Dr Ashley Cocksworth

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


  • [email protected]
  • +44 (0) 20 8392 3000
  • 431 Sir David Bell Building
  • @ash_cocksworth
  • Virtual office hours: Tuesdays (3.30-4.30 pm) and Wednesdays (3.30-4.30 pm) - e-mail me for the link

I am Reader (Associate Professor) in Theology and Practice at the University of Roehampton. I joined the University in 2018 as Senior Lecturer, 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.

My internal roles include:

My external roles include:

Previous external appointments and responsibilities 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.


Research projects

I am 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 the PI on project funded by the John Templeton Foundation as part of the New Visions in Theological Anthropology: Engaging with the Behavioral Sciences grant 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.

I am the PI on a project funded by a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant entitled: Listening for Joy in an Age of Despair: The Religious Lives of Older (Anglican) Christians.

Previously, I was the PI on the God and Study Skills: Learning as Formation project funded by a Common Awards (Durham University) 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 am supervising the following doctoral projects: Luke Larner (on pneumatologies of mission and community organising); Andrew Axon (on burnout and joy); Lisa Bewick (on safeguarding in the Church of England’; Leslie Crossland: (on faith formation in public worship); Jonathan Mead (on tradition formation and transmission); David Childs (on perinatal loss and trauma theology); Pippa Ross-McCabe (on theological reflection in TEIs); Monica McArdle (on somantic awareness in lectio divina); Mark Ord (on Baptist missiology and embodiment).

I have convened a variety of modules accross all levels (FdA, BTh, BA, MA, DTh). In 2023/24, I am convening the following:

  • Christian Doctrine in Practice [L6]
  • Final Year Project [L6]
  • Publishable Article [L8]

Professional affiliations

External positions

Editor, Elements in Christian Doctrine Series (CUP)

2023 → …

Editor-in-Chief, Studies in Systematic Theology, Brill

2022 → …

External Examiner, Durham University

2022 → …

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


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)


Treasurer, Society for the Study of Theology


Executive Committee Member, Society for the Study of Theology