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Trinity College Theological School appoints new Dean

Canadian theologian the Revd Dr Robert Derrenbacker to succeed the Revd Canon Professor Dorothy Lee

Trinity College Chapel in Parkville: the Warden of Trinity College, Professor Ken Hinchcliff, says Dr Derrenbacker's appointment is critical to realising Trinity's ambitions for the Theological School to "increase in prominence as an internationally-recognised research and teaching college in the Anglican tradition and... contribute to the new and changing contexts of Australian society".

By Stephen Cauchi

May 17 2018Canadian theologian the Revd Dr Robert (Bob) Derrenbacker has been appointed the next Dean of the Trinity College Theological School.

Dr Derrenbacker is currently President and Vice-Chancellor at Thorneloe University, an Anglican college federated with Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

He succeeds the Revd Canon Professor Dorothy Lee, who is Frank Woods Research Professor in New Testament. The Revd Professor Mark Lindsay, Joan F.W. Munro Professor of Historical Theology, has served as Interim Dean.

The Warden of Trinity College, Professor Ken Hinchcliff, said that Dr Derrenbacker had enjoyed an “exceptional career”.

“With degrees in Theology from the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto (PhD), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.A.T.S.) and Wheaton College (B.A.), Dr Derrenbacker’s academic focus includes the Synoptic Gospels, the letters of Paul, Historical Jesus research, and the social world of the New Testament,” Professor Hinchcliff said.

“He regularly teaches courses in the New Testament Gospels, the letters of Paul, and a course on the portrayal of Jesus in cinema.”

Prior to joining Thorneloe University, Robert was Associate Professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

From 2000 to 2003, he was Associate Dean and Assistant Professor of New Testament at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto and in 2005 he was a Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Theology at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. He has also taught at St. Peter’s Theological Seminary, London, Ontario, and St. Michael’s College and Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto.

A scholar of early Christian literature, Dr Derrenbacker is the author of a number of essays and articles, including several published in the Journal of Biblical Literature, the Toronto Journal of Theology and the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.

“Robert will join Trinity College in January, 2019,” said Professor Hinchcliff. “Reporting to the Warden and working closely with the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Divinity and external partners and supporters across the Diocese and Province, the role of the Dean is to lead across all strategic, academic, operational, external and spiritual matters of the School. 

 “Robert’s appointment is critical, as we work to realise our ambitions for the Theological School, including that it increase in prominence as an internationally-recognised research and teaching college in the Anglican tradition and that it contribute to the new and changing contexts of Australian society.”