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Professor Rob Warner


Vice-Chancellor's Office

01752 636870 Ext:2070

Rob Warner

Role Summary

It is my great privilege to be the Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Marjon, a small and friendly University which has been committed to transforming lives through higher education for nearly 180 years. We seek always to provide a highly personalised approach to the university experience, in which students are centre stage and every individual is supported to discover and fulfil their potential. I admire our widely-praised strengths in teacher education, sport and health, and anticipate growing recognition for our increasing successes in a wide range of other disciplines. Marjon is now enjoying the rapid development of research excellence that is well-integrated with our long history of teaching excellence; our undergraduate and postgraduate students are able to work with academics who are national and international leaders in their fields of study.


  • PhD, Theology (Sociology of Religion), King’s College London
  • MA, Theology, Oxford
  • MA, English, York
  • BA (Hons), English and Related Literature, York


My academic career began at the University of Wales, Lampeter, where I became Head of Department. I then moved to the University of Chester where I became Executive Dean of Humanities, with university-wide responsibilities including curriculum development and postgraduate students. My first career was in commercial publishing, and I look forward to combining academic and entrepreneurial initiatives for the advancement of Marjon.


- religion, culture and secularisation

- the decline of Christianity in Western Europe since 1850

- George Eliot and the post-theistic functions of the English C19th novel

- AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society: 3 year award of £334,000, 2009-12 with colleagues from the Universities of Durham and Derby. An empirical study of Christian identity and the university experience, examining Roman Catholic, mainstream Protestant and evangelical/Pentecostal students.


Selected publications



Christianity and the University Experience, Mathew Guest, Kristin Aune, Sonya Sharma & Rob Warner. London, Continuum, 2013.

Secularization and its Discontents. London, Continuum, 2010.

Reinventing English Evangelicalism, 1966-2001. A Theological and Sociological Study, Carlisle, Paternoster, 2007.


Chapters in edited volumes

‘The Widening Gyre: Counter-trends in Evangelical Theology and Sub-culture’, in Pete Ward & Martyn Percy (eds), The Wisdom of the Spirit: Gospel, Church and Culture. London: Ashgate, 2014, pp. 103-118

‘Evangelical Bases of Faith and Fundamentalising Tendencies’ in David Bebbington and David Ceri Jones (eds.) Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism: The Experience of the United Kingdom During the Twentieth Century, Oxford: OUP, 2013.

‘How Congregations are Becoming Customers’, in Michael Bailey, Anthony McNicholas & Guy Redden (eds.) Mediating Faiths: Religion and Socio-Cultural Change in the Twenty-First Century. London: Ashgate, 2011, pp. 119-130.

‘Autonomous Conformism: the paradox of entrepreneurial Protestantism (Spring Harvest: a case study)' in Abby Day (ed.) Religion and the Individual, Ashgate Religion and Theology in Interdisciplinary Perspective Series, in association with the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008, pp. 151-178.

‘York's evangelicals and charismatics: an emergent free market in voluntarist religious identities' in Sebastian Kim & Pauline Kollontai (eds) Community and Identity: Perspectives from Theology and Religious Studies, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007, pp.183-202.

‘Ecstatic spirituality and entrepreneurial revivalism' in Andrew Walker & Kristin Aune (eds) On Revival: A Critical Examination, Carlisle, Paternoster, 2003. pp 221-238.


Journal articles

‘Re-imagining a Church Foundation University in a Secular Age.’ Journal of Beliefs and Values, 2013.

‘Challenging “Belief” and the Evangelical Bias: Student Christianity in English Universities’. Guest, M., Sharma, S., Aune, K and Warner, R. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 2013.

Pluralism and voluntarism in the English religious economy, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 2006.

Expert Membership of professional bodies


Roles on external bodies


Other Interests

- country and clifftop walks

- classical music, particularly opera 

- renovating period houses, one from the 1780s and one from the 1850s

- favourite cities: Florence, Bordeaux

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