Michael Ramsey Professor of Anglican Studies

Updated: almost 5 years ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 05 Jan 2015

Reference Number
Durham City
Arts & Humanities
Theology and Religion
Grade 10
Position Type
Full Time
Contract Type
Closing Date
5 January 2015

Job Description

The Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University has a long-standing tradition of outstanding research and is widely recognized as one of the leading departments in its field. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise it was ranked first in the UK, while its teaching quality is shown in its consistently obtaining exceptionally high rankings in both National Student Surveys and independent league tables. Its strengths range across Biblical Studies (Old Testament, New Testament, ancient Judaism, and Biblical languages), Christian theology (Greek and Latin patristics, the history and theology of late antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Reformation era, doctrinal and philosophical theology, and theological ethics), and the study of religion (the anthropology, sociology and psychology of religion). It also has centres in Catholic Studies and Death and Life Studies.The Department has a welcoming and collegial atmosphere, and is beautifully sited between the Cathedral and the Castle on the World Heritage Site in the centre of the City of Durham.

The Department has a longstanding interest in the theology and history of the Church of England and the Anglican tradition. Since the University’s foundation in 1832 there has been a Van Mildert Canon Professor of Divinity teaching in the University and serving as a residentiary canon of Durham Cathedral: this post, also currently vacant, is being advertised simultaneously. Over the past decade, this relationship has formed the basis for a nascent programme in Anglican Studies. Currently this programme includes a dedicated pathway in the MA in Christian Theology, and a regular Anglican Studies seminar. Since September 2014 the Department has also been validating ministerial training across the Church of England and partner churches through the Common Awards programme.

The Anglican Studies programme seeks to nurture research on the rich heritage of the Anglican tradition, its constructive theological vision, and its emerging opportunities and challenges as a global communion. The programme seeks to foster interdisciplinary conversations that reflect the interweaving in Anglican tradition of biblical and liturgical traditions, literary and historical imaginations, systematic and moral theology, philosophy, prayer, social witness, poetry and music.

The programme draws upon the unique synergy provided by the historic relationship of Durham Cathedral and the University of Durham. And, thus, besides a mission within the university, the programme also seeks to assist in the mutual outreach of University and Cathedral to the wider community.

This post arises from an endowment received by Durham Cathedral with the purpose of establishing a professorial position in support of the intellectual life of Anglicanism and of Anglican clergy. The post is named in commemoration of one of Durham’s most illustrious scholars and clerics, Michael Ramsey (1904-88), who was canon residentiary of Durham Cathedral, Van Mildert Professor of Divinity at Durham University, Bishop of Durham, and Archbishop of Canterbury. The postholder will hold a full-time academic post in the Department of Theology and Religion, and will also serve as a member of the college of canons of the Cathedral.

Because the appointee will be a senior member of the Foundation of Durham Cathedral whose members are appointed by the Bishop of Durham, the appointment will need to be ratified by the Bishop before it is confirmed.

The postholder’s duties will be:

a) to conduct outstanding research leading to publications of international significance in the field of Anglican studies, broadly defined. This may include but is not limited to the study of theology in the Anglican tradition; historical study of the post-Reformation Church of England and / or other aspects of Anglicanism; worship, liturgy and music in the Anglican tradition; Anglican approaches to ecclesiology, politics, law or social thought; the interpretation and use of the Bible in the Anglican tradition. Applicants with relevant expertise in philosophical and / or moral theology, or in the historical study of Anglicanism in the post-1700 period, are particularly welcome.

b) to seek and secure competitive external grant funding to support his / her research, individual and collaborative

c) to provide intellectual leadership and direction for the development of the Anglican Studies programme in Durham, in collaboration with Cathedral and departmental colleagues, including: convening a formal Centre for Anglican Studies; directing the Anglican Studies seminar; contributing as appropriate to the MA pathway in Anglican studies

d) to provide wider academic leadership within the Department of Theology and Religion and, as appropriate, within the Faculty and University as a whole

e) to teach undergraduates and postgraduates at all levels in the Department of Theology and Religion, including supervising research students, in line with the standard teaching load for academic staff in the Department

f) to carry out other minor administrative duties within the Department as requested by the Head of Department from time to time. The postholder will not be asked to carry a major administrative portfolio or to serve as Head of Department

g) to serve as a member of the college of canons of Durham Cathedral. For the avoidance of doubt, this does not require the Ramsey Professor to be ordained, but does require that he / she be a communicant member of the Church of England or the Anglican Communion, or of any other member church of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (which includes most Christian denominations), or of a church in communion with such a church.

The postholder will be responsible to the Head of the Department of Theology and Religion.

Person Specification

Professors at Durham are expected to display excellence in research and in teaching, and to demonstrate leadership both within the University community and also externally in promoting the interests of the University.


PhD in relevant subject area (E)


A strong, sustained record of excellent published academic output relevant to this post at international/world-leading levels of recognition (E)
Demonstrable active and realistic research programme, including future publication plans in Anglican studies and plans for attracting external research income (E)
Record of success in winning external research funding competitively (E)
Proven track record of successful postgraduate supervision (E)
Demonstrable ability to engage in research leadership (E)
Record of high achievement in teaching, demonstrated, for example, by student feedback and teaching awards etc.(E)
Evidenced commitment to the mentoring and guiding of early-career academic staff. (E)
A communicant member of the Church of England or other member church of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, or of a church in communion with such a church (E)

Skills / Competencies

The vision and ability to provide academic leadership in shaping the future of your discipline, within the international community and at Durham. (E)
The vision and ability to provide academic leadership within the Department of Theology and Religion and the University (E)
The vision and ability to develop a formal Centre for Anglican Studies in Durham (E)
Excellent leadership skills, coupled with the drive and ability to make a significant contribution to the Department and broadly within the University. (E)
An external profile such as membership of editorial boards or other equivalent bodies, offering expert legal advice, membership of policy-making bodies or review panels, advisory boards or funding councils.(E)
Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, in both academic and non-academic contexts (E)
In sympathy with the purpose and aims of Durham Cathedral (E)

Additional Information and Interview Date
This post is being advertised together with the Van Mildert Canon Professor of Divinity (Post Ref: 4161) and the appointments processes will run concurrently. Any applicants who wish to apply for both posts are welcome to do so. Separate applications should be submitted, although naturally the same material may be used for both. Candidates who apply for both posts may indicated an order of preference in their letters of application if they choose to do so.

Guidance for written application

1. It is essential that in your written application you give evidence of examples of proven experience in relation to the selection criteria.
2. Please include with your application:
(a) a statement (of up to 1,000 words) of the research project(s) you aim to pursue in the next five years. Where relevant this should mention any potential impact you envisage your research having outside higher education.
(b) a short statement of how you would envision leading the development of Anglican Studies in Durham.
These materials may be incorporated into your letter of application or included as separate documents.
3. You should include a sample of your recent scholarly writing (c. 5,000-7,000 words) with your application.

Please note that presentations are scheduled to take place on 22nd January 2015 and formal interviews on 23rd January 2015.

At interview, shortlisted candidates will be asked to give a 20-minute presentation on an aspect of their current or recent research to a mixed audience of academic staff and postgraduates from across the Department of Theology and Religion.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

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