Skip Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Theology and Religion

In the nineteenth century, Oriel was the cradle of the Oxford Movement, all of whose leaders – John Keble, John Henry Newman, and E B Pusey – were Fellows of the College. In this century a number of famous theologians began their careers as Oriel students, including T F Torrance and John Hick.

Theology remains a thriving subject at Oriel. The College is particularly strong in ancient and modern Christian doctrine, Christian ethics, Biblical studies, and the philosophy of religion. In addition to the Tutorial Fellow in Theology, William Wood, the College also has as a Fellow Hindy Najman, the Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture. Emeritus Professor Richard Swinburne is still a very active member of the college.

Students in the Theology course (the single honours school) typically begin by studying select books of the Bible, along with a wide-ranging examination of the Christian doctrine of creation. They are also required to learn either Biblical Hebrew or New Testament Greek. After their first public examination, students choose one of three ‘tracks’ of study: Biblical Studies, History and Doctrine, or Religious Studies. Regardless of the track they choose, Oriel students have many opportunities to pursue their own theological interests.

Admission Criteria

Typical offer: AAA at A-level (or equivalent). Candidates for places in the Single Honours School of Theology are not required to have backgrounds in particular subjects. Candidates are required to submit one piece of written work.

 

Number of places

2 or 3

Departments

Faculty of Theology and Religion

Teaching Staff

Organising Tutor
Dr Brendan Harris

College Lecturer in Theology

Dr A K M Adam

College Lecturer in Theology

Dr John Olson

Stipendiary Lecturer in Theology

Revd Dr Rob Wainwright

Chaplain & Fellow | Tutor for Admissions and Outreach

Dr William Wood

Clifford Potter Fellow & Tutor in Theology

OTHER COURSES YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Number of places 6 for Literae Humaniores (Classics), Classics, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. Admission Criteria Applicants should usually have AAA at A-Level (or equivalent).

Classics (Literae Humaniores)
Number of places 6 for Literae Humaniores (Classics), Classics, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. There are additionally 1 place for Classics and English and 1 (usually) for Classics and Modern Languages. Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). Candidates will also be asked to submit two pieces of written work in English. The standard offer is AAA at A Level or equivalent. More information can be found on the Classics Faculty website.

Classics and English
Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). Candidates will also be asked to submit two pieces of written work in English. The standard offer is AAA at A Level or equivalent. More information can be found on the Classics Faculty website.

History
Number of places 9 Admission Criteria The admissions process at Oriel is exactly the same as at all other colleges. For further information, please visit the History Faculty admissions pages.

History (Ancient and Modern)
Number of places Usually 1 Admission Criteria Short-listing by History Aptitude Test and GCSE results (contextualized by school performance data). Admission by written work, interviews, and AAA at A-level or equivalent. There are no required subjects, and we consider applicants who do not have A-level History.

Philosophy (Joint Honours)
Admission Criteria The admissions criteria for each course involving philosophy can be found on the dedicated course page. For all courses, applicants invited to interview will be given a philosophy interview, or an interview with a philosophy component. At interview, we will not test whether you are already familiar with philosophical texts or arguments. Instead we are interested in your aptitude and potential for precise analytical thought, and in whether you enjoy abstract reasoning.

Philosophy and Theology
Number of places 3 or 4 Admission Criteria Typical offer: AAA at A-level (or equivalent). Candidates are required to submit one piece of written work for Theology (no work is required for Philosophy). Applicants should also complete the Philosophy admissions test, which is usually taken in November each year.

What next?