Martin Kettle will be helping to advise the Church of England on its engagement with society, politics and ethics.
He has been appointed to join the team of specialists at the Church's Mission and Public Affairs (MPA) Division.
It comes in the midst of a reordering of the staff team to create more flexible and responsive support for key stake holders such as the Archbishops' Council, the General Synod and the House of Bishops.
The Reverend Dr Malcolm Brown, MPA director, said: "We are creating a small team of skilled and experienced staff whose specialisms complement each other and who will work collaboratively to address the wide range of issues which arise for the church in its engagement with society, politics and ethics.
"Martin will take the lead responsibility for the Church of England's national action on, and responses to, public policy on home affairs, including work on penal policy, criminal justice, social policy - such as equalities - and similar areas."
Mr Kettle has 13 years of experience as an incumbent in the Diocese of London.
He previously taught Ethics and New Testament at Ridley Hall Theological College, Cambridge, and has also worked for the prison service.
His last four years have been spent working in the Prisons Inspectorate and this year, he led the team inspecting police and court custody.
Mr Kettle joins the MPA team in February.
He said: "I look forward to bringing together my experience of working in the prison service, theological education and parish sectors to inform and develop the Church of England's thinking on home affairs policy.
"On a wide range of issues from welfare reform to youth unemployment, I believe this role provides an exciting opportunity to work with others in the Church in seeking to articulate a distinctively Christian and hopeful perspective on public policy in home affairs."