About us

old books

Theology is one of the oldest faculties in this ancient University. One of the first courses of lectures given at Oxford was in Theology, over 800 years ago. Alexander Neckam, from St Albans, is recorded as giving biblical and moral lectures as early as 1193, on the Psalms of David and the Wisdom of Solomon. One of the first major University buildings (still intact and recently described as ‘the loveliest room in England') was the Divinity School, which was begun in 1423 to cater for Theology lectures. So we have a long history behind us, of which Oxford's beautiful setting and many historic buildings remind us.

Nevertheless, we are very much aware that present and future success cannot rest on past achievements. Recent developments include our work in the Study of Religion and in the major religious traditions of the world, and also our exploration of the interface between science and religion.

At the heart of the Faculty of Theology and Religion are those who hold full-time permanent positions and who have a particular responsibility for teaching, research and the delivery of the syllabus, as well as academic leadership. These University postholders number 23 in all; they are Professors and University Lecturers. Each is attached to a College: some have greater responsibilities to undergraduates, and others to graduates. But the Faculty is further enriched by its 100 or so other members; they include research fellows and College chaplains, lecturers and tutors, and they are involved in teaching, largely through tutorials. The particular subject areas, faculty responsibilities and research interests of the University postholders and other Faculty members may be seen on the Faculty page. If you are interested in obtaining more information about individual Colleges, you can do this through accessing Colleges via the University Home Page.

There are over 450 students at the Faculty of Theology and Religion, pursuing a range of different undergraduate and postgraduate courses.  In the academic year 2021-2022, the Faculty has been home to 214 BA students; 95 students taking a Postgraduate Diploma, Master of Theology, Master of Studies or Master of Philosophy; and 143 full and part-time doctoral students. (These figures are subject to small changes across the year but continue to provide an accurate indication of the Faculty's student body.) The University Website provides further and up-to-date information about the average annual intake on individual courses. You can also find links to admissions websites as well as more information about the range of courses offered by the Faculty on our dedicated Undergraduate Study and Postgraduate Study pages.