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 wife, Udho, works for the Heartland Blood Center, and their daughter Naomi is a student at Aurora University (but carefully avoids taking any classes he teaches).
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 1970s, 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. 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 remains a trustee of the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths in Cambridge, and an occasional consultant to the International Council of Christians and Jews as they seek ways to include Muslims in their work.
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 the National Heart Hospital there. 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. He is currently an editor of a project for Cambridge University Press: Dictionary of Christian-Muslim Relations, and has also been contracted to write a book, provisionally entitled The Truth Will Set You Free. 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 has enjoyed and benefited from mentoring a succession of Spartan Fellows, Wackerlin Fellows and interns who have 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 was on sabbatical leave for the 2011-12 academic year, and is now a full professor of history.