BA (Stirling) BD (Aberdeen) Phd (Stirling) DMin (Aberdeen/ Pittsburgh)

Senior Lecturer (Scholarship)


Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 274276
The University of Aberdeen KCF2

Kings College

Old Aberdeen
AB24 3UB
Scotland, UK
Web Links

Here, below, is the web link to a series of recordings of lectures I delivered on Pastoral Care at a conference organised by the Church of Scotland at Dufermline in June 2017.

Here, are links to an interview I gave to one of my colleagues, Dr Leon Van Ommen, on Sacramental Theology.




Born in Northern Ireland and brought up in Holywood where he attended Sullivan Upper School, Ken Jeffrey went to Stirling University in 1988 where he studied History with Professor David Bebbington.

After graduating, he went to Malawi where he taught English and Bible Knowledge for two years at Livingstonia Secondary School.

In 1994, he returned to Aberdeen University where he gained a first class honours BD. Ken undertook post graduate studies with David Bebbington and studied the 1859 Revival as it affected the communities of north east Scotland. He was awarded his PhD in 2000 and his thesis was published by Paternoster under the title When the Lord walked the land.

Between 2000 and 2002, he served as a Probationary Minister at Rubislaw Parish Church in Aberdeen, before he was ordained and inducted as minister of The Parish Church of Cupar Old and St Michael of Tarvit in Fife where he served for almost twelve years. During this time, he undertook further studies at Aberdeen University and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was awarded a DMin degree.

In January 2014 he was appointed as the new Director of the Centre for Ministry Studies at Aberdeen University. The CMS has nurtured an innovative working relationship between the academy and the church and provides education and training for people involved in Christian ministry at home and abroad through a suite of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and a calendar of annual activities and events.

Ken has also created a collaborative partnership between Aberdeen University and Zomba Theological College in Malawi where he delivers the MTh Ministry Studies course to ministers of the Central Church Africa Presbyterian, and helps supervise some of the staff from the College on Aberdeen's distance PhD programme.

He continues to develop his interest in nineteenth and twentieth century religious movements and in modern Scottish church history, and in 2019 was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Church History.


Research Interests

Revivals, Renewal and Church Growth

I have a particular interest in the history of Evangelicalism and of revivals. I  have examined how these 'seasons of grace' have appeared across Britain, and Scotland in particular, during the last four hundred years. 

I also have a keen interest in the spiritual renewal of the church today and its expression in new and pioneering forms of ministry. I supervise doctoral students who undertake research into new churches formed in Glasgow between 2000 and 2016, discipleship practices among missional churches in Texas, and the recovery of ancient practices among other neo-liturgical churches in America.

Current Research

Personal Research

The experience of conversion in the 1859 Revival in the north east of Scotland

Rev Dr Robert Laws, Scottish missionary and founder of the Livingstonia Mission in Malawi

Billy Graham's mission in Glasgow in 1955.


I have supervised three doctoral students to the successful completion of their studies. Their work focused on:

Church and Mission in Four Aspects: Locating church planting within a missionary ecclesiology for the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church in contemporary Northern Ireland

The Changing Theological functions of Corporate Worship among Southern Baptists: What they were and what they became, 1638-2008

The changing landscape of the church in post-Christendom Britain: New churches in Glasgow 2000-2016


In addition, I supervise the following further doctoral students, whose subjects include:

A contemporary survey of narrative preaching among United Methodist Pastors in Liberia


An examination of vocational theologies and their application from the reformers to present day 

Exploring Discipleship Models of Millennials in Missional Communities in Fort Worth, Texas: An Ethnographic Inquiry


Ministries of Reconciliation within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland


Renewal or Rejection? Exploring the Retrieval of Church Tradition Among Evangelicals in the United States


Sanctification in seventeenth-century English Puritan pastoral theology


Spiritual Formation Practices and Youth Ministry in Vietnam


The Impact of Witchcraft Beliefs and Practices on members of Church of Central Africa Presbyterian: A Case Study of Livingstonia Synod


What theological and practical resources might a conversational ecclesiology offer to church planters?








Teaching Responsibilities

1. Undergraduate: BD

Scottish Church History and Theology


2. Undergraduate: Theology and Religion Flexible Learning Programme:

An Introduction to Pastoral Care

An Introduction to Christian Spirituality

Scottish Church History and Theology


2. PGT: MTh Ministry Studies: (At Aberdeen University and Zomba Theological College, Malawi)

Spiritual Formation



Christian Practices


3. PGR: Doctorate in Practical Theology

Literature Review

Publishable Article

Research Proposal

Reflective Writing


Further Info

External Responsibilities

External Examiner at:

Birmingham University

Union Theological College, Belfast

Admin Responsibilities

Coordinator of the Centre for Ministry Studies

Coordinator of the Theology and Religion Flexible Learning Programme

Senior Personal Tutor for the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy