Professor Paul T. Nimmo

Professor Paul T. Nimmo
MA, Dip IA, BD, ThM, PhD, FHEA

King's Chair of Systematic Theology

Professor Paul T. Nimmo
Professor Paul T. Nimmo

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273120
The University of Aberdeen Divinity - King's College
University of Aberdeen
AB24 3UB
Office location:
KCF12 - King's College


Paul T Nimmo holds the King’s Chair of Systematic Theology (1620). He joined the University of Aberdeen in 2013, having previously been Meldrum Senior Lecturer in Reformed Theology at the University of Edinburgh. His own studies were undertaken in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Princeton, and Tübingen, while his first academic position was as a post-doctoral Research Assistant and Affiliated Lecturer at Cambridge. 

Paul received a John Templeton Award for Theological Promise in 2009 for his book Being in Action: The Theological Shape of Barth's Ethical Vision (T&T Clark, 2007), and is also the author of Barth: A Guide for the Perplexed (T&T Clark, 2016), co-Editor of The Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and of The Oxford Handbook of Karl Barth (Oxford University Press, 2019), and Editor of the congregational resource Learn: Understanding our Faith (St Andrew Press, 2017). His current projects include monographs on the Lord’s Supper in the theology of Karl Barth and on the doctrine of sanctification.

Paul is co-Director of the Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology, Senior Editor of International Journal of Systematic Theology, and Series Co-Editor of Explorations in Reformed Theology. He is a Fellow of the Center for Barth Studies and co-Chair of the AAR Reformed Theology and History Unit. He was formerly a Member of the AAR Friedrich Schleiermacher Unit, and Treasurer of the Society for the Study of Theology.

Paul is an ordained elder in the Church of Scotland, a member of Kemnay Kirk and a lay preacher in local presbyteries. He currently serves the Council of Protestant Churches in Europe in ecumenical dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, and is a member of the Theological Forum of the Church of Scotland. He is an Associate of the Centre for Ministry Studies and a Trustee of the Board of Christ's College.

Memberships and Affiliations


Current Responsibilities

  • Member, Gifford Lectures Committee (2014– )

Former Responsibilities

  • Member, Senatus Academicus (2016–2020)
  • Member, Honorary Degrees Committee (2017–2020)
  • Academic Line Manager, Divinity Post-doctoral Fellows (2019–2020)
  • Head of Divinity and Religious Studies (2016–2018)
  • Academic Line Manager, Department of Divinity (2016–2018)
  • Director, Internal Teaching Review for Divinity, History, and Philosophy (2015)
  • Postgraduate Co-ordinator, Divinity and Religious Studies (2014–2015)


Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology

Senior Editor 

International Journal of Systematic Theology

Series Co-Editor

T&T Clark Explorations in Reformed Theology


AAR Reformed Theology & History Unit

Committee Memberships

Fellow, Karl Barth Translators' Seminar

Member, Princeton–Kampen Theological Colloquium

Publishing Boards

Editorial Board, IVP Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture series

Editorial Board, Revista Teológica

Advisory Board, Studies in Dialectical Theology series

Advisory Board, Revisioning Reformed Dogmatics series

Former Responsibilities

Managing Editor, International Journal of Systematic Theology (2006–2014)

Treasurer, Society for the Study of Theology (2013–2016)

Steering Committee, AAR Reformed Theology & History Unit (2012-2017)

Steering Committee, Society for the Study of Theology (2009–2012)

Steering Committee, AAR Friedrich Schleiermacher Unit (2016–2019)

Member, Templeton Project – 'Eternal God - Eternal Life' (2014–2016)

Member, AHRC Network Team – 'Doctrine after Christendom' (2013–2014)

External Examiner, Durham University (2015–2019)

External Examiner, Edinburgh Theological Seminary (2012–2016)

External Examiner, University of the Highlands and Islands (2012–2015)


Research Overview


My research interests lie primarily in the field of systematic theology, exploring the meaning, coherence, and implications of Christian faith and doctrine. My particular areas of focus are in the theology of Karl Barth, in the theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher, in the history and theology of the Reformed tradition (particularly as it has developed in Scotland), and in the central loci of dogmatic enquiry, including the doctrine of God, Christology, pneumatology, creation, soteriology, ecclesiology, and sacramentology.

I would be very happy to hear from anyone thinking about on-campus postgraduate research at the University of Aberdeen in any of the following fields of study:

  • the theology of Karl Barth

I have a long-standing interest in the theology of Karl Barth. The monograph which I am currently writing is entitled Karl Barth and the Eucharist, a book which seeks to think with and after Barth on the theology of the Lord's Supper. This research builds explicitly on work I carried out in my first monograph - Being in Action: The Theological Shape of Barth's Ethical Vision. I have published a textbook entitled Karl Barth: A Guide for the Perplexed, and have co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Karl Barth with Professor Paul Dafydd Jones. I have also written a series of research articles and teaching essays on such doctrines as election, pneumatology, vocation, hamartiology, sacramentology, justification, and ecclesiology in the theology of Karl Barth.

  • the theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher

I also have a long-standing interest in the theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher. I have written a number of research articles which explore his views of soteriology, justification, and the sacraments, and have published an extended article on his construal of the relationship between Scripture and the work of Jesus Christ. I hope in the future to turn my attention to a series of further extended articles on diverse aspects of his dogmatic work within the context of the Reformed tradition, including essays on the Lord's Supper and on prayer.

  • the history and theology of the Reformed tradition

I have a profound passion for the theology of the Reformed tradition in all its historical and doctrinal diversity and as a lived and ecumenical form of Christian faith. As well as co-editing the Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology with David Fergusson, I have engaged in research articles not only with the work of Barth and Schleiermacher but also with the work of figures such as Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, Heinrich Bullinger, John McLeod Campbell, Herman Bavinck, H. R. Mackintosh, T. F. Torrance, and Markus Barth. I have a particular interest in the way this tradition has been received, appropriated, and furthered in Scotland - seeking to attend to the history (and the present) of its churches and colleges, as well as to how it might be constructively developed in future.

  • the central loci of Christian doctrine

My research has always gravitated towards the core tenets of lived Christian faith - beliefs about God, Jesus Christ, the Spirit, creation, salvation, the church, and the sacraments - and towards exploring their theological meaning, their dogmatic connectedness, and their current relevance. My work extends beyond tradition-specific enquiry to a broader consideration of the biblical roots, the historical elucidations, and the constructive implications of these doctrines. I am currently working towards a monograph on the doctrine of sanctification.


List of Publications at October 2020

List of Presentations at October 2020



Past Research


Invited Lectureships


University of Glasgow                    

The Kerr Lectures in 2008

Title:   'A Theology of Obedience'

Form:  a series of eight public lectures in Glasgow


Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Guest Lecturer in Reformed Theology in 2008 

Title:   'Grundthemen der Theologie Karl Barths'

Form:  a block of ten seminars in German


Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement


Church Connections


At the heart of my work is a passion for encouraging the relationship between the study of systematic theology and the life of Christian communities. I hope to be able to contribute to the strengthening of the connection between church and academy.

I am an ordained elder in the Church of Scotland, and participate in diverse ways in the life of the church – both locally and nationally. My work includes not only regular preaching in local churches but also the diverse forms of service mentioned below.



Church of Scotland



2020 –              Member, CPCE delegation for ecumenical conversation with PCPCU

2020 –              Member, Theological Forum of the Church of Scotland 

2019 –              Trustee, Board of Christ's College, University of Aberdeen

2014 –              Associate, Centre for Ministry Studies, University of Aberdeen

2014–2018        Theological Adviser, Learn initiative of the Church of Scotland

2008–2015        Member, Joint Commission on Doctrine [CoS / RC]

2011–2013        Member, ACTS / Church of Scotland ‘Why Believe?’ Group

2009–2012        Member, Church of Scotland Working Group on Human Sexuality



2006–2007        St. Columba’s Church (Pont Street), London

spring 2005       Morningside Parish Church, Edinburgh



summer 2005     Parish of the North Isles, Shetland

summer 2004     Parish of Manish-Scarista, Isle of Harris

summer 2003     Parish of Bracadale and Duirinish, Isle of Skye




Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology

co-Editor with Professor David Fergusson, University of Edinburgh

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016


Learn: Understanding our Faith 


Edinburgh: St Andrew Press, 2017


Oxford Handbook of Karl Barth

co-Editor with Professor Paul Dafydd Jones, University of Virginia

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019


Teaching Responsibilities


In the course of my work in Cambridge, in Edinburgh, and now in Aberdeen, I have taught a wide variety of topics in Christian theology, Christian ethics, and church history. In 2008, I was a Guest Lecturer at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, while in 2020, I took part in an Erasmus Staff Mobility Teaching Visit to the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In 2011, while teaching at Edinburgh, I won a University-wide Teaching Award that was organised and presented by the Edinburgh University Students' Association. 

In Aberdeen, I have taught and/or teach on the following undergraduate courses:

  • SX1017 : Global Issues, Global Religions
  • DR1038 : The Rise of Christianity
  • DR1/2547 : Introduction to Christian Theology
  • DR2057 : Major Christian Thinkers
  • DR2/351V : Sacramental Theology
  • DR3/402F : Christianity in Scotland - History and Theology of the Church in Scotland
  • DR3/452B : Major Themes in Christian Theology
  • DR406A : Theology of Karl Barth
  • DR4085 : These Three are One – the Christian Doctrine of God

I have also taught and/or teach on the following postgraduate Masters courses:

  • DR501U : Theology of Karl Barth
  • DR501V : The Christian Doctrine of God
  • DR503N : Readings in Systematic Theology

When not on research leave, I direct the Research Seminar in Systematic Theology at Aberdeen, and also run a regular Development Seminar for students in the subject area of Divinity – this offers a variety of guest speaker events, doctoral strategy seminars, and professional development workshops. I also lead an intermediate-level German Reading Group for students across Divinity.