Natasha O’Hear, ‘Picturing the Apocalypse’

O'Hear Picturing the ApocalypseNatasha O’Hear gave a guest lecture at the study week for our module, ‘The Book of Revelation’ in September 2017. We congratulate Natasha and her co-author Anthony O’Hear on the recognition of their book Picturing the Apocalypse (Oxford University Press) afforded by The Art+ChristianityEnquiry ACE/Mercers’ Book Award. It is the only literary prize worldwide for a publication that notably advances a public understanding of the relationship between the visual arts and religious experience, beliefs and practice.

Richard Bauckham, ‘The Bible in the Contemporary World’

Bauckham, Bible in the Contemporary WorldRichard Bauckham was one of the originators of our distance learning MLitt programme whilst he was a professor here at St Andrews.

This book by Bauckham proposes reading the Bible as a coherent story. He shows his method in means of chapters connecting the Bible to, for example, issues of autonomy, globalisation, and ecoological concerns. Bauckham defends his approach with a sophisticated discussion of relating the Bible and culture.


Andrew Rogers, ‘Congregational Hermeneutics…’

Andrew Rogers, Congregational HermeneuticsAndrew Rogers has given a guest lecture at two of our study weeks (September 2015 and January 2017).

The students have valued his insights into how people are actually reading the Bible. Understanding more about the ways congregations interpret Scripture is an important contribution to thinking through how the Bible and the contemporary world connect.

Rogers’ work helps to keep discussions in our programme grounded.

Zoë Bennett, ‘Using the Bible in Practical Theology’

Using the Bible in Practical TheologyZoë Bennett gave a guest lecture at our study week in January 2014 where she introduced some of the key themes of her, then, new book.

I recommend this book to anyone looking to connect the Bible to contemporary issues. She juxtaposes 21st century practical theology with the work of leading nineteenth-century public ‘theologian’, John Ruskin. Better known to many for his contribution as an art critic, Bennett offers a fascinating analysis of his method of deploying the Bible in public issues. This leads to a very helpful discussion of how Christian commentators might develop their own use of biblical materials.

Study week 22-26 January 2018

21 students gathered in St Andrews on 22 January 2018 for the taught module, ‘Surveillance, Theology, and the Bible’. A further 8 came the study week centred around further developing the skills required for their dissertation. This latter group are now researching and writing dissertations on topics as diverse as, for example, non-invasive prenatal testing , Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and New Testament concepts, the Victorian social reformer Thomas Chalmers and 21st century Christian ministry to people in poverty, and Christian contributions to the recent same-sex marriage public consultation in Australia.

Fin (Ghana) – 2018

At the beginning of 2016, I arrived at St Andrews for the first time, an engineer and business executive, seeking to gain some theological understanding towards an intended priesthood ministry. The two years that would follow would turn out to be a journey of both world class intellectual discipline and personal awareness of our relationship with God and one another. In particular, this programme provided a platform for reflecting on key theological themes and the realities of today’s world through major voices and opinions. As diverse as the topics and views covered were the diversity of the programme’s attendants and their backgrounds that span different professions, age and geographical origins.

At the end of those two years, I leave St Andrews with the fondest of experiences and a body of knowledge that could only be a strong foundation and a planted seed of desire for life-long learning. I reflect back on the journey that brought me some 5,000 miles from Accra to St Andrews and remain convinced that it was worth every single mile of it.

– Fin (Ghana)

Whitney – 2014

Whitney, a 2014 student on the Bible and the Contemporary World programmeThe University of St Andrews had always been the “dream school” since I was an undergraduate. When I discovered the Bible and Contemporary World distance program, I was excited to have found a way to continue my education at a world-renowned institution both abroad and at home.

The experience at St Mary’s is unparalleled. The balance between the residence week and the at-home work made it possible to succeed in an exceptional program while maintaining my busy schedule of full time work and parenting a young child. The residence weeks are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the academic work, meet colleagues from all around the world, and really get to know the module instructors and support staff.

My time in the program was truly invaluable – it has influenced my personal and professional life, and I am fully prepared to continue my work at the PhD level.

– Whitney (USA)

Sean – 2013

Sean, a 2013 student on the Bible and the Contemporary World programme.My experience at St Mary’s in the Bible and Contemporary World MLitt exceeded all of my expectations. Being able to study at such a world-renowned university from a distance is unparalleled. The carefully crafted residency weeks with the intensive taught portion combined with the ongoing cohort friendships among the students created a fantastic balance of an academically rigorous community both while in person and at a distance.

The entire program enhanced my ongoing work with ministry in Young Life, my occasional work as an adjunct at a local university, as well as serving as a catalyst for my current PhD research in theology.

– Sean (USA)