3 boys! In Guinea (2000-2011) John mentored upcoming pastors and helped to set up an association of Christian schools. In Egypt (2012-2015) John was the vice-principal of the Alexandria School of Theology. He also managed the Cairo branch, developed and taught the curriculum for the Theological English Course, and taught the Egyptian teachers how to teach adults. Anne taught ESL to all ages throughout their years abroad, as well as trained ESL teachers.

John earned a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) from University of Guelph in 1980, a Masters in Christian Studies from Regent College, Vancouver in 1985, and a Master’s of Theology (2016) and a Ph.D. in Theology/Apologetics (2019) from The John Calvin Faculty, Aix en Provence, France.

Anne is trained as an ESL teacher, and also as a trauma counsellor.

Serving with Global Scholars Canada

John & Anne spent a couple of months at Mukhanyo in early 2020. John taught a few theology classes, Anne taught ESL classes, and they got to know the people and the community well during their time there.

Mukhanyo Theological College accepts Christian students of all kinds of different backgrounds with the hope to influence the way they serve God. It also trains theological students to become teachers in government schools as a way to provide for their families while influencing many young minds…

Mukhanyo has a wide reach in Africa. Presently it has students from Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe, and distance classes in five other African countries. That makes it a critical resource and opportunity for thousands of students…

The college is highly regarded in the community. Its 26-years of existence has already served 5,000 students.

John’s Work in Muslim Relations & Missiology

John’s research into critically understanding ministry to Muslims is vital for the church today. If we are to love our Muslim neighbours, we need to engage them and their sacred Scriptures in a way that not only builds bridges but also takes our fundamental differences seriously. Dr. Span has written specifically on the subject of what faithful engagement with Islam looks like, and how the Quran might be used—or not—in bearing witness to Muslims. John’s research is incredibly important, potentially perilous, and especially relevant to the religiously divided continent of Africa.

Read John’s publications online:

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