Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1953. 

He gained first class honours in chemistry at Oxford University in 1975, and began research in molecular biophysics in the Oxford University Department of Biochemistry. During the years 1975-8, he carried out scientific research, leading to the publication of a number of peer-reviewed research articles, alongside studying for the Oxford University Final Honour School of Theology. In December 1977, he was awarded an Oxford D.Phil. for his research in the natural sciences, and he gained first class honours in Theology in June 1978. 

The interaction of Christian theology and the natural sciences has subsequently been a major theme of his research work, and is best seen in the three volumes of his Scientific Theology (2001-3).

McGrath then left Oxford to study theology at Cambridge University. In 1983, he was appointed lecturer in Christian doctrine and ethics at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and a member of the Oxford University Faculty of Theology. He gave the Bampton Lectures at Oxford University in 1990, in which he explored the factors which lead to the origins of doctrinal statements in Christianity.

McGrath was elected University Research Lecturer in Theology at Oxford University in 1993, and concurrently served as research professor of theology at Regent College, Vancouver, from 1993-7. 

In 1995, he was elected Principal of Wycliffe Hall, and in 1999 was awarded a personal chair in theology at Oxford University, with the title of "Professor of Historical Theology". He earned an Oxford Doctorate of Divinity in 2001 for his research on historical and systematic theology.

In September 2004, he resigned as Principal of Wycliffe Hall to become the first Director of the newly-established Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. In October 2006, he was elected to a Senior Research Fellowship at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, where he began directing a major new research project on natural theology, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, while also serving as President of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2005.

In September 2008, McGrath took up the newly-established Chair of Theology, Ministry and Education in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at King's College, London. He also serves as the academic leader of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture, and is involved both in theological research and the professional development of clergy from a range of Christian denominations.

His main research interest at present is the area of thought traditionally known as "natural theology", which is experiencing significant renewal and revitalization at the moment.