University and Diocese teams up for ground-breaking study in pastoral theology

Staffordshire University Vice Chancellor professor Christine King signs the memorandum with the Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber; and the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill.

Staffordshire University has signed a ground-breaking agreement with the Diocese of Lichfield and its Cathedral to offer an MA course in ‘Theology, Context and the Pastoral Imagination.’

The move will see the establishment of the Lichfield Centre for Christian Studies.

The agreement was signed on October 31 by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Staffordshire University, Professor Christine King; the Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber; and the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill.

The MA course in ‘Theology, Context and the Pastoral Imagination’ will examine the way the Bible and Christian doctrine is used in everyday contexts and offer insight into questions of mission, appropriate models of leadership and ministry, and will link with the University’s interest in the study of spirituality and health care.

Recruitment for the MA will start early in 2008 and a taster day will be held at the Lichfield campus of Staffordshire University on November 19.

The course will provide a supportive return to study for those who have been away from education for a while, and it will be shaped to accommodate some of the pressures and demands of parochial ministry.

Professor King said: “We are very much about action and employment at Staffordshire University and proud to be one of the new universities.

“This is an exciting statement about the place of theology in the modern world and we are looking forward dto working with our partners.”

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, said: “ I am delighted that the Cathedral has been able to bring all the partners together, and that it has pledged its support and teaching contribution to this new venture along with Diocesan and University colleagues. This will be an immensely creative network that wants to work at helping grass roots parish ministry to flourish.”

Alongside the MA, the Lichfield Centre for Christian Studies will be responsible for delivering academic and Continuing Professional Development programmes, and to develop joint research interests between the Cathedral, Diocese and University.

It will hold public lectures and short courses tackling some of the big questions of the day.