Vision Mission & Values

Who We Are

The Sydney College of Divinity Graduate Research School seeks not only to produce scholars whose theological research reflects the highest academic excellence but also who exhibit its deep impact upon their character in their academic, denominational and professional leadership, as well as in the spiritual formation of their communities.

Research Excellence

We are known for our academic excellence. We believe in the centrality of the Bible, and the powerful transformation that comes from a theologically sound understanding that is able to influence the community.


We prepare leaders who will lead and build the Church for the future. Our desire is to see God’s Word flourish through a broad range of individuals, churches and communities.


We desire to be deeply relational and real; embodying Christ with a servant-hearted attitude in our leadership, and our relationships with the broader community.

Our research program aims to raise up the next generation of theological scholars and teachers in diverse ecumenical contexts and to produce creative interdisciplinary thinkers and leaders who will transform the professions, social agencies, and pedagogic institutions in which they serve. Because of the ecumenical ethos of the Sydney College of Divinity, we hope through our research programs to foster reconciliation and integration in an increasingly divided world, as well as, in an ecclesial context, to respect the diversity of Christian tradition by learning from its richness. As such, the SCD Graduate Research School is fully integrative in its disciplines, transformative in its impact, and holistically missional in its aim of advancing the Kingdom of God through excellence in research.

A vibrant research ethos is a clear distinguishing feature of the Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) and its Graduate Research School. Whether you are a research student studying at the Graduate Research School or a new faculty member based in one of SCD’s Member Institutions or the Korean School of Theology, you will find that effective scholarship and the pursuit of research are highly valued and strongly supported across the SCD.


Excellence in research at the Sydney College of Divinity has been recognised by relevant Government agencies. In 2009, for example, the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) strongly commended the SCD for its ‘vibrant theological research culture’ and for ‘the support offered to research students and in particular to doctoral research students’, as well as its ‘culture of academic rigour, informed by scholarship drawn from across diverse theological traditions’. In 2016, when the SCD received self-accrediting status, the Tertiary Education Standards and Quality Agency (TEQSA) praised its strong research ethos, noting its ‘history of sustained scholarship’, which ‘impacts positively on teaching’, and its ‘active scholarly community’, which exists in a ‘supportive, collaborative environment’.


SCD has mounted research conferences each year since 2013 in theological education, public theology, and biblical, exegetical, and historical studies. Keynote speakers are internationally known scholars in their fields and conference proceedings have been published from each conference so far. Some of the Member Institutions and the Korean School of Theology have held research conferences of note. In addition, SCD also holds the Annual and Special Lectures on evenings in first and second semester each year, respectively, at which guest academics present new research for the general public and scholars. The redevelopment of the SCD Press in exciting new directions in 2017 represents another important expansion of the research culture. SCD’s Honorary Research Associates, invited academic colleagues from other institutions of note, provide, variously, occasional thesis supervision, contributions to SCD conferences, faculty professional development, and research advice.

SCD research students are encouraged to attend and offer papers at the SCD conferences and other academic conferences that are publicised within SCD. The SCD has partnered with four other national theological institutions in developing the annual Postgraduate Research Conference: Theology and Philosophy, where SCD research students are encouraged to offer papers or simply attend and meet other research students from across the sector.


The Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) faculty and staff publishes its scholarship and research widely in Australian and international presses. Some have won international prizes for their scholarship. Other SCD scholars are Fellows of the most prestigious Australian Academy within their discipline, and have contributed internationally at an administrative and pedagogic level to major overseas organisations and institutions responsible for the advancement of theological education across the world. Many others contribute at the highest theological level to the social policy and pastoral welfare of their denominations, including the local churches that belong to them. SCD graduates have brought the outcomes of their research to bear in their professions, their artistic communities, and the colleges and universities where they teach and serve.

Below are some of the Sydney College of Divinity faculty who have extensively published in the areas listed. Research students interested in a proposal in any of these areas can consider them as supervisors for their study.


Biblical studies

  • Dr Michele Connolly (Feminist and narrative Biblical studies)
  • Dr Lydia Gore-Jones (Jewish Apocalyptic literature)
  • Professor James Harrison (Historical Jesus, Pauline Studies, urban Christianity, Roman empire studies)


Church history studies

  • Dr Robert Andrews (19th century Anglo-Catholicism)
  • Associate Professor Doru Costache (Patristic era)
  • Dr Jin Heung Kim (Reformation history)


Mission studies

  • Professor Darren Cronshaw (Missional leadership)
  • Dr Mervyn Duffy (Pacific mission studies)


Pastoral studies

  • Professor Darren Cronshaw (Empirical congregational studies)
  • Dr Brendan Daly (Catholic Canon Law)
  • Dr André van Oudtshoorn (Reformed church practice)



  • Dr John Owens (Philosophy of religion)



  • Professor Les Ball (Theological education)
  • Associate Professor Doru Costache (Patristic theology)
  • Associate Professor David McEwan (Wesleyan theology)
  • Dr Philip Kariatlis (Orthodox theology, Trinity)
  • Associate Professor Gerard Kelly (Ecumenical theology, sacramental theology)
  • Dr Jin Heung Kim (Reformation theology)
  • Dr Peter McGregor (Ratzinger studies)
  • Professor Isabelle Naumann (Mariology)
  • Professor Neil Ormerod (Trinity, Christology, historical ecclesiology, Lonergan studies)
  • Dr Robert Tilley (Contemporary cultural studies)