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Vice Principal and Lecturer in Historical Theology

Rev Dr Martyn C Cowan


I studied philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast (BA and MA) and went on to serve in student ministry with IFES Ireland. I moved to London to train for gospel ministry at the Cornhill Training Course and at Oak Hill Theological College (MTh Distinction). I came to Union (PG Cert Min) in preparation for being licensed by the Dromore Presbytery as Assistant Minister in First Presbyterian Church, Saintfield.

I subsequently completed a PhD in historical theology at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of the Rev’d Dr Stephen Hampton with a dissertation entitled ‘The prophetic preaching of John Owen from 1646 to 1659 in its historical context’.

I hold a postgraduate qualification in teaching and learning in higher education (PGCHET) from Queen’s University Belfast and am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

I have been on the faculty of Union College since 2016.


Review of Retaining the Old Episcopal Divinity: John Edwards of Cambridge and Reformed Orthodoxy in the Later Stuart Church. By Jake Griesel, Journal of Theological Studies (2023) 

'Owen the Preacher’, in Crawford Gribben and John Tweeddale (eds), The T&T Clark Handbook of John Owen (T&T Clark, 2022). 

Review of Debating Perseverance: The Augustinian Heritage in Post–Reformation England, by Jay Collier, Journal of Theological Studies (2019).

Review of John Owen and English Puritanism: Experiences of Defeat, by Crawford Gribben, Themelios 43.1 (2018). 

‘The Reformation: Justification by fate alone’, The Irish Times, 17 Oct 2017. 

John Owen and the Civil War Apocalypse: Preaching, Prophecy and Politics (Routledge, 2017).

Portrait of a Prophet: Lessons from the Preaching of John Owen (1616–1683) (St Antholin Charity Lectureship, Latimer Trust, 2016). 

‘Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books’ in NIV Proclamation Bible: Correctly Handling the Word of Truth (Hodder & Stoughton, 2013).

‘New World, New Temple, New Worship: The Book of Revelation in the Theology and Practice of Christian Worship’, published in three parts: Churchman 119.4 (Winter 2005), 297–312; Churchman 120.2 (Summer 2006), 159–176; Churchman 120.3 (Autumn 2006), 247–265.