Meet our postgrad researchers
We have over 50 students involved in postgraduate research, part time and full time. Here some of them tell us a little about themselves and what they are working on.
CLARE BROWN: PhD
Supervisor: Revd Dr Nigel Scotland
I am excited to be doing research at Trinity Bristol: I am currently in the third year of the PhD programme. Although I am British (from Birmingham originally) I have lived in Nashville, Tennessee for the past 12 years. I am married to Garry, who is a sound engineer, and it was his work that brought us to the US. My central research interest is nineteenth-century British Church History and at present I am studying the life of Joseph Sturge, focusing on his involvement in the anti-slavery campaign. Joseph Sturge was an Evangelical, a committed Quaker, a successful businessman and a tireless campaigner for social reform. As secretary and leading light of the Birmingham Anti-Slavery Society he played a key role in influencing and invigorating the anti-slavery movement, in both Great Britain and the United States. I will particularly look at the ways Sturge and his friends sought to utilize Evangelical networks and arouse popular sentiment in order to further the anti-slavery cause.
HELEN COLLINS: MLitt/PhD
Supervisor: Revd Dr Emma Ineson
I am a final-year Anglican ordinand doing research alongside my training. My research arose out of experiencing a significant tension between becoming a mother and my charismatic faith. Essentially, I could no longer be totally absorbed in the ecstatic experience of worship when the baby's needs were all consuming. I am using a feminist practical theology methodology to articulate and analyse the tensions between spirituality in early motherhood and spirituality in the charismatic tradition and I hope to be able to propose strategies for how they might be resolved. I am carrying out interviews with mothers and doing fieldwork in charismatic churches and aim to bring the two into critical conversation for mutual enrichment and transformation. I have two young children and a wonderful husband who cares for them. I feel very passionate about my research and hope that my findings might have meaningful application for real mothers wrestling with these issues.
ED GUDEMAN: MPhil/MLitt/PhD
Supervisor: Revd Dr Stephen Finamore
I am an American who has been living in Madrid, Spain for the last 15 years. I serve with an international mission agency called WorldVenture. I am studying part-time under the supervision of Stephen Finamore and began at Trinity in the fall of 2008. My studies are focused on the meaning of the abyss in Revelation, and its implications for the way we interpret the book. After examining the concept in the Old Testament and the way it changed and developed in the intertestamental period, I will examine how John uses the concept and what it means in the context of the book, especially as it relates to Satan's working in this world.
STEFFEN JENKINS: MLitt/PhD
Supervisor: Professor Gordon Wenham
Half Welsh, half German, born in Spain, born again in England, and a citizen of heaven, what was a boy to do? A PhD at Trinity, obviously. Sally and I have just celebrated our sixth anniversary and we've been blessed with Ben and Daniel. The latter arrived just as the research started: top tip, in such circumstances, it is advisable to have a supervisor who is a grandfather; he knows when to be sympathetic and - I trust! - when to let it dry up. Before Trinity we were briefly in Cuba where I lectured Old Testament at a seminary, and as a result of that we came to the UK for rather longer to study at Oak Hill in London. The upshot has been a love for helping Christians take hold of the Old Testament as part of one coherent Bible, and to read, enjoy, sing, believe, pray and live the OT without embarrassment. I'm particularly interested in the Psalms, which have had pride of place in every sane Christian tradition for almost two millennia, yet are all too often neglected in more recent times. Prof Gordon Wenham has taken me on to study under him, which is an amazing privilege, no stranger he to making Christians realise that the OT is for us. His current interest is in the ethics of the Psalter, which is a particular treat. I have been enjoying reading about Hebrew poetry and how it works, and putting various theories to the test, and already enjoy reading psalms all the more for it. It is early days in the research, but a likely area is retribution in the Psalms: how the wicked get their comeuppance, and how the righteous cry out to God to meet it out. Living a mere ten-hour round trip by train away I count as a 'local' student, since 'distance learning' is reserved for those enjoying Trinity from the comfort of Alberta and Adelaide. If you're finding the process of even thinking about applying for a PhD a bit mysterious and daunting, let me assure you that Trinity has the friendliest, most efficient and least expensive application process that I've heard of. Don't delay before getting in touch: the staff here know what it's like and how to help you!
ABRAHAM MATHEW: PhD
Supervisor: Revd Dr John Corrie
I am from Kerala, a southern state of India. I am an ordained clergyman of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India, a reformed Orthodox church which is in communion with the Anglican Church. I served as a parish priest in different parishes in India. I also worked as a missionary in the southern region of Kerala and in villages of Rajasthan especially among the Dalits, a subordinate community in India. At present I am pursuing my research in mission studies particularly concentrating on Christian mission in India in the context of Hindutva, a fundamentalist movement within the Hindu fold. My study takes a post-colonial perspective, considering how an elite authoritarianism has been shaped within post-colonial conditions in India with the backing of post-colonial discourses. In that sense this study can be a critical evaluation of both Christian mission theology and Hindutva mission theology.
Matt Prior: MPhil/PhD
Supervisor: Revd Dr Andrew Goddard
I am researching the work of Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), well known for keeping two sets of books, sociological and theological, in critical dialogue. I am trying to argue that Ellul's famous and hotly contested sociological concept of technique is in origin a theological idea that reflects an underlying theological unity in his thought. Technique does not mean technology as such, but rather (at my best estimate) connotes our peculiarly modern and relentless pursuit of efficiency that, if not submitted to the word of God which spoke the world into being, and which was incarnate in Jesus Christ, will simply serve the will to human power. But can technique be submitted to the word of God in our communication technologies, in our scientific explorations and in our economic activities? And if so, how?
ROD REED: PhD
Supervisor: Revd Dr Emma Ineson
I am the University Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at John Brown University, a Christian, liberal arts university in midwestern United States. I have served in campus ministry in Christian universities since 1997, after 12 years of church ministry, primarily in Baptist churches. My wife Michelle and I have four children, ages 6-14. I am a part-time PhD student in Practical Theology whose research is focused on developing a theology of spiritual formation that is particular to the context of Christian universities. I contend that the content and goals of spiritual formation are shaped differently by the contexts in which ministry happens. For Christian universities to validate their claim that students grow spiritually as part of their education, their educational and ministry efforts must be shaped by a theology that appropriately accounts for the life stage of young adults in the unique context of the Christian university.