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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion

A Vision for Theological Education in the Common Awards

A Vision for Theological Education in the Common Awards

There were serious discussions of principle during the creation of the Common Awards, some of which are reflected in the ‘Introduction’ and the 'Preface' to the scheme. The focus of the early development of the scheme was, however, necessarily on the development of a practical framework that could do justice to the existing expertise of the TEIs, the needs of the various churches involved, and the requirements of Durham University. That left open the question of whether the scheme was (or could be) accompanied by a fuller shared vision of the nature of theological education.

In December 2014, the Church of England’s Ministry Division, assisted by the Durham Common Awards team, convened a working group, to consider whether any kind of answer to this question might be needed (and whether it might be possible), initially from an Anglican point of view. That group decided to initiate work towards a brief theological statement and to arrange wide consultation on it so that it could be owned by the whole ecumenical partnership. An initial draft produced by the group was then extensively revised in the light of feedback from staff and students from around the TEIs, from ecumenical partners, from a session at the Common Awards Staff Conference and another at the Society for the Study of Theology, from the Church of England’s College of Bishops, and from many others, before reaching final form in January 2016.

The document is not intended to be comprehensive, nor to be permanent. It provides a snapshot of shared thinking from around the Common Awards partnership at a particular moment in time: a statement of theological principles that has secured very wide (though not universal - see here for a critical discussion) agreement around the partnership at present, but which is open to future revision.

A Vision for Theological Education in the Common Awards (pdf)

Members of the initial working group

Peter Allen, Principal, College of the Resurrection, Mirfield

John Applegate, Principal, All Saints Centre for Mission and Ministry

Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon

Frances Clemson, Lecturer in Theology and Ministry, Durham University

Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely

Stephen Croft, Bishop of Sheffield (Chair)

Julie Gittoes, Residentiary Canon, Guildford Cathedral

Mike Higton, Professor of Theology and Ministry, Durham University

Emma Ineson, Principal, Trinity College, Bristol

Jeremy Morris, Master, Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Robin Ward, Principal, St Stephen’s House, Oxford

Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

David Way, Theological Education Secretary, Ministry Division