Dr Duncan MacLaren KCSG

MTh in Theology and Development. Awarded for his work in church aid agencies.

Which programme did you study at New College?

I graduated Master of Theology from the University of Edinburgh in 1992. The degree was in Theology and Development.

What has been your career path?

I was named 'Alumnus of the Year 2003' because of my work as the first Director of SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) and then as Head of International Relations and Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, the worldwide network of Catholic aid, development and social service agencies, serving the poor in all inhabited continents regardless of faith.

I then began to lecture in Catholic Social Ethics and International Development Studies at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney and am still an Adjunct Professor of ACU. 

In 2016, I was awarded the honour of a Papal Knighthood - Knight Commander of St Gregory the Great - by Pope Francis for my humanitarian work in Church aid agencies.

How has New College influenced your life?

In 2019, after four years of research, I was awarded a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies by the University of Glasgow. The title of my thesis: 'A Hermeneutic of Integral Human Development: Bridging the Gap between Magisterial Theory and Catholic Agency Praxis'. It was a follow-on from my studies at New College when the late, highly supportive Professor Duncan Forrester was Dean. I mention him in the Acknowledgments as a major source of my passion for combining theology and development studies.