Professor Paul T Nimmo

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

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


Barth Studies at the University of Aberdeen




Paul Nimmo holds the King's Chair of Systematic Theology (1620) at the University of Aberdeen. He joined the University in 2013, having previously held the position of Meldrum Senior Lecturer in Reformed Theology at the University of Edinburgh, where he had worked since 2008. His own studies were undertaken at the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, while his first academic position was as a post-doctoral Research Assistant and Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge.

Paul received a John Templeton Award for Theological Promise in 2009 for his first 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), and the co-Editor of The Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology (CUP, 2016 - with David Fergusson). His current book projects include the monograph Karl Barth and the Eucharist: Thinking with and after Barth on the Lord's Supper (for T&T Clark), the edited volume The Oxford Handbook of Karl Barth (for OUP - with Paul Dafydd Jones), and the Church of Scotland resource Learn: Understanding our Faith (for St Andrew Press).

Paul is Senior Editor of the International Journal of Systematic Theology, which journal he managed from 2006 to 2014, and is Series Co-Editor of Explorations in Reformed Theology (with Paul Dafydd Jones). He has been a Fellow of the Center for Barth Studies in Princeton since 2009, and was elected to the AAR Reformed Theology and History Group Steering Committee in 2012 and the AAR Friedrich Schleiermacher Group Committee in 2016. He was the elected Treasurer of the Society of the Study of Theology from 2013 to 2016, and delivered the Kerr Lectures in Glasgow in 2008.


Research Interests


My research interests lie primarily in the field of systematic theology, exploring the meaning, coherence, and implications of Christian 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 reserarch 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 as a doctoral student, in which I explored the relationship between ontology and ethics in the Church Dogmatics; for the resultant monograph - Being in Action: The Theological Shape of Barth's Ethical Vision - I was awarded a John Templeton Award for Theological Promise. I have published a textbook entitled Karl Barth: A Guide for the Perplexed, and am currently co-editing 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 write a further extended article on his doctrine of God and its relation to the wider Reformed tradition.

  • the history and theology of the Reformed tradition

I have a profound passion for the systematic theology of the Reformed tradition in all its historical and doctrinal diversity and as a lived and ecumenical form of Christian faith. I have co-edited the Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology with Professor David Fergusson, and in research articles I have engaged 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, and T. F. Torrance. I have a particular interest in the way in which this tradition has been received, appropriated, and furthered in Scotland by way of the history (and the present) of its churches and colleges, as well as 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 the confines of tradition-specific enquiry, to a broader consideration of the biblical roots, the historical elucidations, and the constructive implications of these doctrines.




Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology

co-edited with Professor David Fergusson, University of Edinburgh

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016


Oxford Handbook of Karl Barth

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

for Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2018)


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 additionally taught a course at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, while in 2011, at Edinburgh, I won a University-wide Teaching Award which was organised and presented by the Students' Association. 

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

  • DR1038 : The Rise of Christianity
  • DR1547 : Introduction to Christian Theology
  • DR2057 : Major Christian Thinkers
  • KL252C : Sacramental 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
  • DR503D : 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 in Divinity.

Further Info

External Responsibilities

Senior Editor

International Journal of Systematic Theology


Theological Adviser

Learn initiative of the Church of Scotland


External Examiner

University of Durham

            - Examiner (undergraduate) in Systematic Theology and Ecclesiastical History



Series Co-Editor, T&T Clark Explorations in Reformed Theology

Steering Committee, AAR Reformed Theology & History Group

Steering Committee, AAR Friedrich Schleiermacher Group

Editorial Board, IVP Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture series

Editorial Board, Revista Teológica

Fellow, Karl Barth Translation Seminar at the Center for Barth Studies

Member, Princeton–Kampen Theological Colloquium


Former Responsibilities

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

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

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

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

External Examiner, Edinburgh Theological Seminary (2012–2016)

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


Admin Responsibilities


Current Responsibilities

  • Head of Divinity and Religious Studies (2016– )
  • Academic Line Manager in Divinity (2016– )
  • Member, Senatus Academicus (2016– )
  • Member, Gifford Lectures Committee (2014– )
  • Member, School Equality & Diversity Committee (2017– )


Former Responsibilities

  • Director, Internal Teaching Review for Divinity, History, and Philosophy (2015)
  • Postgraduate Co-ordinator, Divinity and Religious Studies (2014–2015)


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


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



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

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

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



December 2015   Sharing Future Church Conference, Edinburgh

May 2013           The First Academy, Church, State Conference, Edinburgh

March 2013        The Year of Faith Conference, Glasgow             



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


Selected Publications


List of Publications at August 2016

List of Presentations at August 2016


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