Martin Forward was an Air Force brat – his father was in the Royal Air Force from 1935-69 – and he spent his childhood in Singapore, the Isle of Man and Aden, as well as England. This taught him adaptability, a love of travel and great curiosity about different cultures. His late wife Udho worked for the Heartland Blood Centers, and their daughter Naomi was a student at Aurora University and now plays around with numbers in the world of finance.
Before moving to the United States in 2001, Martin was Academic Dean of Wesley House in Cambridge, England, and a member of Cambridge University’s Faculty of Divinity, where he lectured in Christian theology and Jewish-Christian relations. In the 1970’s, he worked for the Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies, a Christian organization of mission and dialogue with Muslims in Hyderabad, India. He was a founding director of the Centre for Jewish Christian Relations in Cambridge, which is now the Woolf Institute, dedicated to Interfaith Research, Teaching and Dialogue. As one of the few Christian scholars with expertise in interfaith dialogue with both Jews and Muslims, he has been in demand as a consultant by prestigious organizations. He was an occasional consultant to the International Council of Christians and Jews, and remains a trustee of the Woolf Institute.
Martin is an ordained British Methodist minister and was also ordained deacon in the Church of South India. He was a church pastor for 13 years, as well as chaplain to Methodist students in London University and to London’s National Heart Hospital. In December 2002, he delivered the prestigious Cambridge Teape Lectures in Delhi and Hyderabad, India. These were published in 2008 as The Nature and the Name of Love: Religion for the Contemporary World. He has edited two books and authored seven books (some of which have been translated into German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian) and has written numerous academic articles. Martin greatly relishes teaching AU students. He has taken many of them on trips to diverse places of worship in Chicago and the western suburbs, and to see Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy places in Turkey. He has the habit of mentoring soccer students, and at one time enjoyed and benefited from mentoring a succession of Spartan Fellows, Wackerlin Fellows and interns who worked with him for a year, after their graduation, in the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action, of which he was the executive director from 2001-2011. He is now a full professor of history.