The Alister E. McGrath Chair of Christian Thought and Spirituality

Special Project

Early this year, Tyndale announced its vision to establish the endowed Alister E. McGrath Chair of Christian Thought and Spirituality. The twofold focus of the Chair (Christian Thought and Spirituality) is a key theme in Dr. McGrath’s scholarship and is foundational to the educational ethos at Tyndale Seminary. The term Christian Thought includes, among other things, the reformation theologies that are an important stream within the transdenominational Christian heritage of Tyndale. The joint emphasis in the title underscores the inseparability of theology from the life and practice of faithful living.

The Chair represents an incredible opportunity for Tyndale and the Christian community at large. Dr. McGrath welcomed this connection with Tyndale because of its strategic position in the most multicultural city in the world and because of its multidenominational nature.

Dr. Alister E. McGrath

An internationally acclaimed theologian, scholar and Christian apologist, Dr. Alister E. McGrath has uniquely underscored the intersection of theology, science and spirituality. As a science academic first before becoming an apologist, Dr. McGrath has been one of the most comprehensible voices of Christian faith in our pluralistic world.

Dr. McGrath is currently the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at Oxford University. Dr. McGrath is renowned for his prolific, scholarly work in diverse areas, including the relationship between science and religion (atheism, and his public debates with Richard Dawkins), Christian apologetics (the first director of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics; C. S. Lewis scholar), reformation theology (including Luther and Calvin), contemporary theologians (e.g., Brunner, Barth, Moltmann) and Christian spirituality (Roots That Refresh; Christian Spirituality). He is also the author of one of the most acclaimed theology textbooks in use, Christian Theology: An Introduction (Wiley Blackwell, 2017).

Dr. Dennis Ngien

Dr. Dennis Ngien, Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the ThM Program, will be installed as the first holder of the Alister E. McGrath Chair of Christian Thought and Spirituality at Homecoming in September. He is a renowned scholar, pastor, author and mentor, who brings diligent scholarship to bear on the issues of the day in a winsome and thoughtful manner.

The joint emphasis on “Christian Thought and Spirituality” is something Dr. Ngien naturally adopts in his multifaceted ministry. What makes him particularly fitting for this role is his ability to intersect his life of scholarly pursuits with that of practical application.

Dr. Ngien models qualities that students can emulate through his unwavering commitment to use intellect for God’s glory in scholarship while working in tandem with the church. Highly esteemed at the seminary and in the broader Christian community, Dr. Ngien is the senior theologian at Tyndale Seminary and the founder of the Centre for Mentorship & Theological Reflection. Through the Centre, he mentors scholars, theological students, pastors and church leaders and assists churches in advisory and teaching capacities. Dr. Ngien counts Dr. McGrath among his influential mentors, and in turn, Dr. McGrath selected Dr. Ngien to write an endorsement to the recent edition of Dr. McGrath’s acclaimed theology textbook.

Dr. Ngien’s areas of expertise include Systematic and Reformation Theologies, Jurgen Moltmann, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christology, Salvation, Trinity, and issues in the impassibility/passibility of God. He has authored numerous articles as well as 10 books, including most recently a major monograph on Luther’s Christology in John’s Gospel, published by Fortress Press, for which Dr. McGrath has written a preface. He was formerly nominated as Research Scholar at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University, and now serves as Research Professor at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. He has been reappointed as Fellow (2016; 2018) at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto, where he conducts his research and writing on his Reformation Spirituality: How the Gospel Shapes Christian Living in Luther and Calvin (Baker Academic, 2020).