Ray Pennings

Ray Pennings Head Shot

Ray Pennings

Executive Vice President & Co-founder

Ray Pennings is the Executive Vice President and co-founder of Cardus, a leading Canadian think tank, and publisher of Comment magazine. He has worked in politics and punditry, is published on education, law, and theology, and has led the research arm of a labour organisation. He speaks and writes widely and provocatively about God and Canadian public life.

Ray has an undergraduate history degree from McMaster and Masters degree in theology from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. These degrees are supplemented by over 30 years of apprenticeship in the school of hard knocks that Christians in public life experience.

Since 2017, he has been co-directing with Angus Reid Canada’s largest polling project on faith and religious diversity in Canada, seeking to explore and tell the story of how faith is functioning in our post-modern society. He has directed and published reports in the work and economics, education, health, and spirited citizenship programs at Cardus.

Ray is the author of chapters in several publications including Church and Caesar (RHB, 2004), Living for God’s Glory (RHB, 2011), Calvin the Revolutionary (RHB, 2010), Religious Liberty and the Law (Routledge, 2017), and The Handbook of School Choice (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017). He regularly appears as a commentator, pundit, and critic in many of Canada’s leading news outlets.

Ray’s professional life has been supplemented by extensive volunteer commitments. His diverse board experience includes serving as Chair on the Board of Redeemer University College, a trustee on training and pension programs, an executive capacity with a venture capital fund, and a board member for Rosebud School for the Arts. He is also very engaged in his church, serving as an elder and licensed exhorter and working at both a local and denominational levels.

As a social and religious thinker, Ray’s ideas for change are broad in scope and defy simple labels. With judicious wit and even-keeled civility, Ray calls it as he sees it in public policy circles and as a baseball umpire on the field. He has a lot to say about faith and the future of civic and social flourishing in Canada and provides his opinions in a popular weekly leadership newsletter, Cardus Insights.

Ray and his wife Kathy have one adult son.