I am a Presbyterian minister and retired theological educator and historian of Christian mission living in Dunedin New Zealand. I am a writer, researcher and teacher with a background in the study of Reformed Christianities, Southeast Asian church history, and church and mission archives. I have a special interest in Malaysian church history.

Prior to training for the Presbyterian Ministry I worked as a telecommunications engineer with the New Zealand Post Office in Dunedin and Wellington.

From 1975 to 1978 I studied in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen and completed my doctorate on the Scottish Evangelical Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847).

After returning to New Zealand I was in parish ministry at Kelburn and Brooklyn in Wellington from 1979 to 1983 when I joined the overseas staff of the Presbyterian-Methodist Council for Mission and was appointed as a teacher at Seminary Theology Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. I was faculty member in charge of the library, taught biblical studies and church history and was active in the Malaysian Church History Society encouraging denominational and local histories as a foundation for other historical and theological studies.

In 1991 I took up the position of Head of Department of Mission Studies at the Auckland campus of the Bible College of New Zealand (now Laidlaw College) developing courses in the history and theology of mission, world religions and Third World theologies.

In 1999 I became Coordinator of Lay and Recognised Ministry Training at the School of Ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand in Dunedin and worked with elders and locally ordained ministers and developed online and class-room courses at diploma and post-graduate level for Presbyterian and Reformed Studies.

After retirement in April 2008 I continued part-time teaching of Presbyterian Studies through the Ecumenical Institute for Distance Theological Studies in Christchurch until 2015. I remain involved in thesis supervision at the University of Otago.

I am an Honorary Fellow at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Otago and was from 2009 to 2015 a Visiting Scholar at Trinity Theological College Singapore involved in their study programme on  Christianity in Southeast Asia.

From 1992 to 2005 I was chair of the Documentation, Archives and Bibliography workgroup of the International Association for Mission Studies of which I became an honorary life member in 2012. For some years I was a board member of World Vision New Zealand. 

From 2014 to 2016, I was  President of the Otago Phoenix Club, a registered charity promoting exercise for phase III cardiac rehabilitation. I was Treasurer of the Alliance Française de Dunedin from 2014 to 2017.


Handbook of Popular Spiritual Movements in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, Michael Nai-Chiu Poon and John Roxborogh eds., Singapore: Trinity Theological College, 2015.

A history of Christianity in Malaysia, STM Series, Singapore: Genesis Books, 2014.

Mission, Memory and Communion: Documenting World Christianity in the Twenty-First Century, Michael Nai-Chiu Poon, A Rostkowski, OMI and John Roxborogh eds., Singapore: Trinity Theological College, 2013. 

“Freedom of Religion 3. Asia, Africa, Latin America.” in Hans Dieter Betz, et al, (eds.) Religion Past and Present. Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion vol. 5, Leiden, Brill, 248, 2009.

“Asia, Southeast” and “Technology” in Jonathan Bonk, ed., Encyclopedia of missions and missionaries, New York and London, Routledge. 2007.

 “Persistent Presbyterianism? Lay leadership and the future of the Reformed tradition.” In John Stenhouse and Brett Knowles, eds., Christianity in the post-secular West, Adelaide, ATF Press, 241-255. 2007.

“Christianity in South East Asia: 1914-2000.” In McLeod, Hugh, ed. World Christianities. Vol. 9, The Cambridge History of Christianity.Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2006.

“Mapping the Evangelical Landscape in New Zealand.” In Susan and William Emilsen, eds. Mapping the Landscape: Essays in Australian and New Zealand Christianity, festschrift for Ian Breward , New York: Peter Lang, 318-331, 2000.

“The history and scope of BISAM within IAMS: 1972 - 1992.” In Teresa Okure, SHCJ, ed. To Caste Fire Upon the Earth: Bible and Mission Collaborating in Today’s Multicultural Global Context, Pietermaritzburg , South Africa: Cluster Publications, 2000.

Thomas Chalmers Enthusiast for Mission: The Christian Good of Scotland and the Rise of the Missionary Movement. Edinburgh : Rutherford Studies in Historical Theology, Carlisle: Paternoster Press. 1999, 2000.

“Südostasien.” In Karl Müller and Werner Ustorf, eds. Einleitung in die Missionsgeschichte Tradition. Situation und Dynamik des Christentums.Stuttgart : Kohlhammer: 143-158. 1995.

“The Roman Catholic Church,” “The Presbyterian Church,” and “The Story of Ecumenism.” In Robert Hunt, Lee Kam Hing and W. John Roxborogh, eds. Christianity in Malaysia. A denominational history. Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk: 1-33, 75-106, 277-322, 1992.

A Common Voice: a history of the ecumenical movement in Malaysia, Ecumenism in Malaysia series, 1. Series editors Varghese George, John Roxborogh, and Yeoh Seng Guan. Petaling Jaya: Resource, Research and Communication Unit, Council of Churches of Malaysia, 1991.

A Bibliography of Christianity in Malaysia, Malaysian Church History Series No.2. Kuala Lumpur : Seminari Theoloji Malaysia and the Catholic Research Centre, 1990.

 “South-East Asia.” In L. Pirouet, ed. Church History 4: Christianity Worldwide. TEF Study Guide 22. London : SPCK: 81-97. 1989.              

 “Ministry to all the people? The Anglican Church in Malaysia.” in W. J. Sheils and D. Wood, eds. The Ministry: Clerical and Lay. Studies in Church History, 26. Oxford : Blackwell: 423-431, 1989.

 A Short Introduction to Malaysian Church History. Malaysian Church History Series No.1. Kuala Lumpur : Seminari Theoloji Malaysia and the Catholic Research Centre. Second edition, 1989, 1987.

(with Stuart Piggin) The St Andrews Seven. Edinburgh : Banner of Truth Trust. 1985.  Korean edition, Seoul, SFC, 2002.