June 2015

Why (I nearly didn’t) do a PhD, part 2

Last week I outlined three questions that I felt needed answering before I could commit to 3 or more years of study. Although the process that led to me reflecting in this way was painful at times, it meant that I went into my studies confident that I was making the right decision. In this post, I want to unpack each of the questions in a little more depth, and explain how they helped me realise that a PhD was the right choice for me.

RealityBites and Mission to Students in Leeds

This June RealityBites director, Mark Roques, was invited to deliver his workshop on Celebrity Culture, Human Trafficking and Christian Faith in a mission week at Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College in Leeds.

Mark delivered four one hour lessons to about 100 sixth formers and the feedback from both staff and pupils was excellent. One teacher opined – "this is 'spot on' and exactly what these young people need to hear". Peter Smith, the Head of Philosophy, Theology and Ethics said that the lectures had been "fantastic’"

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Factories, Joy and the Kingdom

Wouldn't it be brilliant if Christians were well known for creating the best factories, offices and work places in the UK? How easy it would be to talk about God's kingdom if we could point to an abundance of stories like this:

Julia Turner is absolutely thrilled with her factory job at the American equivalent of Boots the Chemist – Walgreens. You might be surprised to learn that Julia has Down's Syndrome. She is one of the many disabled people who have jobs they love – all because of the vision of one man who had a baptised imagination – Randy Lewis.

Why do a PhD? For the love of wisdom…

Field experiment

I started applying for PhD projects mainly because I didn’t want to abandon ideas I’d been developing during my earlier studies.  I had a blue-sky, rose-tinted, starry-eyed view of academic research.  In my final undergraduate exams I may have lost precious marks by trying to work out my own odd ideas instead of focusing on the breadth of existing scholarship that my lecturers had imparted.  So here was an opportunity to redeem myself: I could do a PhD and work everything out in a thesis!

Mentoring for Christian postgraduates

If you read our “About” page, you’ll see that Faith-in-Scholarship is all about “Dynamic Christian thinking in the university and beyond”. Within that, there is a particular focus on supporting postgraduate students. Today we have an announcement about one aspect of that.

One way in which Christian postgraduates can grow as Christian scholars and thinkers is through local groups. These provide an excellent opportunity for people to work through what it means to follow Jesus as a postgraduate student.