Dr Browning’s first charge was in Fife, where he was ordained to the ministry in Cupar Old and St Michael of Tarvit Parish Church in 1987.
Born in Edinburgh in 1962, Dr Browning was educated at North Berwick High School before going to Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1980 to read History. He graduated with an M.A. Honours degree. In 1983, having been accepted as a candidate for the Ministry, he went to St. Mary’s College, St. Andrews, where he read Divinity and graduated with B.D. Honours. He continues to have an interest in ecclesiastical history.
In 1997 he graduated with the degree of Doctor of Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, where his doctorate involved the study of leadership.
He has served in several capacities whilst a member of the Presbytery of St. Andrews – as Moderator, as Convener of the Business Committee and as Convener of the Christian Education Committee. He has been the Convener of the General Assembly’s Prayer and Devotion Committee, and was a member of the Assembly’s Panel on Worship for eight years. These appointments reflect his commitment to the development of worship, education and leadership. Dr Browning was the Convener of the Business Committee of the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and has served as one of the Local Church Review team leaders on the Superintendence Committee. He has also served as the chairman of the Board of Directors at the Eric Liddell Centre. At a national level he served as a member of the General Assembly’s Stewardship and Finance Committee. He was Vice-Convener and then Convener of the General Assembly’s Arrangements Committee, and the General Assembly’s Business Committee, and he was a member of the Special Commission Anent Ministerial Tenure and the Leadership of the Local Church.
The 2019 General Assembly appointed Dr Browning convener of the Special Commission considering Presbyterian Effectiveness, particularly in relation to Mission.
In recent years he has been a regular contributor to BBC Radio Two and its ‘Pause for Thought’ programme, and soon will contribute to Radio Scotland’s ‘New Every Morning’, and he has also appeared on national television and radio programmes. He has been appointed a Chevalier d’Honneur de la Commanderie du Clos Montmartre.
Dr Browning was the Moderator of the 2017 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.