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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion

Conferences and Events

Staff Conference

Every July, we collaborate with the Theological Educators’ Network and the Continuing Ministerial Development network to put on the Annual Conference for Theological Educators. Places on the conference are free for staff engaged in teaching or administering Common Awards programmes.

Full details are available here.

Student Events

We regularly organise events for Common Awards Students. These include live-streamed events, which students can engage with via the Common Awards Hub. For details of our upcoming events see below.

Tuesday 21st May, 6pm - Common Awards Ten Minute Talks


(Dr Frances Clemson, Assistant Professor in Theology and Ministry, Durham University)

This will be the first in a series of Ten Minute Talks, in which a minister, scholar or other practitioner shares with Common Awards students a key idea from their current work. Students will be able to access the talk live online via Big Blue Button on the Common Awards Hub.

In this Ten Minute Talk, Dr Frances Clemson will speak about some recent work she has been doing on Judas’ appearances in theology and in art in the modern era.

  • What challenges emerge from the story of Judas for our thinking about human tragedies and divine providence?
  • What should we make of the ways in which artists, writers and film makers have tried to ‘fill the gaps’ in Judas’ story?
  • What did Karl Barth mean when he identified Judas as the disciple who ‘reserves the right to decide for himself … what discipleship really involves’?

After the Ten Minute Talk, there will be around 30 minutes for live Q & A. Students will be able to submit questions via Big Blue Button and social media.

In order to gauge interest and to send more detailed instructions to students about how to join in this live event, we are asking students to register in advance for this event via the Common Awards website. Registration will open in the week beginning 8th April.

Tuesday 4th June, 2-4pm - Creative Ministries and the Climate Crisis: A Panel Discussion

In October 2018 the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we have only twelve years left to limit the catastrophic effects of global warming.

Church leaders across the world have called upon Christians to take action in light of this unprecedented threat, drawing upon the Gospel message of hope and God’s love for creation. Archbishop Justin Welby has underlined the need to place our response to this ‘moral crisis’ at the heart of our purposive and joyful work of loving our neighbours. The Joint Public Issues Team of the Baptist Union, Church of Scotland, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church have highlighted the need to consider how creation may not just survive but may thrive in the context of climate change.

  • How can we respond creatively to the problem of climate change and its effects?
  • How should the climate crisis shape our ministry?
  • And how might we connect the changes we need to make, individually and collectively, with the core practices of our faith – with bible study, worship, prayer and discipleship?

This is the first of our Common Awards panel discussion events for students. The event will take place at the Durham University Business School and will be live streamed via the Big Blue Button on the Common Awards Hub. There will be around 40 places available to attend the event in person. The event will be followed by an opportunity for further conversation over refreshments. We will be gathering questions for the panel from students participating remotely as well as from those present in Durham.

There will also be a regional gathering for students to come together to watch and join in with the event. This will be hosted by Wycliffe Hall and will followed by communion.

We are able to provide financial assistance with travel costs for any students who are in a situation of hardship, either to enable them to travel to Durham or to travel to Wycliffe Hall. Students will be able to indicate that they need a travel grant via the registration form.

Our panellists will include:

  • Dr Rachel Muers - Senior Lecturer, University of Leeds
  • Revd Alex Mabbs - minister of Brighthelm URC Church and Community Centre in Brighton, Sussex
  • Dr Carmody Grey – Assistant Professor in Catholic Theology, Durham University

Students are asked to register for this event. Student will be asked to indicate on the registration form whether they wish to:

- attend in person in Durham

- attend the regional gathering at Wycliffe Hall

- join in remotely via the Common Awards Hub

Registration will open in the week beginning 8th April.