Gumbel took an MA at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1976. In 1983 he began studies at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. A former barrister, Gumbel joined the staff of Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London as a curate is 1986. He was ordained priest in 1987. In 1990 he took over the running of the Alpha Course that had been running there since 1973.
Gumbel was officially installed as Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton Church in September 2005 after the Reverend Prebendary Sandy Millar retired from stipendiary ministry but moved on to be Priest in Charge of St Mark's Tollington Park, in North London.
Gumbel is the author of a number of books related to the Alpha course, including Questions of Life, which has sold over 750,000 copies, was voted "Christian Book of the Year" in 1994 and has been published in 48 languages.
He has recently (2006) taught a sermon on the Da Vinci Code using historical documents e.g how gnostic texts of Phillip quote the New Testament and therefore, contrary to Dan Brown, cannot be earlier. 
Articles critiquing Nicky Gumbel, the Toronto Blessing and the Alpha course: