Left to right: Marcello, Miles, Chris, Gray
After completing a degree at the end of last year, I was trying to understand my next step and I’m happy I found this course after much searching. From what I’ve seen I would say that the MLitt degree in ‘Bible and the Contemporary World’ at St Andrews is probably one of the best distance learning courses in Theology available. The possibility of studying from home was also particularly important for me as I run a guesthouse near La Spezia, Italy, and I’m also involved in teaching in my area. In addition, I like the way the course is quite interdisciplinary and seeks to understand how to apply the Bible in today’s world. Moreover, even though I come from a Pentecostal background (AoG), I appreciate the theology and work of Richard Bauckham — who helped establish the course. In these two years I’m hoping to improve my writing skills, but also my critical thinking; I also believe that the programme will teach me how to research topics at a more advanced level.
So far I’ve found the course to be excellent; the organisation is great, we had lectures from top-level professors during the study week, and the group discussions have been intellectually stimulating. Additionally, there has been a nice positive atmosphere during the course, and professors and staff are always willing to help. Even though it’s part-time I would say that the course is fairly demanding and quite a high level of coursework is required.
I chose the Bible and the Contemporary World MLitt at St Andrews because I was looking for a course that combined academic rigour, interaction with the biblical texts and real-world application. I also knew that any study I embarked upon would have to be flexible, to fit around family and work, so the distance learning option was ideal.
I’ve just finished my first module and so far the course has ticked every box. The residential study week in St Andrews was superb. It laid an excellent foundation and included lectures from leading scholars in their fields. The interaction with other students is also incredibly valuable and sets this course apart from other distance learning options that are 100% online.
The assignments have been thought-provoking and academically stretching and the reading has exposed me to scholars and viewpoints I’d never encountered before. However, the essays always push you to anchor your conclusions in the contemporary world, and this is a real strength of the course.
Already, I’ve begun to notice how the themes we’ve been studying have enriched my preaching and I’m certain that I’ll continue to see the course’s value in my ongoing ministry. I would wholeheartedly recommend the Bible and the Contemporary MLitt to anyone looking for a flexible course, that strikes the right balance between academic excellence and contemporary relevance.”
I recently moved into full-time church leadership after many years of working in education. During my first year in my new year role I explored a variety of potential options which would allow me to study theology whilst maintaining a demanding full-time leadership position. The MLitt at St. Andrews came highly recommended by a variety of different people, including past students on the course. As I explored the course in greater depth, the content and approach appealed to me, especially the emphasis on the connection between the Bible and contemporary issues.
My experience of the course to date has been excellent. My initial week in St. Andrews for my first module on the Book of Revelation was hard work but also highly enjoyable. The quality of the core teaching was excellent and the variety of guest lecturers organised added a great deal to the learning experience. The cohort of students was also looked after extremely well, with clear guidance and information given and social get-togethers organised to build friendships. The variety of students on the course, both in terms of geography and theology, made conversations more interesting, stimulating and challenging.
The distance-learning aspect of the course is also very well-organised and well delivered. The work is extremely challenging but the support and feedback on coursework has been very detailed, insightful and helpful in leading to improvement. I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge of the course so far and looking forward to my future visits to St. Andrews!
As a pastor, I am very concerned to show the relevance of Scripture and theology on issues of ethics and morality in our rapidly changing culture. The MLitt Bible and the Contemporary World program has strengthened my ability to think theologically about a wide range of topics, enhancing my ministry to the church while preparing me for future academic endeavors. In addition, the program has afforded me the opportunity of studying abroad at one of the foremost divinity schools in the world in beautiful St Andrews. I am grateful to be a part of this program!