Ann Shukman graduated in Modern Languages from Cambridge and gained a doctorate in Russian Literary theory from Oxford. Her lifelong interests have been Russia and the Christian church. She was one of the first women ordained in the Church of England, in 1994. At various times of her life she has been Lecturer in Russian Language and Literature at Birmingham University and Keele University, and tutor for Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She was also Warden of the St Theosevia Centre for Christian Spirituality in Oxford.