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Durham University

Centre for Spirituality, Theology & Health

History of the Centre

The Durham University 'Project' for Spirituality, Theology & Health (PSTH) was established in 2005, with the support of the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, as a collaboration between the Department of Theology & Religion (DTR) and the School for Medicine, Pharmacy & Health (SMPH). The PSTH has since supported research that has delivered a series of academic outputs (including four edited volumes and three monographs by its Director, Professor Cook) and a series of collaborative conferences with local NHS partnership. It provided the basis for a significant impact case study for REF2014, which was commended by the review panel. PSTH has a regular postgraduate seminar series that includes recording of seminar speakers and making available of these recordings on the internet. The PSTH attracted a significant number of PhD and DThM students, whose areas of research included such diverse topics as dissociative identity disorder, resilience, sexual addiction, design of a spiritual intervention for use in the mental healthcare context, coproduction of mental health services in the NHS, the 'evil eye' in Greek culture, and the nature of spirituality in Turkey.

The PSTH generated a new and innovative MA/MSc programme in Spirituality, Theology & Health, which ran from 2012–2019 but closed following removal of SMPH to Newcastle University. This programme was internationally unique in its interdisciplinary and interprofessional approach and received an honorary mention in the 2018 Expanded Reason Awards. The CSTH continues delivery of educational objectives through conferences, seminars, postgraduate research supervision, and other channels.

In 2018, the PSTH was formally constituted as a Durham University research centre and is now known as the Centre for Spirituality, Theology & Health (CSTH).