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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.

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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