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James McLaren (Vox/University of Divinity)

The University of Divinity in Melbourne has appointed former Australian Catholic University deputy chancellor James McLaren as its vice-chancellor. Source: Vox.

Professor McLaren comes to the University of Divinity following major leadership roles at Australian Catholic University, where he recently completed his term as the senior officer responsible for Research and Enterprise. Prior to this deputy vice-chancellor position, he had been ACU’s pro-vice chancellor (research), and foundation director of the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry.

Professor McLaren will take over from the university’s inaugural vice-chancellor, Peter Sherlock, who announced in September last year that he would step down from the role in March after 12 years at the helm. 

Announcing the appointment, University of Divinity chancellor Dr Graeme Blackman said Professor McLaren “brings to the role a deep commitment to the university’s mission, his personal standing as an internationally acclaimed scholar of ancient Jewish, Roman and Early Christian Studies, and a record of strong leadership and strategic development in the contemporary higher education sector”.

Professor McLaren said it was a great privilege to be called by the University of Divinity to serve as its next vice-chancellor.

“Of particular significance for me is the university’s ecumenical nature and its commitment to excellence in teaching, research and engagement with its stakeholders and the wider community. I share the university’s deep and genuine commitment to social justice and creating opportunity,” Professor McLaren said.

“The questioning of the place of Christianity, and religion in general, in contemporary society compounds the urgency of continuing to develop the role and outreach of the University of Divinity. I am strongly committed to working with the colleges and churches to achieve that goal.”

Professor McLaren has been appointed for a five-year term, commencing in April.

University of Divinity appoints new Vice-Chancellor (Vox)
University of Divinity Vice-Chancellor to step down in 2024  (Vox)