Ashley Cocksworth

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Personal profile


I am Senior Lecturer in Theology and Practice at the University of Roehampton. I joined the University in 2018, having previously been Assistant Professor in Theology and Ministry in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University (2017-18) and Tutor in Systematic Theology at the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham (2012-17). My studies were undertaken at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge.

I am the convener of:

My external roles include:

Research interests

I work in the area of Christian theology. More specifically, I am interested in the relation between religious belief and religious practice. I am particularly interested how these questions get framed and theorised in modern theology and increasingly in Anglican systematic theology. 

In terms of actual religious practices, I am primarily interested in ‘everyday’ (or nearly everyday) religious practices and some of the ordinary things religious people do. I have written on Evening Prayer in Anglican liturgy, the Sabbath as a form of contemplation, the Sabbath as a form of ecological practice, baptism, the saying of the creeds in worship, the idea of giving glory to God, the practice of 'reading', the smile, and more generally and variously theological matters relating to the practice of prayer - including when prayer goes wrong. I have found prayer to be a useful ‘way in’ to investigate the relation between belief-formation and practice. My next major research project develops a theology of joy in dialogue with strands of social and developmental psychology.


For some reviews of Karl Barth on Prayer, see: Religion and Theology, 23.2 (2016); Choice (2016); Theology in Scotland, 23.1 (2016); Expository Times, 28.3 (2016); International Journal of Systematic Theology, 19.2 (2017); Modern Theology, 33.3 (2017); Theologischen Literaturzeitung (2017, Nr. 4); Centre for Karl Barth Studies, Princeton Theological Seminary (December 2017); Journal of Reformed Theology, 11.4 (2018).

For some reviews of Prayer: A Guide for the Perplexed, see: Church of England Newspaper (Sep 2018); The Way, 58.2 (2019); The Reader Magazine (Winter, 2018); Church Times (January 2019); Reviews in Religion and Theology, 26.1 (2019); Theology, 122.2 (2019); Regents Review, 10.2 (2019); Anglican Theological Review, 102.2 (2020); Theological Studies, 81.2 (2020); Reading Religion, American Academy of Religion (2020); Scottish Journal of Theology, 73.4 (2021). 

Publications [in preparation]

  • Glorification, co-authored with David F. Ford (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic)
  • The Modern Theologians: An Introduction to Christian Theology Since 1918, co-edited with Rachel Muers (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell).

Research projects

I am currently the PI on the Faith Long Lived: An Ecumenical Study of Experiences of Saying Creeds among Older Christians project funded by the Southlands Methodist Trust.

I am currently the recipient of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation as part of the New Visions in Theological Anthropology: Engaging with the Behavioral Sciences project at the University of St Andrews which is designed to get theologians thinking carefully about theological anthropology on those questions that involve evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, and cognitive science. My project is entitled Smiling for Joy: Theological Engagements with Psychology.

Previously, I was the PI on the God and Study Skills: Learning as Formation project funded by a Common Awards seedcorn grant. 


I am Programme Convener of the Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology (DTh). If you are interested in the DTh programme, please contact me and I will be pleased to provide further information.

I have convened a variety of modules accross all levels (FdA, BTh, BA, MA, DTh). In 2021/22, I am convening the following:

  • Christian Doctrine in Practice [L6]
  • Publishable Article [L8]
  • Research Design (1): Literature Review and Research Question [L8]

Professional affiliations

External positions

Editorial Board, Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care

2021 → …

External Examiner, University of Winchester


Associate, Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology (University of Aberdeen)

2020 → …

External Examiner, University of Cambridge

2020 → …

External Examiner, University of Chester

2020 → …

Honorary Research Fellow, The Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham


External Examiner, St Albans Cathedral Study Centre


Editorial Group, Grove Books (Doctrine Series)

2017 → …

Treasurer, Society for the Study of Theology


Executive Committee Member, Society for the Study of Theology