Welcome to my website. I am Professor John Kersey, educationalist, musician and Anglican clergyman. I work internationally, leading a group of private-sector educational organizations at the university level that offer bespoke professional education for high achievers, as well as maintaining a busy consultancy in my specialism of comparative international education, chiefly for the benefit of law firms in the United States preparing immigration petitions. Alongside these commitments, I am an award-winning concert pianist, having founded my own niche recording label which now features over one hundred world premiere CD recordings of piano music of the Romantic era, including the first ever recording of a rediscovered Beethoven piano sonata. Following eighteen years of lay service in the Church, I undertook ministerial training and was ordained as a non-stipendiary minister in 2006. Since 2008, I have been a senior clergyman in the Apostolic Episcopal Church, one of the older “continuing” Anglican communions, and in 2015 succeeded as that church’s fifth Primate and Presiding Bishop.
I combine this diverse and demanding portfolio of professional and vocational commitments with several wide-ranging avocations, including but not limited to the study of nobiliary and chivalric law and tradition, a limited amount of pro bono consultancy on specialized aspects of law, the study of Western esotericism, new country projects, and speaking and writing on matters affecting our society and culture from a traditionalist perspective.
I serve as Chancellor for two sister universities, the Western Orthodox University, which was founded in 1945, and European-American University, which I co-founded in 2003. These institutions are enabled by the Western Orthodox University’s degree-granting powers under its corporate charter awarded in 2007 by the Commonwealth of Dominica, with European-American University additionally holding a Royal Charter from a reigning African monarch. Both universities hold validation agreements with universities in Central America, with this network extending to over twenty university-level institutions. Under my leadership the Universities have established a network of over twenty affiliated campuses, principally located in sub-Saharan Africa, which deliver programmes leading to their awards, targeting principally mid-career professionals seeking a bespoke educational experience. I have been fortunate to attract a number of exceptional people to become part of the work of the Universities as faculty and advisors, and the overall network of tutorial and examining expertise now embraces a family of many hundreds.
After several years of close professional association, I became International President of OXCEL – the Oxford Centre for Leadership, in 2013, and head this institution which trains and recognizes leaders in many fields, being particularly active in south-east Asia. I also hold consulting, honorary and emeritus professorships at universities on three continents, most notably a Full Professorship in the International Program of my alma mater the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica (Business University of Costa Rica), where I earned an MBA and PhD.
I have worked as a consultant in comparative international education since 2005, following a teaching career in colleges and universities in the UK and abroad that had included positions in teaching, administration and management. In that year, I joined Career Consulting International, a foreign credential evaluation firm headquartered in Florida, USA, and worked closely with CCI’s Executive Director, Dr Sheila Danzig, to take the business forward to its present success. Specializing in the most difficult and demanding credential-related work, particularly responding to Referrals for Evidence, denials and appeals in United States immigration petitions, I have prepared over five thousand expert opinions on education for use before what is now the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, and in my role as Director of Expert Opinion Services work with a team of field experts and our client law firms, which include numerous prominent and successful immigration law practices. I am also an expert on distance education and the phenomenon of diploma mills, and have argued that many aspects of the treatment of these phenomena represent the protectionism of the education establishment as it attempts to stifle any form of disruptive innovation. I have consulted professionally in these areas for clients around the world.
My initial training was as a concert pianist. I was educated at the Royal College of Music – firstly as a Local Authority Junior Exhibitioner from the age of fourteen, and subsequently as an undergraduate and postgraduate. While at the RCM, I was the winner of twelve prizes and awards, graduated with First Class Honours as the top pianist of my year, and pursued research into nineteenth-century performance history that led directly to my subsequent recording and concert projects. I also undertook graduate study at Christ’s College, Cambridge, before returning to the RCM to take up a Junior Fellowship.
My professional career as a musician began at the age of sixteen, embracing not only solo piano work but also work as a collaborative artist, choral and operatic répétiteur (for which I trained at English National Opera), organist and continuo harpsichordist. I performed at venues in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, and for several years was very busy with freelance work, particularly enjoying opportunities to make music in my local community. Ultimately, however, I decided that I wanted to pursue a broader career including my interests beyond music, and to specialize in those musical areas that interested me most without regard for commercial considerations. I therefore put my energies into the series of recording projects that became Romantic Discoveries Recordings. I had little idea at its inception that this would grow to become a catalogue of over a hundred CD recordings, including many world premières of nineteenth-century composers, and still less that this independent niche label would, without the benefit of any external advertising or distribution, attract a devoted following around the globe and even lead to my receiving several awards from musical institutions. In addition to my recording work, I continue to give occasional concerts, and have performed some of the most physically and intellectually demanding piano works of the nineteenth-century in concert, including in recent years the Symphonie for solo piano by Alkan and Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata.
Having been baptised in the Church of England, I was aware that I had a vocation to the ordained ministry from young adulthood, but was also aware that the changes affecting the Church of England meant that I was increasingly uncomfortable with what it was coming to represent. As a musician, I worked for eighteen years as a lay employee and a freelance within the Church of England as well as the nonconformist churches and the Roman Catholic Church, becoming familiar with issues of liturgy and parish life as well as developing experience in a number of pastoral settings. Towards the end of this time, I became part of a small group of Christians worshipping in central and south London and this experience set me on the path to eventual ordination in a branch of the Continuing Anglican movement. As a non-stipendiary minister I have had the opportunity to undertake a very varied ministry which has included weddings, funerals and other services, often working ecumenically alongside clergy in the Anglican, Old Roman Catholic and Liberal Catholic churches. Today, I support and manage a small but dedicated group of clergy and laity that is spread over several continents. I have also developed significant interests in the history and ecclesiology of the smaller sacramental churches that emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century, and as well as research and writing on this subject have responsibility for an extensive collection of related rare books, manuscripts and liturgical items.
My books, all published by European-American University Press, include a collection of talks and essays, The Radical Traditionalist Today (2015), The University Outside State Control (2009) (the first book to address its controversial topic in depth), Arnold Harris Mathew and the Old Catholic Movement in England 1908-52 (2010), and Joseph-René Vilatte (1854-1929): Some Aspects of his Life, Work and Succession (2011). For twelve years I also worked as a music critic for a number of journals, including Hi-Fi News and Record Review, Tempo and International Piano. I contributed twenty articles on music and literature to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Contemporary Italian Culture (2000).
Over the years, I have been very fortunate to have received several honours and awards for my work from the United States and elsewhere. In 2014, I received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for voluntary service from President Barack Obama. I have been honoured by the Governors of four states in the United States, being an Honorary Texan, Kentucky Colonel, Nebraska Admiral and Georgia Lieutenant-Colonel Aide-de-Camp. In 2016, I was greatly honoured to become a Pontifical Academician (an honour generally reserved for Roman Catholics), being elected an Honorary Academician of the Pontificia Accademia Tiberina in Rome.