David Emerton
Revd Dr David Emerton
Director of St Mellitus, East Midlands


Revd Dr David Emerton is Director of St Mellitus College, East Midlands.  Before that David was the Principal of the School of Discipleship in the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham and before that a Teaching Fellow in Systematic & Historical Theology at the University of Aberdeen, where he also completed his doctorate.  Prior to moving to Aberdeen, David served as a member of clergy in the Diocese of London, and prior to ordination he worked in the City of London as a corporate lawyer.  Outside of theology and the church David’s interests include: Liverpool FC, crime novels, fighting a losing battle to keep fit, his wife, Naomi, and his two young daughters (although not necessarily in that order…).

Research Projects

David’s current research is focussed on modern ecclesiological methodology. He is working on his second booktentatively titled Types in Ecclesiology, which is under contract to be published by Baker Academic.

Types in Ecclesiology is concerned with what for the ecclesiologist and church practitioner alike is the decisive ecclesiological question: what is the church? A genuinely theological response to this question requires an account of the church that holds together speech about God’s own life and the church’s human form. In contemporary ecclesiology, however, there is a tendency to tear asunder the relationship of divine and human togetherness in the church’s being by attending either to the church’s human form or to the life of God; and to each at the expense of the other. The result of this ‘either/or’ tendency is accounts of the church that – to one extent or another – are theologically deficient. The book describes this deficiency through its innovative typological analysis of contemporary approaches to ecclesiology and calls for genuinely theological ecclesiological speech by its articulation of a reparative ‘both/and’ theological grammar for ecclesiology. This grammar holds together both divine and human agency through an invocation of the Holy Spirit and can thus fund genuinely theological responses to the question of what the church is.



  • Types of Ecclesiology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, forthcoming)
  • God’s Church Community: The Ecclesiology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (London: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2020).
  • Review of Michael Mawson, Christ Existing as Community: Bonhoeffer’s Ecclesiology (Oxford: OUP, 2018), Ecclesiology 15.2 (2019) (invited)