Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

The Cambridge Faculty of Divinity is the divinity school of the University of Cambridge. It houses the Faculty Library.

Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge
Faculty of Divinity building
Parent institution
University of Cambridge
Location, ,
Coordinates: 52°12′07″N 0°06′29″E / 52.2019°N 0.1080°E


Divinity has been taught in the University of Cambridge since its foundation, in the early 13th century,[1] around the time the university itself was founded.[2] It is one of only two subjects to have been taught continuously, in some form or other, throughout the entire 800-year history of the university.[3]

The first professorship instituted at the university, the Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity, was dedicated to the subject, in 1502. Similarly, the next professorships to be established at the university – the Regius chairs, of 1540 – included the Regius Professor of Divinity.

Beginning in 1879, the Faculty of Divinity was housed in the Selwyn Divinity School, constructed by Basil Champneys. Now known as The Old Divinity School, the building belongs to St John's College.[4] Since 2001, the Faculty has been situated on the university's Sidgwick Site,[5] in the west of the city.[6]


Since the 16th century, the University of Cambridge has seen the institution of numerous professorships in different subject areas, beginning with divinity, civil law, physics, Hebrew, and Greek.

The established chairs in the Faculty of Divinity include the following:


The Faculty of Divinity is part of the Cambridge Theological Federation, offering academic training not only to the university's own graduates but also to ordinands as well.[7] The current undergraduate degree is called "Theological and Religious Studies," rather than divinity, which reflects the range of topics and diversification in the field covered by the teaching.[8]

Old Divinity School, St John's College, Cambridge
Old Divinity School, St John's College, Cambridge

Subject areas

Thematic and disciplinary areas of teaching and research in the Faculty of Divinity:[9]

Lectures series

Since 1820, the Faculty of Divinity has hosted named lectures. They include the following:

  • Hulsean Lectures
  • Jeremie Lecture
  • Stanton Lectures
  • Tyrwhitt Lecture
  • Yerushah Lecture

Reputation and rankings

For centuries the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge, like the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, has been prominent in theological studies not only in the United Kingdom but also across the globe.

As university rankings have increased in importance for higher education in recent decades, the Faculty of Divinity has also maintained a high international profile in this new metric system. In 2019, the QS World University Rankings placed the University of Cambridge as 6th worldwide.[10] Nationally, the Faculty has been ranked 1st by the Complete University Guide (2018)[11] and by The Guardian (2018).[12]

Notable senior members

The following are notable past and present senior members of the Faculty of Divinity.[13]

Joseph Barber Lightfoot by WB Richmond (crop)

Joseph Barber Lightfoot

Richard Bentley 3

Richard Bentley






  1. ^ A brief history of theology at Cambridge, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge,
  2. ^ 800 Years of History: Cambridge through the Centuries Archived 2009-05-24 at the Wayback Machine, University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ Introductory lecture, Divinity faculty, October 2008
  4. ^ "The Divinity School, Cambridge, by Basil Champneys". Victorian Web.
  5. ^ Official Map:Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge.
  6. ^ plaque, Faculty of Divinity building
  7. ^ The Bachelor of Theology for Ministry (BTh), Cambridge Theological Foundation, University of Cambridge.
  8. ^ The undergraduate Tripos.
  9. ^ Subject areas, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.
  10. ^ "QS World University Rankings® 2019". topuniversities.com. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Theology & religious studies (2018)". The Complete University Guide.
  12. ^ "Religious studies and theology (2018)". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Staff, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.


David M. Thompson, Cambridge Theology in the Nineteenth Century: Enquiry, Controversy and Truth (London: Ashgate, 2008).

Allen Brent

The Rev. Prof. Allen Brent is a scholar of early Christian history and literature. He is a Fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge, formerly Dean (2012-2013), was an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge in 1998-2010. At present he is Professor in Early Christian History and Iconography at King's College London where he is joint researcher (with Professor Markus Vinzent), on a two year BARDA project: Early Christian Epigraphy and Iconography after Dölger. He is also Professore Invitato at the Augustinianum (Lateran University), Rome. He was formerly Principal Lecturer in Philosophy at University of Huddersfield, and has previously been Professor of History at James Cook University. He was ordained a deacon for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on 28 April 2011 and a priest on 15 June 2011. His webpage is http://www.allenbrent.co.uk.

He has published widely on prominent early Christian figures such as Hippolytus of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, and Cyprian. Dr. Brent currently co-edits the Studia patristica with Markus Vinzent.

Andreas Loewe

Jost Andreas Loewe (born 27 February 1973) is a German-born priest in the Anglican Church of Australia. He has served as the 15th Dean of Melbourne since 2012, the second-youngest dean in the history of the diocese.An academic theologian and music historian, Loewe is also an honorary fellow and lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Caroline Bammel

Caroline Penrose Bammel, (née Hammond; 6 July 1940 – 31 October 1995), also known as Caroline Hammond Bammel, was a British ecclesiastical historian, classicist, and academic, who specialised in the history of early Christianity. She was a Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge from 1968 to 1995, and Reader in Early Church History at the University of Cambridge from 1992 to 1995.

Catherine Pickstock

Catherine Pickstock (born 1970) is an English philosophical theologian and academic. Since 2018, she has been Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow and tutor of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. She was previously Professor of Metaphysics and Poetics.

Divinity Faculty Library, Cambridge

The Divinity Faculty Library, Cambridge, is the library for theology and religious studies at the University of Cambridge, England. It is housed within the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge building on the Sidgwick Site off West Road, Cambridge. The library holds 59,000 volumes on its open shelves, and uses a bespoke classification system. The Library has particular strong holdings in Christian theology, biblical commentaries, church history and patristics. Perhaps, more surprisingly, also books on anthropology, sociology, politics, fiction and on sciences are held.The library is open to current members of the University of Cambridge, and members of the Cambridge Theological Federation.

Eamon Duffy

Eamon Duffy (born 9 February 1947) is an Irish historian and academic. He is Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow and former President of Magdalene College.

Garth Fowden

Garth Lowther Fowden, FBA (born 14 January 1953) is a historian. Since 2013, he has been Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths at the University of Cambridge.

Jane Leach

Jane Leach is a British Methodist minister and academic, who specialises in pastoral theology. Since September 2011, she has served as Principal of Wesley House, an Methodist theological college in Cambridge. She was also President of the Cambridge Theological Federation from 2015 to 2016.

Jeremy Begbie

Jeremy Begbie, (born 1957) BA, BD, Ph.D., LRAM, ARCM, FRSCM, is Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Professor at Duke Divinity School, Duke University, where he directs Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts. His primary research interest is the correlation between theology and the arts, in particular the interplay between music and theology. he is also an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge.

Jeremy Morris

Jeremy Nigel Morris (born 22 January 1960) is a British historian, Church of England priest and academic. He specialises in church history. Since 2014, he has been Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Previously, he was Dean of Trinity Hall from 2001 to 2010, and Dean of the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge from 2010 to 2014.

Judith Lieu

Judith Margaret Lieu (born 1951) is a British theologian and historian of religion. She specialises in the New Testament and early Christianity. Her research includes a focus on early Christian identity in its historical context, and literary analysis of biblical texts. From 2010 to 2018, she was Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. She retired from her post in 2018.

Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity

The Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity is the oldest professorship at the University of Cambridge. It was founded initially as a readership by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, in 1502.

There is also a Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford.

Nicholas de Lange

Nicholas Robert Michael de Lange (often known simply as N. de Lange) (7 August 1944, Nottingham) is Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Cambridge and is an ordained Reform rabbi. He was taught and ordained by the British Reform rabbi Ignaz Maybaum, a disciple of Franz Rosenzweig.

Sarah Coakley

Sarah Anne Coakley (born 10 September 1951) is an English Anglican systematic theologian and philosopher of religion with interdisciplinary interests. She is Honorary Professor at the Logos Institute, the University of St Andrews, after she stepped down as Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity (2007–2018) at the University of Cambridge. She is also Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Australian Catholic University, both in Melbourne and in Rome.

Simon Oliver (priest)

Simon Andrew Oliver (born 2 October 1971) is a British Anglican priest, theologian, and academic. He was formerly Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Nottingham, he is now the Van Mildert Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham. Oliver is also on staff with the Centre of Theology and Philosophy.

The Grand Design (book)

The Grand Design is a popular-science book written by physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow and published by Bantam Books in 2010. The book examines the history of scientific knowledge about the universe and explains 11 dimension M-theory. The authors of the book point out that a Unified Field Theory (a theory, based on an early model of the universe, proposed by Albert Einstein and other physicists) may not exist.It argues that invoking God is not necessary to explain the origins of the universe, and that the Big Bang is a consequence of the laws of physics alone. In response to criticism, Hawking said: "One can't prove that God doesn't exist, but science makes God unnecessary." When pressed on his own religious views by the Channel 4 documentary Genius of Britain, he clarified that he did not believe in a personal God.Published in the United States on September 7, 2010, the book became the number one bestseller on Amazon.com just a few days after publication.

It was published in the United Kingdom on September 9, 2010, and became the number two bestseller on Amazon.co.uk on the same day. It topped the list of adult non-fiction books of The New York Times Non-fiction Best Seller list in Sept-Oct 2010.

The Journal of Theological Studies

The Journal of Theological Studies is an academic journal established in 1899 and now published by Oxford University Press in April and October each year. It publishes theological research, scholarship, and interpretation, and hitherto unpublished ancient and modern texts, inscriptions, and documents. Volumes I to L (the Old Series) span 1899 to 1949, while volumes 1 to 63 (the New Series) span 1950 to 2012. As of 2012, the editors are Graham Gould, who oversees the articles and book reviews in non-biblical fields of study (including patristics, church history, and systematic theology), and Katharine Dell (Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge and Fellow of St Catharine's College), who oversees articles and book reviews in biblical studies and closely related fields. Previous editors have included the patristic scholars James Bethune-Baker, Henry Chadwick, and Maurice Wiles, and the biblical scholars Robert Lightfoot, Hedley F. D. Sparks, G. B. Caird, Morna Hooker, John Barton, and John Muddiman.

Timothy Winter

Timothy John Winter (born 1960), also known as Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, is an English Sunni Muslim scholar, researcher, writer and academic. He is the Dean of the Cambridge Muslim College, Aziz Foundation Professor of Islamic Studies at both Cambridge Muslim College and Ebrahim College, Director of Studies (Theology and Religious Studies) at Wolfson College and the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cambridge University. His work includes publications on Islamic theology and Muslim-Christian relations. In 2003 he was awarded the Pilkington Teaching Prize by Cambridge University and in 2007 he was awarded the King Abdullah I Prize for Islamic Thought for his short booklet Bombing Without Moonlight. He has consistently been included in the "500 Most Influential Muslims" list published annually by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre and was ranked in 2012 as the 50th most influential.

Wesley House

Wesley House was founded as a Methodist theological college (or seminary) in Jesus Lane, Cambridge, England. It opened in 1921 as a place for the education of Methodist ministers. It was a founding member of the Cambridge Theological Federation. While serving as a gateway to theological scholarship for students and scholars of the Wesleyan and Methodist traditions from around the world, it is independent of the University of Cambridge.

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