Professor Tom Greggs

Professor Tom Greggs
Professor Tom Greggs
Professor Tom Greggs

M.A. (Oxon.), Ph.D. (Cantab.), D. Litt., P.G.C.E. (Dist.), F.R.S.E., F.H.E.A.

The Marischal Chair

Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272388
Office Address

Office: KCF10 (King's College) Postal Address: School of Divinity, History and Philosophy,University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UB, United Kingdom.

School of Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History


Tom Greggs holds the Marischal Chair of Divinity (the oldest separated Divinity chair, established in 1616), and is a founding co-director of the Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology. He was Head of Divinity from 2018-22. In 2019, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Tom's principal publications include: Barth and Bonhoeffer as Contributors to a Postliberal Ecclesiology (T&T Clark, 2021); The Church in a world of Religions (T&T Clark, 2021); The Breadth of Salvation (Baker, 2020); Dogmatic Ecclesiology: Vol. 1 -- The Priestly Catholicity of the Church (Baker, 2019); Theology against Religion (T&T Clark, 2011);  Barth, Origen, and Universal Salvation (OUP, 2009). With Maria Dekake and Steven Kepnes, he has recently completed A Handbook for Scriptural Reasoning, and is in the final stages of writing a book provisionally entitled Saving Systematic Theology in Church and Academy. Tom is also working on a new introduction to Systematic Theology for SPCK and Zondervan to be completed by January 2024. He continues work on his ecclesiology volume 2. He serves as a member of the editorial boards of International Journal of Systematic Theology and Holiness.

Tom served on the last Research Excellence Framework panel for Theology and Religious Studies. He is currently Patron of the Independent Schools Religious Studies Association. Tom is a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and was involved in 2017 in a review of the Crown Nominations Commission. He is a Preacher in the British Methodist Connexion, and has given sermons around the world. He regularly leads Continuing Professional Development for clergy, speaks at large church conferences, and appears on the radio. 

Tom's own theological training took place at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He was awarded an open scholarship and graduated with the highest first class honours in his year at Oxford, and studied for his PhD at Cambridge under David Ford.

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • REF steering committee
External Memberships
  • Member of the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Panel
  • Member of the Faith and Order Commission of the Methodist Church
  • Steering Committee Member, Duke University Theology, Modernity and the Arts
  • Member of Methodist Church's Faith and Order Committee
  • External Examiner: Durham University (PGT) and Cliff College
  • Former External Examiner: University of Aberdeen (undergrad and PGT), University of Cambridge (tripos, MPhil and diploma), University of Edinburgh (PGT), Heythrop College (PGT), and University of St Andrews (undergrad and PGT)
  • PhD External Examiner: Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, London (King's College), St Andrews, Edinburgh, Belfast (Queen's), Wales, Chester

Prizes and Awards

Principal's Prize for Outstanding Impact from Research

Principal's Prize for Best Post-graduate Supervisor


Research Overview

There are five main areas of my research, and I would be interested in receiving applicants from post-graduates in each of these areas:

1. My major focus currently is a three volume Protestant ecclesiology: volume 1 - participating in the priestly catholicity of the church; volume 2 - encountering the prophetic apostolicity of the church; and volume 3 - being transformed into the kingly holiness of the church. The three volumes are entitled A Dogmatic Ecclesiology, and are under contract to be published by Baker Academic over the next ten years. The first volume was publsihed in 2019. I would welcome applicants from students on any area relating to ecclesiology, or to homiletics.

2. I am interested in major doctrinal loci, especially in relation to patristic theology, protestant theology (Reformation, nineteenth century and modern), and modern theology. Within this broad area, I am particularly interested in the figures of Origen, Barth and Bonhoeffer; and in the doctrines of God, the Trinity, salvation, the last things and the Holy Spirit; however, I am happy to supervise more broadly. I am interested in historical approaches to doctrines and theologians for the sake of constructive theological reflection, and systematic theological method.

3. As a Methodist Theologian who sits on Faith and Order of the Methodist Church and serves as a Methodist on the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission, I am interested in the history and theology of the Methodist Churches and traditions. I have a particular interest in the theology and preaching of John Wesley and in methodological questions of appropriating Wesley for contrustive theology, in Methodism as a form of Protestantism (and its relation to Reformation figures), Methodism and Evangelical Theology, and Methodist use of the Patrisitc traditions. I am also interested in radical Methodist traditions and in significant Methodist preachers, as well as the relationship between Methodist and Pentecostal / charismatic theology and Methodist ecumenism.

4. A large part of my work concerns how to articulate theology outwith the conditions of Christendom. This involves both theological reflection on the conditions of post-Christendom, and on issues that the conditions of post-Christendom raise. This aspect of my research has included reflection on such issues as how to think theologically about church-state relations, theo-politics, pluralism, secularism/secularity, political liberalism, contemporary evangelicalism, and salvation and the non-Christian. I am particularly interested in the ways in which classical doctrine and public theology relate.

5. Alongside these areas, I am also working, with Steven Kepnes of Colgate University and Maria Dekake of George Mason University on A Handbook to Scriptural Reasoning (the inter-faith practice of Muslims, Jews and Christians reading scripture together), and have led a project with Mike Higton (University of Cambridge) on the nature of impact for theology in a post-Christendom Society. I would be interested receiving applications from students who wish to study theologies of the religions and inter-faith work, as well as the nature and impact of doctrine.

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Divinity.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs

Current Research

I have three principal writing commitments:

  1. Dogmatic Ecclesiology Volume 2: The Prophetic Apostolicity of the Church (Baker)
  2. An Introduction to Systematic Theology (SPCK/Zondervan)
  3. Saving Systematic Theology in Church and Academy (provisionally entitled)

Plus I am working on essays on illumination, the class system and theology, and teaching theology.

Past Research


British Academy Mid-Career Research Project: Ecclesiology after Christendom

AHRC Networking Project: The Impact of Doctrine after Christendom

ECLAS Templeton Project: Science in Seminaries



Dr Yacob Godebo (now Dean of Addis Abbaba Lutheran Theological Seminary, Ethiopia): The Charismatic Movement and Lutheran Theology

Dr Chris Burkett (now Diocesan Director of Ministry): Homiletics and Collective Memory

Dr James Holt (now Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies Education): A Latter-Day Saint Theology of the Religions

Dr Joan Evans (retired): The Mystical Immanence of Matthew Fox

Dr John Tyers (retired): A history of the Anglican Retreat Movement

Dr Nathan Paylor (University of Chester): Reformed Theological Hermeneutics

Dr John McCabe (University of Chester): Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Theology of Work

Dr Aaron Edwards (Lecturer in Systematic Theology, Cliff College): Dialectic and Preaching

Dr Rory MacLoed (DMin): The contemporary church and pneumatology

Dr Roderick Grahame (DMin): Does the Round ower Topple?

Dr Petre Maican: Theology of the Image

Dr Chris Dodson: Bonhoeffer's Religionless Christianity and the Sacraments 

Dr Matthew Burdette: Jenson and Cone's Revolutionary Theology

Dr DJ Konz: Father, child and missio dei (with reference to Barth)

Dr David Emerton: Ecclesiology in Bonhoeffer

Dr Ross Hallbach: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's contribution to Race and Gentrification Discourse

Dr Kenneth Laing: The Rule of Faith in Irenaeus

Dr Sean McGever: A theology of conversion in Wesley and Whitfield

Dr Jonathan Lynch: Bonhoeffer on a Weakness of Faith

Dr TJ Tims:Berger's Plausibility Structures as applie to St John's Gospel

Dr Cole Jodon: Bonhoeffer's Ecumenical Theology

Dr Keir Shreeves: Bonhoeffer's Homiletics

Dr HuynJoo Kim: Bonhoeffer's Doctrine of Sin in dialogue with Augustine

Dr Troy Onsager: Karl Barth on the Confessions of the Church

Dr Emmanuel Gergis: Coptic Theology and T F Torrance

Dr Brent Johnstone: Tillich and Bonhoeffer's religionless method

Dr Ben Kim: Bonhoeffer and Missiology

Dr Tim Dunn: Reformed Ecclesiology and the Minus Triplex

Dr Porter Taylor: Liturgical Theology and Theological Method

Dr Daniel Cameron: T. F. Torrance's Ecclesiology

Dr Andy Nelson: Hyper-Grace

Dr Marty Phillips: John Wesley's Doctrines of Sin and Sanctification

Dr Jack Driver-Szekely: Barth and Post-modernism

Funding and Grants

Recent Grants include:

AHRC Network Grant (with Professor Mike Higton): Doctrine after Christendom (complete): £35,000

British Academy Mid-Career Research Grant (2017): £122,000


Teaching Responsibilities

My usual teaching areas include:

  • Global Issues / Global Religion (Level 1, Sixth Century Course): course co-ordinator
  • An Introduction to Christian Theology (Level 1)
  • From Jesus to Calvin: The History of Christian Thought (Level 2): course co-ordinator
  • Philosophy of Religion (Level 2)
  • Dissertations (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • The Doctrine of God (postgraduate)



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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals