The Rev'd James Crockford

Fellow, Tutors, Dean of Chapel, Praelector, Chaplain, Senior Treasurer to the Boat Club
Specialising in
Theology and Music

James Crockford is the College’s Dean of Chapel, offering pastoral support to all in College. He is responsible for the life of the College’s historic Chapel, and convenes the College welfare team. He also writes and researches in the interrelation of theology and the arts.

Academic interests

James Crockford’s academic interests include: 

  • Theology and music
  • Theological aesthetics
  • Philosophical theology
  • Hermeneutics
  • Augustine of Hippo.

Degrees obtained

  • BA, Music, Nottingham.
  • BA, Theology and Religious Studies, Cantab.
  • MPhil Theology and Religious Studies, Cantab.

Awards and prizes

  • Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music.


James Crockford grew up in Derbyshire and Kent, before reading Music at the University of Nottingham. He is a saxophonist and keyboardist, and aged 21 was awarded, with distinction, a Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music.

After working in church community projects and training in counselling, he came to Cambridge to read Theology at Trinity Hall, whilst training for ordination at Ridley Hall. James served in parish ministry in Crayford on the edge of south-east London, before moving to be Associate Vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford and Honorary Chaplain at Magdalen College, Oxford.

James is currently engaged in doctoral study on Augustine of Hippo’s poetics, and supervises undergraduates in doctrinal theology. He writes and researches on the relation of theology and the arts, and reviews books on music for Theology journal.

James leads the Chapel team and coordinates the College’s team of Welfare Tutors. He is often assisted by Pippy the Beagle, who enjoys getting to know students and staff, and distracting them from workloads and worries!

Other interests

Dog-walking with his beagle, hiking the Camino de Santiago, swimming, jazz, gardening, reading.

Publications, links and resources

  • Crockford, J. (2022), Contested memorials and the discipleship of Christian memory, International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 22(2), July 2022, pp 97-110.
  • Crockford, J. (2021), Faith Beyond Fear: Sermons from Newman’s Pulpit, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock.
  • Crockford, J. (2017), Get Happy: Luther and the power of musical affect, LOGIA XXVI(1), January 2017, pp 47-52.
  • Crockford, J. (2016), Performing music, performing faith, Theology 119(1), January 2016.

Hear from our students