New book by MLitt alumna – Rachel Welcher

Welcher - Talking Back to Purity Culture, cover imageRachel Joy Welcher (MLitt, 2018) will be publishing Talking Back to Purity Culture Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality in November 2020.

Rachel’s book has its genesis in her MLitt dissertation she wrote as part of this programme.  Her publisher, InverVarsity Press, describe this significant contribution to pastoral and practical theology:

The generation born into evangelical purity culture has grown up, and many have started families of their own. But as time goes on, it’s becoming more evident that many still struggle with purity culture’s complicated legacy—its idolization of virginity, its mixed messages about modesty and lust, and its promise of a healthy marriage and great sex for those who follow the rules.

In Talking Back to Purity Culture, Rachel Joy Welcher reviews the movement carefully, examining its teachings through the lens of Scripture. Compassionate, faithful, and wise, she charts a path forward for evangelicals in the ongoing debates about sexuality—one that rejects legalism and license alike, steering us back instead to the good news of Jesus.

We congratulate Rachel on this achievement and look forward to its publication on 10 November 2020.

Entry in September 2020 available

Closing date for applications for entry in September 2020 is 30 June 2020.  We process applications as promptly as possible upon receipt of all paperwork. If you are offered a place this lets you plan ahead in good time.

If you would like to have conversation with the Course Director prior to making an application you are welcome to contact him at to arrange a Skype, FaceTime or phone call.

New book by MLitt alumnus – Sean McGever

Cover of Born Again

Dr Sean McGever (MLitt, 2013) has recently published Born Again: The Evangelical Theology of Conversion in John Wesley and George Whitefield.

Sean argues that the gospel message is simple but not simplistic. In this theological account of conversion, he explores how learning the gospel and its implications is a lifelong process, and reflects on the view that modern evangelicals are often too focused on the moment of conversion while ignoring the ongoing work of sanctification. Sean’s thesis here is that for John Wesley and George Whitefield, justification and sanctification were inseparable.

Sean is Area Director at Young Life, and is based in Phoenix, Arizona.  We congratulate Sean on this publication.

New issue of B&CW online journal

St Mary's College at duskThe second issue our new open-access online journal ‘Bible and the Contemporary World’ is now available.


Previous issue (August 2019) is here.  This journal provides programme graduates with a publication option for their dissertations and module papers.

Forthcoming modules are announced for 2020-21 and now 2021-2022

Modules for September 2020, January 20201 and now September 2021 and January 2022 are advertised on the University’s admissions portal. Check them out here. This lets you see what your whole programme of study could be if you start on 31 August 2020 or 18 January 2021.

Applications for entry in September 2020 are open until 30 June 2020; applications for entry in January 2021 will open shortly.

Applications open for 31 August 2020 start

Apply now for the full MLitt (by distance learning) or just a single module.  In the autumn of 2020 students will be studying ‘Theology and the Arts’ taught by Dr Rebekah Lamb.

Those who’ve taken this module greatly valued thinking through how Christian revelation relates to the arts, as well as the ways that Christian doctrines of suffering have inspired innovations in artistic expression. Having looked in detail at some examples of pop culture, participants have pondered how the sacred is consumed today.

Applications close 30 June 2020.

Study week in St Andrews runs from 31 August – 4 September 2020; with a number of guest speakers.

New book by MLitt alumnus

Cover of The Law of FreedomDaniel Rentfro jr (MLitt, 2016) has published The Law of Freedom: Justice and Mercy in the Practice of Law. 

Daniel examines the legal and theological roots of the concept of equity, and the implications that the diminishment of equity as a legal concept has for the moral dilemmas faced by the practicing lawyer. Meditating on the book of Micah, the book argues that the Christian duty asks for both strict justice and gracious mercy, with the prophet’s third value—humility—essential for both the individual lawyer and the legal system as a whole to balance strict justice and mercy.

Daniel Rentfro jr is a practicing lawyer in South Texas and, in his role as an honorary research assistant in the School of Divinity, University of St Andrews, he is the managing Editor of our online journal, Bible and the Contemporary World.

We congratulate Daniel on developing his MLitt dissertation into this monograph. Eric Stoddart, programme director, has written a foreword to the book. You can read his foreword and other extracts of the book online via the ‘look inside’ option on the publisher’s website.

Online journal launched

authors and editors at journal launch

l. to r. Constanze Schummer, Eric Stoddart, Daniel Rentfro, Graham Deans.

We took the occasion of the 2019 reunion of distance learning alumni to launch our new open-access online journal that will provide programme graduates with a publication option for their dissertations and module papers.

Titled “Bible and the Contemporary World,” the journal is the official publication of the MLitt “Bible and the Contemporary World” programme at the University of St. Andrews.

Pictured above are two of the contributors to the first issue: Constanze Schummer and Graham Deans. With them are the General Editor, Eric Stoddart and the Managing Editor, Daniel Rentfro. At this launch ceremony Eric observed that,

‘this journal addresses important aspects of our contemporary world and about which various Christian traditions have something to say. I am delighted to see the hard work of Daniel Rentfro and the editorial team result in this inaugural issue. It is a valuable contribution to the wider work of the School of Divinity.’

St Mary's College at duskIn the first issue:

A call to alumni of this programme for papers for the next issue will be coming soon (to be published in March 2020).