Russell is currently on staff at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, as the Senior Associate, and is the Assistant Director of Fuller Seminary’s Institute for Recovery Ministry.
He was previously on faculty at Duke Divinity School as professor of Practical Theology and Community Development. He recently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge’s Psychology and Religion Research Group, where he explored redemptive narratives and models of the church’s ministry of reconciliation in cities.
Russell received his MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary and his PhD at Texas Tech University. His dissertation explored how women construct alternative narratives of redemption from years of sustained trauma and abuse.
While at Texas Tech, he was the Associate Director at The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery, and managed a grant from the Department of Education, responsible for the replication model helping to establish collegiate recovery communities in campuses across the US.
From 1996-2008, Russell was Associate Pastor of Houston’s Chapelwood United Methodist Church and founding pastor of Mercy Street. The Mercy Street community grew to over 900 people and consisted of 30 community volunteer teams.