Dr Sara Mannen

Dr Sara Mannen
Dr Sara Mannen
Dr Sara Mannen

Research Fellow



I am the McDonald-Agape Research Fellow in Systematic Theology, working with Professor Tom Greggs on the Ecclesiology After Christendom Project. The McDonald-Agape Foundation has generously funded this research fellowship and project. My current research project explores the significance of the concept of divine personhood for ecclesiology, focusing on the encounter and presence of God within the church. 

I received my PhD from the University of Aberdeen (2019–2023) at the end of 2023 after successfully defending my thesis that reframes Karl Barth's concept of divine personhood through the intellectual and philosophical background of the Pantheism Controversy and its fallout. My current project seeks to extend this research by examining the implications of the concept of divine personhood for the life of the church. 

Before moving my family from the Pacific Northwest to Scotland in 2020 to pursue my PhD, I completed my MA in Theological Studies (2015–18) and BS in Biblical and Theological Studies (1999–2003) from Multnomah University, where I graduated summa cum laude. I wrote a master's thesis that analysed the theology of Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, and Maximus the Confessor to evaluate and critique the doctrine of Eternal Functional Subordination. 

An encounter with Barth's doctrine of election after I struggled with the concept of unconditional election sparked my interest and passion for theology. I am committed to the study of theology since I believe it is vital for the life of the church. 

I currently live in Aberdeenshire with my husband and two daughters. If I am not researching, I can usually be found baking–anything from sourdough to French Pâtisserie. 

External Memberships

-Book Review Editor for the Journal of Reformed Theology (2023–present). 

Latest Publications

View My Publications


Research Overview

My research focuses on the modern and contemporary doctrine of God. My doctoral research examined the intellectual and philosophical background of the concept of divine personhood in modern and contemporary Protestant theology. However, I am interested in other doctrinal loci, including trinitarian theology, Christology, and ecclesiology. I am keen to research and examine the continuity and discontinuity between contemporary theology and the broader church tradition alongside the implications of theology for the life of the church and the world. My research includes work on Karl Barth, nineteenth-century German idealists, Isaak Dorner, Thomas Aquinas, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and various Church Fathers.  


Page 1 of 1 Results 1 to 2 of 2