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Durham University

Centre for Catholic Studies

Development Priority: Student Scholarship Endowment

The CCS has supported 45 postgraduate students over the last 10 years at PhD and MA levels, thanks to the generous support of a number of partner organisations, individuals of vision, and religious congregations. Together we have been able to offer financial assistance to some of our brightest and most deserving scholars; students who will go on to shape and inform society from the richness of Catholic tradition: in the church, in the academy, and in public life.

We will continue to provide named bursaries and scholarships on an annual spend-down basis, which honour the founding charism of partner congregations. To complement this and to provide greater stability, we now seek also to raise an additional £2m endowment in order to guarantee in perpetuity a minimum level of annual scholarship and bursary funding so that we can continue to attract the best students from around the world. These students represent the future of Catholic tertiary education in this country and beyond.

A word from some of our students

Below, CCS bursary/scholarship holders describe their research and what the support means to them. The text is taken from speeches given at our annual Friends' and Benefactors' day.

Charlotte Bray
"It is through the support of the Centre for Catholic Studies that I have been enabled to work towards my dream of contributing to the constructive development of Catholic Social Teaching and practice, albeit in my own small way, and give back to the Catholic tradition which has given me so much." (full text)
Leonardo Choi
"My PhD thesis is on the significance of Paul’s letters as a resource with which to reframe Christian notions of charity, which has immediate application to the role of churches, both in the UK and in Argentina, in relation to poverty and community development. In my future career I hope to equip and influence seminary students, pastors and Christian leaders from the majority world, who will, later on, serve in churches, and also impact in their communities." (full text)
Billy Crozier
"The decision of the CCS to understand theology as a dynamic, ever-changing discipline, which both shapes, and in turn is shaped by, the life of the church, has produced a unique scholarly environment; one in which the pursuit of theological learning, both that of its staff and students, is placed within the broader narrative of the Christian community and its ever changing witness to the Gospel." (full text)
Michael Fenn
"It was exciting to discover that there was a Centre to promote the study of Catholic theology within such a mainstream and prestigious institution. One of the aims of the CCS is precisely to stand at the intersection of the Academy and the Church and facilitate meaningful dialogue between these camps and to actively reach out to the wider community; these tie closely to some of the motives behind my research interests. I hope this Masters programme will open up further opportunities for me to serve the Church effectively in the coming years." (full text)
Sr Scholastica Jacob
"I am a Benedictine nun and my research is on the history of English Benedictine women in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Dealing, as it will, with the subjects of upheaval, change, reassessment of fundamental monastic priorities and values I hope the study will contribute to a greater understanding of the history of religious women in the Church and also provide lessons from the past for communities experiencing transition and upheaval today." (full text)
Revd Kjetil Kringlebotten
"I am a Lutheran priest from the Church of Norway. My research project is a dogmatic, ecumenical and contemporary discussion of the notion of active participation in the liturgy, with emphasis on the relation between divine and human agency." (full text)
Hanna Lucas
"I am grateful that I get to take part in the spirit of theological edification that the Centre for Catholic Studies pours out of itself, its scholarly activity, and its rich and distinct contribution to the department of Theology and Religion here at Durham University." (full text)
Josh Mobley
"I am a first-year PhD student from the USA, focusing on the ecclesiology of Henri de Lubac. I am deeply grateful for the Centre for Catholic Studies. The funding I have received from the Centre has made studying at Durham possible, while the seminars, conferences and community have formed an indispensable part of my education." (full text)
John Morris
"Receipt of a Catherine McAuley Bursary has enabled me to pursue further a deep interest in twentieth-century French Catholic Theology—the movement known as Ressourcement." (full text)
Adam O’Boyle
"My studies are firmly rooted within Catholic theology, exploring ecclesiological ideas that might be fruitful for a diminishing institutional church. My studies in Durham are part of a wider programme of formation, and there does not seem any better place to be formed intellectually within the Catholic tradition than the CCS in Durham." (full text)
Gaël Pardoën
"The CCS, through friendships and benevolent mentors has indubitably contributed to enabling me to transform (or enlarge) my way of seeing and approaching God as that of belonging to the church and being in the world. Thanks to the CCS and the study of theology I feel more Catholic, that is to say more confident to engage in a genuine dialogue with diversity in faith, hope and love." (full text)
Andrew Phillips
"What makes the CCS unique is in how it explores the intersections between academia and vocation, between theology and the Church. The environment is prayerful, scholarly and dynamic. As a result of my experience at the CCS, I find myself deeply attracted to the role of Catholic theology in my service to the church, in my care for family and friends and in my vocational call. My goal is that I am able to stimulate a receptive ecumenism in my own Protestant denomination by bringing the rich Catholic theological tradition into the discussion." (full text)
Kelsie Rodenbiker
"I am a grateful recipient of a Catherine McAuley bursary generously provided by the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, which has afforded me both financial support for my degree and the opportunity to participate in the vibrant life of the CCS community of friends, colleagues, students, and staff. It is a gift to belong to such a diverse and hospitable community and to attend an array of academically and spiritually stimulating events." (full text)
Gary Wade
"My research is on Seamus Heaney, and it will argue that an exploration of a Catholic sensibility in the poems will not only make a valuable and distinctive contribution to contemporary poetics, but simultaneously open up new areas of investigation in religious studies and its interdisciplinary relations with the arts." (full text)

Sr Frances Orchard CJ

"The Congregation of Jesus has been a firm supporter of the CCS for many years. We deeply value the unique life and work of the Centre, its research and teaching, and the welcome and support it extends to its benefactors. As a congregation with a long history in Catholic education, we are delighted to be able to support postgraduate research with the Mary Ward bursary. The Bar Convent is particularly grateful for the support it receives from the CCS in preserving and making known its own special Catholic heritage. We congratulate the CCS on its 10th Anniversary and are proud to be associated with its initial growth, present success, and future development."

Sr Frances Orchard CJ is the Provincial Superior, Congregation of Jesus (English Province).