The Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance

Professor Iain TorranceProfessor Iain Torrance was appointed Pro-Chancellor in February 2013.

Professor Torrance was born in Aberdeen while his father was minister of Beechgrove Church. He is a graduate of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Oxford and a minister of the Church of Scotland, who served initially as minister of Northmavine Parish in the Shetland Islands.

He subsequently taught at Queen’s College, Birmingham and then Birmingham University, before returning to the city of his birth to teach in the Department of Divinity in 1993. In the course of time, he served as chair of the Department and then as Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Divinity before being elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2003. He then served as President of Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. Tasks there included guiding the seminary through its 10-yearly accreditation, navigating the financial downturn of 2008 and building a new library and student accommodation. He retired from the Seminary at the end of the school’s bicentennial celebration in December 2012.

Professor Torrance was appointed a Chaplain to HM The Queen in Scotland in 2001. In July 2013 The Queen appointed him Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland and in July 2014 she asked him also to be Dean of the Order of the Thistle. He enjoyed many years as a TA chaplain in the North East and convened the General Assembly’s Committee on Chaplains to HM Forces. He has served as a trustee of the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton and as a member of the Advisory Board for the John Templeton Foundation.

 For many years he has been involved in ecumenical conversations and he is committed to inter-faith dialogue. He has been granted honorary degrees by the Universities of St Andrews, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Debrecen Reformed Theological University and King College, Tennessee. He was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2007 and became a Fellow (FRSE) on his return to Scotland at the beginning of 2013.