Jonathan Draper

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Jonathan Draper
Dean of Exeter
JLDweddingsermon (cropped).jpg
Draper delivering a sermon at a wedding in 2018
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Exeter
In office3 March 2012 – 3 July 2017
PredecessorJonathan Meyrick
Other postsGeneral Secretary of Modern Church (2017–present)
Canon Theologian, York Minster (2000–2012)
Ordination1983 (deacon)
1984 (priest)
Personal details
Born (1952-02-27) 27 February 1952 (age 67)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
NationalityAmerican and/or British
Maggie (m. 1979)
ProfessionClergyman and theologian
Alma materGordon College, Massachusetts
St John's College, Durham

Jonathan Lee Draper (born 27 February 1952) is an American Anglican priest, theologian, and academic. Since 2017, he has been the General Secretary of Modern Church. From 2012 to 2017, he was the Dean of Exeter, at Exeter Cathedral in the Church of England Diocese of Exeter.

Early life and education[edit]

Draper was born on 27 February 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.[1][2] He was educated at Plainfield High School, New Jersey.[1] He studied at Gordon College, a Christian liberal arts college in Wenham, Massachusetts, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1976. He then moved to England, and studied at St John's College, Durham. He graduated from the University of Durham with a further BA degree in 1978.[3]

Draper entered Ripon College Cuddesdon, an Anglican theological college near Oxford, to train for ordination. He completed his training in 1983. During this time, he also studied for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at St John's College, Durham, which he completed in 1984.[3] His doctoral thesis was titled "The place of the Bible in the theology of Albrecht Ritschl with special reference to Christology and the Kingdom of God".[4]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Draper was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1983 and as a priest in 1984.[3] From 1983 to 1985, he served his curacy at St John the Divine, Brooklands, in the Diocese of Manchester.[3] Between 1985 and 1992, he was Director of Academic Studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon, an Anglican theological college where he himself trained for ordination.[5] He also worked as a lecturer in theology at the University of Oxford.[2]

In 1992, Draper returned to parish ministry and served as the Vicar of Putney;[5] this parish consists of St. Mary's Church, Putney and All Saints' Church, Putney Common in the Diocese of Southwark.[3] He was also involved in providing continuing ministerial education for clergy and lay ministers of the Kingston Episcopal Area.[6] In 2000, he moved to the Diocese of York where he had been appointed the Canon Theologian (a canon residentiary) of York Cathedral.[5][6]

On 15 December 2011, it was announced that Draper would be the next Dean of Exeter in the Diocese of Exeter.[5] The Dean is the head of the Chapter of Exeter Cathedral, and the most senior priest in the diocese. He was installed as Dean during Easter 2012.[5] He retired from full-time ordained ministry in August 2017.[7]

Later life[edit]

In July 2017, it was announced that Draper would be the next General Secretary of Modern Church, a liberal Christian charity.[8][9] He took up the part-time post on 1 September 2017.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Draper met Maggie, his future wife, while studying at Durham University; they married in 1979.[10] Together they have three children. [5]

Selected works[edit]

  • Draper, Jonathan, ed. (1988). Communion and episcopacy. Oxford: Ripon College Cuddesdon. ISBN 978-0951361108.
  • Draper, Jonathan (2003). To love and serve: being the body of Christ in a time of change. London: SPCK. ISBN 978-0281055401.
  • Kim, Sebastian C. H.; Draper, Jonathan, eds. (2008). Liberating texts?: sacred scriptures in public life. London: SPCK. ISBN 978-0281058563.
  • Kim, Sebastian C. H.; Draper, Jonathan, eds. (2011). Christianity and the renewal of nature: creation, climate change and human responsibility. London: SPCK. ISBN 978-0281063314.


  • 1952–1983: Mr Jonathan Draper
  • 1983–1984: The Reverend Jonathan Draper
  • 1984–2000: The Reverend Dr Jonathan Draper
  • 2000–2012: The Reverend Canon Dr Jonathan Draper
  • 2012–present: The Very Reverend Dr Jonathan Draper


  1. ^ a b 'DRAPER, Very Rev. Dr Jonathan Lee', Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016; online edn, Nov 2016 accessed 4 July 2017
  2. ^ a b "Canon Jonathan Draper appointed Dean of Exeter Cathedral". BBC News. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Jonathan Lee Draper". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  4. ^ Draper, Jonathan Lee (18 September 2013). "The place of the bible in the theology of Albrecht Ritschl with special reference to Christology and the kingdom of god". Durham e-Theses. Durham University. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Dean of Exeter appointed". Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Canon Theologian of York Minster named as new Dean of Exeter". Diocese of York. Church of England. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Dean Jonathan announced his retirement". Exeter Cathedral. 12 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  8. ^ a b Bohan, Kieran (3 July 2017). "Meet our new General Secretary". Modern Church. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  9. ^ "General Secretary for Modern Church" (pdf). Modern Church. 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  10. ^ "New Dean for Exeter Cathedral". Midweek Herald. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Jonathan Meyrick
Dean of Exeter
Succeeded by
Jonathan Greener