James Woodward

Sarum College Principal

Email: jww@sarum.ac.uk
+44 (0)1722 424801
Twitter: @R_C_Woodward
Web: jameswoodward.info

James Woodward has been Principal of Sarum College since October 2015.

He is responsible for the strategic leadership of the College, the development of the College staff and ensuring collaboration, innovation, sustainability and excellence in all streams of Sarum’s community of learning. He has overseen the development of the College’s Centre for Formation in Ministry after the former training programme was merged with Sarum College and continues to be engaged in programme development and leadership.

James has a particular concern for building and enabling an outward facing learning life for the College which is rooted in the Christian tradition and nurtures interdisciplinary conversation together with thinking and practice around the nature of human flourishing.

As a Practical Theologian James has focussed on areas of health and healing, old age, the practice of theological reflection, and end of life care.

In thirty years of ministerial experience James has worked in a range of contexts, including health care chaplaincy and rural ministry, where he has consistently delivered sustainable growth and development in thinking and practice. As a theological educator James has taught in the Universities of Birmingham, Warwick, Cardiff, and in writing and delivering distance learning materials for part-time students through The Open University.

James is Chair of Governors at Salisbury Cathedral School and a Visiting Professor of the University of Winchester. He writes an occasional blog on his website which also has a comprehensive overview of recent lectures and other publications, including articles and book reviews.

“Thank you so much for yesterday. I have heard from many who took part, by email and in person, to say how inspirational and helpful they found the event. From a personal perspective, it was so good to spend the day focused on the deep theological issues that emerge from our work with people with dementia. It was clear from the group’s response through the day that they were ‘thirsty’ for this and recognised the wisdom you bring, both from your academic work but also personal and pastoral experiences alongside people with dementia. Thank you for sharing about your mum. It was moving hearing about your relationship with her and how it has influenced your thinking. Thank you too for the elements of humour, which seasoned the day and were appreciated by the group!”  – Julia Burton-Jones, Dementia Specialist Project Officer for the Diocese of Rochester



  • Shared lives in Older age: Developing a relational model of care (with Jenny Kartupelis) JKP 2018
  • Befriending the Older stranger? Ageing, theology and human flourishing JKP 2018

In Preparation

  • Putting Theology to Work: How to Think and Act Theologically


  • Embracing the Chaos: Theological Reflections on AIDS, 1990, SPCK – Four Editions
  • Encountering Illness: Voices in Pastoral and Theological Perspective, 1995, SCM
  • Finding God in Illness, 1997, Lion
  • The Blackwell Reader in Pastoral and Practical Theology, 1999, Blackwell
  • Befriending Death, 2005, SPCK
  • Services for Weekdays: Readings, Reflections and Prayers, 2006, SPCK
  • Praying the Lectionary: Prayers and Reflections for Every Week’s Readings, 2006, SPCK
  • Valuing Age: Mission and Ministry among Older People, 2008, SPCK
  • Between Remembering and Forgetting The spiritual dimensions of dementia, 2010, Continuum
  • Journey with Mark (with Paula Gooder and Mark Pryce), 2011, SPCK
  • Journey With Luke (with Paula Gooder and Mark Pryce), 2012, SPCK
  • Journeying with Matthew (with Paula Gooder and Mark Pryce), 2013, SPCK
  • Journey with John (with Paula Gooder and Mark Pryce), 2014, SPCK
  • Putting Theology to Work: How to Think and Act Theologically, 2015, SPCK

Previous Appointments

  • Canon of Windsor (2009-2015)
  • Master of the Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson & Vicar of St Mary the Virgin,
    Temple Balsall, Diocese of Birmingham (1998-2009)
  • Director of the Leveson Centre for the Study of Ageing, Spirituality and Social Policy, Temple Balsall (2000-2009)
  • Priest-in-Charge of Middleton and Wishaw (1996-1998) and Bishop’s Adviser for Health and Social Care, Diocese of Birmingham (1996-2001)
  • Chaplaincy Manager, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust (1992-1996)
  • Head of Chaplaincy Department, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (1990-1996)
  • Chaplain to the Bishop of Oxford (1987-1990)
  • Assistant Curate, Consett Parish Church, Diocese of Durham (1985-1987)


  • Ph.D., Theology/Sociology, The Open University ‘ A Study of the role of the Acute Health Care Chaplain 1945-1990’, supervised by Prof Stephen Pattison and Prof David Cox. 1999
  • M.Phil., Pastoral Theology, The University of Birmingham ‘ Representation and Practice in the Pastoral Care of people living with HIV/AIDS’ 1991
  • Certificate in Counselling, The University of Durham, 1987
  • Westcott House Cambridge 1983-1985
  • Lambeth S. Th. by thesis ‘The Pastoral Care of the Long-term Dependent Patient’, supervised by The Revd. Dr Rupert Hoare, Westcott House, Cambridge, 1985
  • B.D., A.K.C., Kings College London 1982