An Introduction to Dr Desta Heliso Anshebo

Dr Desta Heliso Anshebo is the founder and Executive Director of SOPHOS AFRICA, ( is currently established in Ethiopia, the USA and the UK.
Dr Desta served as a lecturer and then Director of the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST) in Addis Ababa (Home – EGST).  He also served on the Board of the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia | URI.  He currently lives in London though he continues to coordinate the Centre for Ancient Christianity and Ethiopian Studies at EGST. He is a fellow of the Center for Early African Christianity (in New Haven, USA) CEAC | Center for Early African Christianity | New Haven, CT and a visiting lecturer at the London School of Theology.  He was also until recently the Chair of the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) The Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) – New website ( .  Dr. Desta studied at the London School of Theology and King’s College London, UK.

Dr Desta is 58, is married to Jo Jeffery, and they have six children, three of whom were adopted.  They live near Watford on the edge of London and attend Fairfield Church, Northwood Hills ( ) and in Ethiopia Dr Desta was Vice-President of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church.
As well as his academic writing and publications (see below) Dr Desta has authored ‘Hope for Ethiopia’ Hope for Ethiopia: Heliso, Desta: 9781624280160: Books and he contributes articles to various publications (see below).


The Ethiopian Launch of SOPHOS AFRICA was broadcast on national TV channels (e.g. A short set of extracts from the speeches of the various religious, political and business leaders and from Dr Desta can be seen here (with subtitles):-  SOPHOS AFRICA Launch – YouTube   The UK launch will be on Thursday May 12th 2022 in the Ethiopian Embassy.

Academic information and publications:
His published academic material includes:-
  • Paul’s Christology in Romans and Comparative Traditions, manuscript to be submitted to T&T Clark Bloomsbury in 2022.
  • ‘Development as Liberated Self, Society and Creation: New Testament Perspectives against Second Temple Jewish Background’ in M. Mathewos and A. Dalelo (eds), Theology-Development Nexus, Publication of the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Addis Ababa, 2019.
  • ‘A Nation and the Nations: An Understanding of Mission and Authority in Matthew 28:18-20 in the Light of Ethiopian Christian Traditions’ in Loren Stuckenbruck et al (eds), Make Disciples of All Nations: The Appeal and Authority of Christian Faith in Hellenistic-Roman times, Tuebingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019.
  • ‘IS GRACE FREE? Charis and Christ in Romans in Conversation with John Barclay’s “Paul and the Gift”’, Evangelical Quarterly 89.4 (2018), 293-310.
  • ‘Paradoxes, Biblical Types, and the Incarnation in the Wǝddasse Maryam’ (‘Praises of Mary’) in Thomas Oden (ed), The Songs of Africa: The Ethiopian Canticles, 2017.
  • ‘Divine Spirit and Human Spirit in Paul’ in The Spirit and Christ in the New Testament and Christian Theology. Edited by I. Howard Marshall , Volker Rabens , and Cornelis Bennema . Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2012.
  • ‘Enoch as the Son of Man’ in Swedish Missiological Themes: Uppsala: Swedish Institute of Missionary Research, 2008
  • Pistis and the Righteous One: A Study of Romans 1:17 against the Background of Scripture and Second Temple Jewish Literature, WUNT, Mohr Siebeck, 2007.


  • Theological Education for the Africa God Wants’, Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology, Vol 37.1, 2018, 31-48.
  • “Third Stream Income: The Case of the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology,’ in Evan Hunter (ed.), Insights Journal for Global Theological Education, 2015.
  • ‘Theological Education in Ethiopia’, Handbook of Theological Education in Africa, Regnum Books International: Oxford, 2013, 164-174.

Publications on Social, Political and Religious Issues in Ethiopia