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


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


Tom Greggs holds the Marischal Chair of Divinity (the oldest separated Divinity chair established in 1616) at the University, and is a founding co-director of the Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology. He also currently serves as Head of Divinity at Aberdeen. He previously held a chair in Historical and Doctrinal Theology, and until 2011, when he joined the University of Aberdeen, was Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Chester. He has also taught at the University of Cambridge. In 2019, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Tom's principal publications include: The Breadth of Salvation: Redescrovering the Fullness of God's Saving Work (Barker, 2020); A Dogmatic Ecclesiology: Vol. 1 -- The Priestly Catholicity of the Church (Baker, 2019); Theology against Religion: Constructive Dialogues with Bonhoeffer and Barth (T&T Clark, 2011);  Barth, Origen, and Universal Salvation: Restoring Particularity (OUP, 2009);  New Perspectives for Evangelical Theology (Routledge, 2010); and The Vocation of Theology Today (Cascade, 2013, with Rachel Muers and Simeon Zahl). He is also the author of over 50 articles and book chapters. His current work focuses on ecclesiology, and he has just completed the first volume of his 3 volume Dogmatic Ecclesiology. Alongside this, with Maria Dekake and Steven Kepnes, he is writing A Handbook for Scriptural Reasoning, and is writing with his colleagues, Grant Macaskill and John Swinton, a short book in response to Covid-19 and the changed world in which we live. Tom is also working on a new introduction to Systematic Theology for SPCK, as well as essays on theology and social class, theology and identity politics, redemption and illumination. Tom serves as the editor of Brill's Companions to Modern Theology Series and co-editor of the Edinburgh University Press Critical History of Theology Series. He is a member of the editorial boards of The Journal for Scriptural Reasoning and Holiness (a newly launched Methodist peer-reviewed journal), as well as being a consultant editor for Stanford University Press's 'Encountering Traditions' series. 

Tom is the former Secretary of Society for the Study of Theology (2010-2013; acting secretary 2008-10); and has served as co-chair of the Scriptural Reasoning Panel at the American Academy of Religion, for which he currently sits on the Book Awards Jury for the History of Religion Section. He was elected a founding member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland, and is an Honorary Professor of Theology at St Mellitus College, London. He has been a visiting research fellow at St John's College, Durham, and College of Arts and Sciences International Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor in Religion at the University of Virginia.

Tom serves on the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, having been elected in 2015, and on the Faith and Order Committee of the Methodist Church. He was involved in 2017 in a theological review of the Crown Nominations Commission as the only non-Anglican member. 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. He was the 2014 Fernely Hartley-Lecturer for the Methodist Church, and addressed the doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers. He also gave the 2014 Conference Lecture for the Methodist Church on the impact of Doctrine on the life and ministry of the church (an honour very rarely bestowed on a non-presbyter to presbyteral session); this paper was used to launch the journal Holiness.

Tom's own theological training took place at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He was awarded an open scholarship at Christ Church, University of Oxford, where he was very influenced by the late Professor John Webster. Tom graduated from Oxford with the highest first class honours in his year in Theology, for which was received the Denyer and Johnson Prize. Following time as a teacher of Religion and Philosophy at the Manchester Grammar School (and a PGCE in Religious Studies, Philosophy and PSHE), Tom took a PhD in Systematic Theology at the University of Cambridge, supervised by Professor David Ford (Regius Professor of Divinity). During his doctorate, he also studied with Dr Thomas Graumann and Professor Dan Hardy.

A Scouser born and bred, Tom remains a foundation guardian at his old school, the Liverpool Blue Coat. Outside of Theology, his interests include politics, crime novels, cooking, wine, theatre and jazz. He is married to Heather and lives in rural Aberdeenshire.

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • Head of Divinity (from Jan 2019)
  • Impact Lead
  • Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Committee
  • Honorary Chaplain
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
  • External Examiner, Theology in History, University of Edinburgh (post-graduate)
  • Member of Methodist Church's Faith and Order Committee
  • Executive Committee Member of TRSUK
  • Book Award Jury Member, American Academy of Religion
  • Member of the Shalom Hartmann Institute Religious Pluralism Consultation
  • Member of Scriptural Reasoning in the University Group (Cambridge)
  • Former External Examiner: University of Aberdeen (undergrad and PGT), University of Cambridge (tripos, MPhil and diploma), 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

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.

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 Rumee Ahmed of University of British Columbia, on an Introduction 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.

Current Research


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


Jennifer LoPresti:
Mystery in Barth

Robert Fortuin:
Nyssa's Doctrine of God in Dialogue with Contemporary Theology Proper

Porter Taylor:
Liturgical Theology and Theological Method

Tim Dunn:
Reformed Ecclesiology

Ben Kim:
Bonhoeffer and Missiology

Chris Button:
Religionless Christianity and  Salvationist Missiology

Matthew Crutchmer:
John Webster's Doctrine of God

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

Daniel Cameron:
T. F. Torrance's Ecclesiology

Andy Nelson:
Sola Gratia & Hyper-Grace

John Blanchard:
The Impact of Samuel Davies on American Evangelical Life and Thought

Cameron Merrill:
The Implications of Wesleyan and Orthodox Accounts of Sanctification for Liturgical Theology

Matthew Jones:
Bonhoeffer's Fictional Literature

Brent Johnstone:
Tillich and Bonhoeffer

Alison Quient:
Eve Christology

Christopher Stead:
The Impeccability of Christ

Daniel Cameron:
T F Torrance's Ecclesiology

Sophie Ballard:
Barth and Arius

Jack Driver-Szekely:
Barth and Postmodernism

Sara Mannen:
The Trinitarian Problems with Eternal Filial Subordination

Erin Crider:
Theology and ecclesiology of Church Planting

Sue Butler:
Ecclesiology of Fresh Expressions



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)