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Durham University

Centre for Digital Theology


Catholic Bible Engagement (2017–present)

CODEC research fellow Dr David Ford is researching catholic Bible engagment, beginning with a focus group of parishioners in the North East. This is a pilot project for what we intend to become a larger project exploring biblical literacy and engagement amongst Catholics in the UK.


Bible Engagement of Digital Millenials (2016–present)

Partnering with Bible Society, CODEC has undertaken research on Bible engagement and attitudes amongst Digital Millennials (18-35 year olds in the UK). Two national surveys have been carried out for this research, including one representative national sample of nearly 2,000. We anticipate publishing the results in the early part of 2018.

Biblica CBE Research (2016–present)

CODEC has partnered with Biblica to carry out research related to their Bible engagement curriculum, Community Bible Experience. This involved a 'state of the question' white paper on biblical literacy in the UK and creating survey material related to the curriculum to help determine the effectiveness of the curriculum in terms of Biblica's goals.

Discipleship Trove (2014 - 2018)

CODEC is proud to launch Trove, a new site for digital resources for discipleship, commissioned by the Jerusalem Trust and in collaboration with 12baskets. Trove hosts a growing range of discipleship resources from across the spectrum of British Christianity, bringing together well-known resources by big publishers with hidden gems from smaller organisations and churches. Get in touch via our website ( or on Dr Marika Rose was the CODEC member especially dedicated to this project.

Common Awards (2014 - Present)

In association with Common Awards (a common suite of awards in Theology, Ministry, and Mission validated by Durham University), CODEC works to provide creative and innovative approaches to online and distance learning for ministerial training within the Church of England and Partner Churches, as well as theoretical and theological thinking to underpin such approaches. Dr Karen O'Donnell is the staff member especially dedicated to this task.

The BIGBible Project (2010-present)

Previously, the Project focused on hosting conversations about the Bible and discipleship, and a huge community of authors contributed along the way. The former website and all its posts—over 3,000—have been archived, and may be found here.

The relaunch is much more than just a redesign. The scope of the site has narrowed, and its purpose altered. The subject of the site is “Biblical Literacy & Reception in a Digital World.” Its purpose: To host and curate the best short-form content related to Biblical Literacy and Reception on the web, with a special focus on the digital environment. To unpack this purpose statement further:

  • Host: the site will host original contributions in the form of blog posts, authored in-house, by invitation, or by peer-reviewed submission.
  • Curate: the site will select and summarise related content that appears elsewhere.
  • Short-form: in the spirit of the blog, posts will be relatively short (300–500 words, only occasionally >1000).
  • Biblical Literacy & Reception: how the Bible (its texts, stories, motifs) are taken up, retold, and interpreted (i.e., reception) and the knowledge and competence such reception conveys or produces (i.e., literacy).
  • Digital environment: the realm of the digitally mediated, represented, and the culture(s) it helps to produce.

Biblical Literacy (2009 - Present)

One of CODEC's major areas of research since its inception has been biblical literacy, as some of the other projects listed below illustrate. In 2009 CODEC carried out a major biblical literacy survey in England and Wales, and preparations are underway for another major survey. CODEC's Director, Rev Dr Pete Phillips, is currently writing a book on biblical literacy in which he attempts to set out a more robust understanding of biblical literacy. With Pete, CODEC's Joshua Mann has been taking into account how the 'digital' affects biblical literacy, reception, and engagement. Additionally, from 2015, CODEC is carrying out research in partnership with a global organisation in the area of biblical literacy.

Good News for Every Age (Lindisfarne DVD)

Good News for Every Age (2013)

The Good News for Every Age DVD was commissioned by the North East Council of Churches as a response to the the visit of the Lindisfarne Gospels to Durham in the Summer of 2013.

Proverbs 3:18

North Yorkshire Dales Biblical Literacy Project (2011–2013)

A 2-year project, sponsored by the Darlington District of the Methodist Church, the North Yorkshire Dales Methodist Circuit and CODEC, designed to assess the current state of biblical literacy in a typical rural circuit within the Methodist Church; explore new ways of nurturing biblical literacy; and share the learning outcomes. Visit the webpage, or read the final report (PDF).

View from the Pew (2010)

CODEC's 2009 pilot survey on the reception of preaching in the contemporary church, commissioned by the College of Preachers. News coverage includes the BBC, The Times, and The Telegraph.

Holy Island, Lindisfarne (Picture by Bex Lewis)
CODEC, St John’s College,
3, South Bailey