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Theological Educators' Conference 2024: Theological Education and Mental Health

10th - 12th July 2024

Durham University

Staff conference publicity image

Conference theme and speakers

The theme of the conference is ‘Theological Education and Mental Health.’

This three-day two-night conference is FREE to all Common Awards staff. In theological education and the ministry settings, issues of mental health are unavoidable. Each year, 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem of some kind. This conference covers a variety of topics to support theological educators in their teaching and formational responsibilities, including:

  • how psychology can inform subjects across the curriculum;
  • theological and clinical understandings of depression and of hearing voices;
  • the role of societal factors in the diversity of mental health experiences;
  • and positive approaches to mental health in educational settings.

Speakers will include:

Rev’d Prof. John Swinton, Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies (Aberdeen), RMN (registered Mental Nurse), and ordained in the Church of Scotland.

Rev’d Prof. Chris Cook, former Director of the Centre for Spirituality, Theology & Health (retired in 2022), qualified doctor, former Professor of Psychology, and ordained in the Church of England.

Rev’d Dr Joanna Collicutt, fellow at Harris Manchester College of Oxford University, a chartered clinical psychologist, and ordained in the Church of England.

Dr Tasia Scrutton, Associate Professor in the School Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science at Leeds University and author of Christianity and Depression.

Rev’d Jarel Robinson-Brown, ordained in the Church of England, co-chair of One Body One Faith, formerly a Methodist minister, and author of Black, Gay, British, Christian, Queer.

Dr Eve Parker, lecturer in Modern Christian Theology at the University of Manchester and author of Trust in Theological Education.

Rev’d Luke Larner, ordained in the Church of England and editor of Confounding the Mighty: Stories of Church, Social Class and Solidarity.

Revd Dr Carlton Turner, Anglican Tutor in Contextual Theology and Mission Studies at the Queens Foundation, Birmingham and author of Introduction to Caribbean Contextual Theology.

With worship led by Rev Prof Maggi Dawn, Professor of Theology at Durham University, advisor to the Royal School of Church Music, and former Dean of Marquand Chapel at Yale Divinity School.

Conference format

Having experimented with a hybrid conference previously, we have decided this year to hold the conference onsite only. The conference sessions themselves will not be recorded.

This conference is for staff. A student event on the topic of ‘Mental Health in Ministry: The Theology and Psychology of Depression and Hearing Voices’ is being hosted on 9th July at Durham Cathedral.

Conference Timetable 2024

The full conference timetable is available here: Staff Conference Programme 2024. There may be small changes to timings and rooms but the start and end time is fixed.

How to register

Please use this link to book your place: Event Booking Details ( The booking form will remain open until 14th June.

The booking form may close early if we receive the maximum number of bookings; in this event we will open a reserve list. 

Before registering to attend the conference, please read our Privacy Notice (you will need to confirm that you have read this when completing the registration form).

Booking options
  • There are several package options available when booking for on-site attendance. We anticipate that the majority of delegates will choose the ‘2-night package’ for full conference attendance, which includes accommodation on the Wednesday and Thursday nights, plus all meals and conference sessions;
  • other options available include a ‘day delegate package’ for those who are local and may wish to attend during the days only;
  • all of the rooms are single occupancy. If you require a double occupancy room for yourself and another conference guest, please contact us.
  • Adapted rooms for those with access requirements are available (you can specify your requirements on the booking form);
Conference cost
  • the conference is free for Common Awards staff (all core and associate staff who are or expect to be involved in teaching, assessing or administering Common Awards programmes in the designated Common Awards TEIs). Conference fees, room and board are covered; travel and any other expenses are delegates responsibility;
  • for other attendees, including members of Theological Educator's Network (TEN) and the Continuing Ministry Development networks (CMD) who do not teach, assess or administer Common Awards programmes, there is a charge for board and lodging. You will be able to pay by credit or debit card when booking your place:
    • Full Conference 2 Night Package (£200.00): Includes meals, two nights' bed & breakfast accommodation, and registration fee
    • 1 Night Package (£117.00): Includes meals, one nights’ bed & breakfast accommodation, and registration fee
    • Day Delegate Full Conference Package (£95.00): Includes catering, and registration fee
    • Day Delegate One Day package (£51.00 for Wednesday or Thursday, £34.00 for Friday): includes catering, and registration fee


Where is the conference located?

The conference will be held at Durham University. Delegates will be accommodated within Collingwood College, and conference sessions will take place in the Mathematical Sciences & Computer Science Building, a 5 minute walk from the accommodation.



How do I get there?

By Road

  • Collingwood College is located to the south of Durham city centre, off South Road. The college can be accessed via the A167 or the A177.
  • The postcode is DH1 3LT
  • Durham is 264 miles from London, 187 miles from Birmingham, 125 miles from Edinburgh and 67 miles from York.

By Rail

By Bus

  • There are several express coach services daily from most major cities. Durham is well served by both regional express services and the local bus network. From the city bus station - a short walk from the railway station - a bus service runs every 15 minutes past Collingwood College.
  • There is a bus stop within 150 metres of the campus.
  • The nearest bus stop is South Road Colleges on South Road. This bus stop is served by buses 6 Sapphire and S1.

For more information on Go North East buses please click here (opens new tab).

By Air

Durham is 30 minutes' drive from Newcastle International Airport and about 40 minutes from Teesside International Airport. Both have regular domestic and international flights. Durham is linked to Newcastle Airport by rail and metro


Is there parking available?

Collingwood College has a car park, but the University Events team have advised that spaces are available on a first come first served basis; no spaces can be reserved. We encourage you to travel by public transport if possible.

The college also has two disabled parking bays at the front of the building for blue badge holders, but again these cannot be reserved.


What time is check-in and check-out?

Guests can check-in from 2pm on the day of arrival. Luggage storage will be available until then in the Bayley Room, though this room will be unlocked and the College cannot be held responsible for any left items.

Bedrooms must be vacated by 10.00am on the day of departure. 

What facilities will be available at the conference venue?

  • En-suite single bedroom with a private shower, toilet and hand basin.
  • A bath towel and hand towel are provided for each guest in their bedroom.
  • Towels and a small toiletry pack will be provided in your bedroom/bathroom.
  • Tea/coffee making facilities in each bedroom
  • A limited number of hairdryers are available in reception upon request
  • Free wi-fi access to all guests at both buildings via 'TheCloud@Durham'. We will provide instructions in your conference pack.

What support is available for those with disabilities?

There are a number of accessible bedrooms available on the ground floor; please let us know your requirements on the booking form. Lifts are available in both Collingwood and the Maths building.

There will be a short (5 minute) walk between the accommodation building (where you will be having breakfast and dinner), and the Maths building, where you will be having lunch and where the conference sessions will be taking place. Please let us know on the registration form if you will be requiring assistance with this.

Please also let us know if you will require any disability support for the academic sessions.

Can I attend as a day guest? 

Yes, if you are local to the area you can attend as a day guest if you prefer. Please select this option on the booking form.

If I can't attend will the sessions be made available afterwards?

Sessions will not be recorded, but we plan to run a series of webinars over the following academic year covering similar material, and where possible with the same speakers. 

What happens if I am no longer able to attend the conference?

Please let us know by 14th June otherwise we may not be able to fill your place, which comes at a considerable cost to the University. We usually have a waiting list of delegates who would love to take your place, but need to provide them with enough notice.