Professor Bruce Mansfield AM | A Man of Significant Leadership

United Theological College proudly recognised the contribution of Emeritus Professor Bruce Mansfield AM on Friday 2 November, with his addition on the UTC Honour Board which recognises “The Significant Leadership in the life of the Centre For Ministry and Constituent Schools”.

Professor Bruce Mansfield AM
Deputy Chancellor Charles Sturt University
Chairperson United Theological College
United Theological College Emeritus Professor
Macquarie University, Emeritus Professor

A well respected and revered member of Pymble Uniting Church, Bruce’s academic achievements span 40 years of contributions, including a Fulbright scholarship at Yale University, University Medals, three university honorary doctoral degrees (from Macquarie, Sydney & Charles Sturt) and several first class honours in degrees.

His wife Joan and family were on hand to witness the unveiling of the plaque as Companions of the College, faculty and colleagues paid tribute to Bruce’s contributions to his field and United Theological College for many years.

In 2009 Professor Mansfield was made a Member of the Order of Australia for “service to education as an administrator and academic in the fields of theology and history”.

Below extracts of an article published by

Emeritus Professor Bruce Mansfield AM was, like his principal historical subject, Erasmus of Rotterdam, truly a Renaissance man. His interests and achievements covered many aspects of Australian and international academic, educational, cultural and religious life.

Mansfield started his undergraduate studies at Sydney University in law but soon switched to the humanities and in particular history. He gained his bachelor and master of arts, both with first class honours, and the University Medal in History.

He was an early believer in the concept of “Think globally, act locally” as he was also an active member of his local congregation, Pymble Presbyterian later Uniting Church. He was a long-term Elder and chairman of the congregation’s Christian Education Committee. One of the ministers there described him as “a great source of wisdom”.

He started his teaching career at Sydney University in 1949 as a temporary lecturer and soon progressed to associate professor. In 1965, when the family was in the United States where Mansfield was on a Fulbright Scholarship at Yale University, he received an appointment as the first professor (he disliked the term “foundation professor”) of history at Sydney’s third university, Macquarie, which was to be his academic home for 20 years.

Mansfield was passionate about the innovations introduced at Macquarie including supplementing lectures with small-group teaching, enrolling students who were not straight from high school, thus broadening access to higher education, especially for women, and Macquarie’s inter-disciplinary approach. He believed that it was vital for students to be exposed to different academic philosophies and approaches, in order that they might become broad-minded, open-minded, tolerant Australian and world citizens.

Mansfield always believed that he should use his skills and experiences in a variety of educational contexts. He served on the Council of Mitchell College of Advanced Education at Bathurst including as chairman, and when Mitchell became part of the new Charles Sturt University, he was appointed deputy chancellor. He was a member of the NSW Higher Education Board, …president of the Australian Historical Association and chairman of the Council of the United Theological College at the Uniting Church Centre for Ministry…and chairman of the Police Education Advisory Council.

Mansfield was a humble person and never went looking for honours but his various contributions have been recognised in many ways.

Bruce had … a deep respect for other people that enabled him to work productively with others in various contexts. He was a highly effective mentor to both individuals and organisations.


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