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Ian C. Bradley

Professor of Cultural and Spiritual History

BradleyIan Bradley teaches and publishes in the areas of contemporary British Christianity, Scottish Christianity, Celtic Christianity, worship, hymnody, religion and popular culture and broader cultural history.

Principal of St Mary's College

The position of Principal of St Mary's College reflects the former collegial structure of St Andrews University and is a role that is retained in acknowledgement of the deep historical roots of the teaching of Divinity within the University. The Principalship of St Mary's College also expresses the long-standing links between the University and the Church of Scotland; for centuries St Andrews has been, along with the other ancient Scottish Universities, one of the contexts in which Kirk ministers have received their theological education.

In its present form, the Principal of St Mary's College, currently Ian Bradley, is a largely ceremonial role, involving participation in graduation ceremonies and other major University occasions. In addition, the Principal is the main point of contact with the Church of Scotland and has particular pastoral responsibilities towards candidates for ministry. The management of the School of Divinity lies with the Head of School.


  • B.A., M.A., D.Phil., University of Oxford
  • B.D., University of St Andrews.
  • Political journalist  and leader writer on The Times.
  • Head of Religious Broadcasting, BBC Scotland
  • Lecturer in church history and practical theology, University of Aberdeen
  • Author of over 40 books, regular broadcaster and journalist
  • Honorary Church of Scotland chaplain of University of St Andrews 

Research Fields

  • Hymnody
  • Pilgrimage
  • Liberal Theology
  • The Spirituality of Water
  • Scottish Spirituality


  • Practical theology and church history
  • Level 1 course: The Church, Ritual and Politics (D1 1002)
  • Honours courses:  The theology of musicals; Monarchy, church and state; Scottish spirituality; Worship and the Word (Liturgy and Homiletics)
  • Postgraduate course: The Bible and Diversity

Recent Books

Argyll: The Making of a Spiritual Landscape (St Andrew Press, 2015)

Lost Chords and Christian Soldiers: The Sacred Music of Arthur Sullivan (SCM Press, 2013)

‘The Theology of the Victorian Hymn Tune’ – opening chapter in Music and Theology in Nineteenth Century Britain (Ashgate, 2012)

Water: A Spiritual History (Bloomsbury Continuum 2012)

God Save the Queen:The Spiritual Heart of Monarchy (Continuum 2012)

Grace, Order, Openness and Diversity: Reclaiming Liberal Theology (Continuum, 2010 UK & USA)

Water Music: Music Making in the spas of Europe and North America (Oxford University Press, 2010 USA & UK)

Pilgrimage: A Spiritual and Cultural Journey (Lion Hudson,2009  and translated into Norwegian, Dutch, Japanese and Arabic)

Believing in Britain: Overlapping Spiritual Identities (I.B. Tauris, 2007 & Lion, 2008)

Enlightened Entrepreneurs: Business Ethics in Victorian Britain (Lion, UK, 2007)

The Call to Seriousness: The Evangelical impact on the Victorians (Lion, UK, 2006)

The Daily Telegraph Book of Carols (Continuum, UK, 2006)

You've Got to Have a Dream - the message of the musical (SCM Press, UK, and Westminster John Knox, USA, 2005)

The Daily Telegraph Book of Hymns (Continuum, 2004)

Contact details

Dr Ian C. Bradley
Reader in Church History & Practical Theology

St Mary's College
The School of Divinity
University of St Andrews
South Street
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9JU
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: + 44 (0)1334 462840
Fax: + 44 (0)1334 462852