After effectively retiring from a 37 year Engineering career I had the desire to study at a level that would challenge me in a discipline where I had interest, but relatively little knowledge. My search started towards the end of a 6 month volunteer placement in Tanzania which was influential in the choice of subject. I wanted a course that included how faith influenced real world action to build on the interest that the Tanzanian trip had started. To avoid a further stretch away from home, distance learning became an essential element. Almost immediately I came across the Bible and Contemporary World MLitt which met all my criteria.
What I failed to appreciate before commencing this course was the extent to which it would go beyond the fundamental biblical core. The subjects vary depending upon the modules studied. Mine took me into areas as different as the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, personal privacy, Tolkien and the Welfare State. This is a small selection of a diverse array of topics examined which has fuelled my reading and study beyond the course. The lasting impact of academic critical thinking has been at least as important as the topics studied. Together though, the broadening of knowledge, reasoning and with this retrospection have been the greatest personal gains. The course’s study week at St Andrews proved invaluable as the catalyst for the semester and through which to establish new friends and colleagues.