An ancient intellectual discipline with profound social significance around the world today.

Theology is a challenging wide-ranging degree course which enables students to develop linguistic, literary, historical, and conceptual skills as well as religious literacy. The degree course enables students to acquire analytical skills which equip them for a remarkably rich array of future careers. Some of these include law, banking, personnel management, media, business, government, international development, the charitable sector, civil service, teaching, social work and many others. Theology students at St John’s have a dedicated director of studies for their entire degree course. The tutorial fellow also provides tutorials in Biblical Studies, with teaching in history and doctrine provided by the Lecturer.

Theology at St John’s is an inclusive community, welcoming the most talented students regardless of background. Both members of academic staff were educated in the comprehensive system, and we particularly encourage applicants for whom an Oxford degree may seem unattainable but whose academic performance and interest makes them stand out.

  • Applicants from any religious or secular background are welcome and are encouraged to apply. Applicants do not need to be religious to do the course: it is more important to be able to demonstrate analytical skills and potential to learn languages.
  • St John’s has a steady record of Firsts, often achieving high first-class degrees. Students also find time to be active in music, sport and a wide range of university activities.
  • Library resources and electronic resources are excellent, both through the Bodleian and internally. The college library has an excellent collection in Theology and Religion and the college is currently building a stunning new, well-resourced library.
  • St John's is home to a lively, mutually supportive group of undergraduate and postgraduate students. The cohort meets termly for subject-specific College events such as dinners, sometimes with guest speakers, and drinks parties.
  • Theology is an interdisciplinary subject and the Theology course offers a wide range of topics to choose from. Theology students have the opportunity to learn to read ancient texts in their original languages and are offered the chance to learn Biblical Hebrew, New Testament Greek, Vulgate Latin, Classical Arabic, Pali or Sanskrit.
  • Our students benefit from being part of a Theology and Religion faculty which is outstanding in both research and teaching. The faculty received the highest rating in the most recent research assessment exercise.
  • Our students have excellent resources, lectures, classes and above all tutorials which impart high-level skills of researching, thinking and writing.
  • Lectures and classes take place at central venues. Tutorials are both in College with the Tutor in Theology and with a wide range of other specialist tutors in other colleges.

Read a profile from a St John's student studying Theology here.
Watch a video of a St John's student talking about studying Theology:

Watch a video with Theology Tutor Professor Katherine Southwood

Professor Katherine Southwood Theology Video

Learn more on the Faculty of Theology and Religion Blog.

Related information

Selection criteria

Theology and Joint Schools tutors