Dr. Robert Derrenbacker appointed to new position at Trinity College in Melbourne, Australia

May 18, 2018

Thorneloe University in Sudbury is set to begin a search for a successor to Dr. Robert Derrenbacker.

Dr. Derrenbacker, who has served as President, Provost and Vice-Chancellor since 2009, has been appointed Dean of the Trinity College Theological School on the campus of the University of Melbourne, Australia effective January 2019. This theological college within the Anglican Church of Australia is a member school within the University of Divinity in Melbourne.


“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I would like to thank Dr. Derrenbacker for his leadership and friendship during his tenure with Thorneloe University,” said Board Chair Nicole Charette. “Bob has served Thorneloe with distinction over the past 10 years and will be missed. We wish him the very best in his new and important role with Trinity College in Australia.”

Dr. Derrenbacker is Thorneloe’s twelfth president. Since joining Thorneloe University on July 1, 2009, he has brought a blend of scholarship and executive skills to the position. Under his leadership, Thorneloe University continues to make tremendous progress.

“We adopted a new strategic plan and visual identity, enhanced course offerings, expanded enrolment, renovated and renamed the Thorneloe Theatre and Chapel, and celebrated our 50th anniversary with a series of events that brought together current and former students and staff,” said Nicole Charette. “We remain focused on our vision of inspiring transformation through education and our mission of fostering learning for life by nurturing critical thinkers and good citizens through the pursuit of the arts and humanities as we continue to implement our strategic priorities.”

Dr. Derrenbacker has been delighted to lead Thorneloe University and will work with the Board to ensure a smooth transition. “As a federated partner, Thorneloe University plays an extremely vital role in the education of students at Laurentian,” he said. “We offer students an exceptional learning opportunity in a warm and welcoming environment.” He added: “I look forward to working with the Board, faculty and staff as we continue to evolve the leadership at Thorneloe to meet the needs of students in our classrooms and in our residence.”

Prior to joining Thorneloe University, Dr. Derrenbacker was Associate Professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of St Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. His dissertation, “Ancient Compositional Practices and the Synoptic Problem” was published by Peeters (Leuven) in 2005. A scholar of early Christian literature, Dr. Derrenbacker is the author of a number of essays and articles, including several published in the Journal of Biblical Literature, the Toronto Journal of Theology and the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.

From 2000 to 2003, he was Associate Dean and Assistant Professor of New Testament at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto and in 2005 he was a Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Theology at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. He has also taught at St. Peter’s Theological Seminary, London, Ontario, and St. Michael’s College and Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto.

He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Q Project, the Board of Trustees for the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, and he belongs to the Society of Biblical Literature, where he is Chair of the Synoptic Gospels Section. He is a Priest in the Anglican Church of Canada and is an Honorary Associate at the Church of the Ascension in Sudbury. He is married with two children.

Founded by the Anglican Church in 1961, Thorneloe University is federated with Laurentian University. Thorneloe University is an interdisciplinary centre of teaching, learning and research in the humanities, the arts and theology.

Thorneloe University has offered academic programming in the humanities for more than 50 years. As a founding member of the Laurentian University Federation, and situated on the campus of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Thorneloe is home to the departments of Ancient Studies, Theatre and Motion Picture Arts, Religious Studies, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well the Thorneloe University School of Theology.

For more information about Thorneloe University, visit

Media Contact:

Dr. Robert Derrenbacker, President
(705) 673-1730, ext. 101,

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