|Activity||EDUCATION AND TRAINING|
Willoughby began his training as a missionary at Spring Hill College, Birmingham (later to become Mansfield College, Oxford), though his training was interrupted by his missionary expedition to central Africa (Urambo) as an LMS agent which he undertook in 1882. On return to England about a year later he completed his missionary studies at Spring Hill. He then embarked upon a period of pastoral work in Scotland and England.
He was Pastor for Mill Street Congregationalist Church, Perth, Scotland in 1885 and Union Street Church in Brighton in 1889. He returned to overseas missionary work in 1893 setting sail with his wife and their three children for Cape Town to become a missionary at Phalapye, seat of the Bamangwato in Bechuanaland. During this period he had extensive dealings with Khama III, Chief of the Bamangwato tribe, and in 1895 he accompanied Khama and fellow chiefs Sebele of the Bakwena and Bathoen I of the Bangwaketsi to London for meetings with Joseph Chamberlain (Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1895-1903) and Queen Victoria to discuss the establishment of the Bechuanaland Protectorate. He spent a further decade building up the Tiger Kloof Native Institution at Vryburg in South Africa's Northern Cape, which he founded in 1903, and directed as Principal from 1904-1914. In 1914 he suffered a mental breakdown and resigned as Principal. For a short while he served as a missionary to the Bakwena tribe at Molepolole, 1914-1917.
In 1917 he was invited by the LMS to undertake a deputation to Australasia and the islands of the South Pacific. In 1919 he was then offered and accepted the position of Professor of African missions at the Kennedy School of Missions at Hartford, Connecticut, USA a post which he held until 1931. In addition to his teaching he was able to publish his research into the history, social life, politics, religion and anthropology of the Bantu people.
In 1931 he retired and returned to Birmingham, where he lived until his death.