It is always sad to have to say goodbye to Junior Deans, and other SCIO staff, when for whatever reason it is time for them to leave. Please find below some notes and updates from some old friends and colleagues, as well as news from SCIO staff who are still with us.

Junior Deans

Jonathan Kirkpatrick, 2003–2011
Junior Dean, St Hughes and Crick Road

Jonathan is still with us at SCIO: see his update at the bottom of the page.

Josh Hordern, 2004–05

Junior Dean, The Vines

After a happy year with SCIO up at the Vines (memorable snowball fights included!), I completed a Masters in Oxford and then a PhD in Theological Ethics in Edinburgh. There I met Claire, a medical doctor, and we married in 2009. We moved to Cambridge where I took up a Junior Research Fellowship, lectured in the Faculty of Divinity and worked for the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics. In 2012, we moved to Oxford when I took up a post as Associate Professor of Christian Ethics in the Faculty of Theology and Religion. Claire has continued her medical work and we have been joined by two sons, Luke and Peter. My Faculty page is here and details of my current work in healthcare can be found here.

Clint and Jackie Bass, 2005–2008

Junior Deans, The Vines

Clint and Jackie Bass live in Bolivar, Missouri. Clint is associate professor of theology and teaches church history at Southwest Baptist University while Jackie keeps the home in order. In 2013 Clint published a book based on his doctoral thesis, focussing primarily on the doctrine of General Baptist leader Thomas Grantham. They have four children: G.T. (seven), Hildy (five), Verity (five), and Clementine (two). The couple is also deeply involved in the activities of their local congregation.

Michael Burdett and Emily Reed Burdett, 2008–2010

Junior Deans, The Vines

Michael and Emily are back in Oxford! See their update at the bottom of the page under SCIO staff.

Sam Brewitt-Taylor, 2009–12

Junior Dean, Crick Road and North Wing

I really miss SCIO. Oxford has just had a major (by English standards) snowfall, which takes me back to January 2010, when our pre-semester Tesco delivery failed to show, and Simon and I had to raid Sainsbury’s Kidlington to make sure the incoming Cricksters would be able to eat. Simon’s car got stuck in the snow, and we ended up ferrying kettle-fulls of boiling water into the street to release it. That night one of the Cricksters arrived early, and we ate bolognese, played Carcassonne, and had interesting conversations, all of which (along with film-nights, crocket, ninja, quote-boards [which I still have], and more board games) seem to summarise life as a junior dean very well.

I hung up my junior-deaning slippers in July 2012 to focus on finishing my DPhil, which I finally submitted that December, about 30 minutes before the university shut for Christmas. I was viva’d on the last day of Hilary term 2013, but was tutoring at St John’s College at the time, and so had the most uneventful post-viva celebration ever, namely wolfing down a St John’s College fish-and-chips before heading out to teach the final tutorial of term.

After that I did a 9-month lecturing stint at Lincoln College, was unemployed for about six months, but did some casual lecturing for SCIO, and then I moved to Plymouth University in September 2014 to be a lecturer in twentiethth-century British and European history. In the spring of 2014 I started going out with Jordan (pictured). I was interviewed at Plymouth about a week after asking Jordan out, so we had our first dinner-date in Plymouth (Jordan had taken time off work to drive to Plymouth, so she could give me a lift back), and we were interrupted by a phone-call offering me the job. It was a very happy ride home.

We only had to spend a year doing long-distance, though, because I returned to Lincoln College in September 2015 as a ‘Darby Fellow’, i.e. being the modern history tutor on a five-year career-development contract (my faculty pages are here and here). I proposed to Jordan just before my first term started, and we got married the following March. We honeymooned in Italy, which was hilarious, because we were acting as if it was summer (shorts-wearing, ice-cream eating), but the Italians shivered in their coats and thought we were crazy. Jordan works for Oxford University Press, who will also be publishing the book-of-my-thesis, though these pieces of information are unrelated (I promise). Jordan is from California, but her accent has soft hints of Irish picked up from four years at Trinity College Dublin. We met at St Ebbe’s, where we now lead a fellowship group. Jordan is also a fiction-writer, and is making great strides at it, though my fiction has (for the moment) fallen by the wayside.

I have not always been the best correspondent, and I owe special apologies to particular Cricksters and North-wingers on this score, but I will try to be better, and would love to hear from you.

Graham Baker, 2010–11

Junior Dean, The Vines

Waiting for update!

Subiksha Krishniah, 2011–12

Junior Dean, The Vines

Waiting for update!

Geoff Dargan, 2012–2016

Junior Dean, North Wing

Hello, everyone! Geoff Dargan here, former SCIO Junior Dean and never-ending student. Yes, that’s right, I’m back in school again. More details below…

First, I hope you are all doing well! So, I am now officially Dr. Dargan. 🙂 I (finally) finished my dissertation in July of 2016 and I have received my official diploma (DPhil in Theology) from the University of Oxford. After nearly six years in Oxford – and four fun and fulfilling years with SCIO – I moved back to the US in August of 2016. As much as I would have loved to stay in Oxford, it felt like it was time to return. (Though, sometimes I wonder if I should have stayed in the UK!) Upon returning to Illinois, where much of my family is located, I began teaching part-time at McKendree University, a small liberal arts university. I taught both Intro to Philosophy and Intro to Ethics classes for the 2016-17 school year.

Unfortunately, full-time academic jobs are challenging to find these days, particularly as a theologian who is mostly interested in philosophy. So, as a way to broaden my scope of studies (and make myself look more like a philosopher … haha), I decided to look into graduate programs in philosophy. I ended up accepting a funded teaching assistantship at Oklahoma State University. It’s a two-year MA program and I’m also teaching part-time. People keep asking if I plan to do another doctorate. To be honest, I’d rather not. I’d prefer to spend those six-plus years teaching, instead of doing more school work. But at this point … well, never say never, I guess.

In any case, I’m living in Stillwater, OK, and living life as a grad student again! While there are challenges to living on a TA stipend, overall it’s been a great experience so far. The studying and teaching takes up most of my time, so honestly there’s not a whole lot more to tell. I was able to visit Paul and Lexi last year during a visit to Indiana; it was great to catch up with them. It would be great to hear from some of you as well. Send an email if you like: [email protected] If you’re ever traveling through Oklahoma, stop by and say hello.

Grace and peace,


Lexi and Paul Eikelboom, 2012–2015

Junior Deans, The Vines

Hello 2012-2015 SCIO alum (i.e. our children)!
We can’t believe that we left The Vines over two years ago! For some of you, it’s been even longer than that. Our time with SCIO feels at once like it was a whole other world away, a different life-time, and like it was just yesterday. We’ve been living a very different life now than we did at The Vines (not least because our house is only big enough for two people rather than 40!), but one that is, we suspect, familiar to many of you.

Lexi has been teaching at the John Wesley Honors College, Indiana Wesleyan University, an American CCCU school with all of the joys, frustrations, and quirks that were likely a part of all of your undergraduate experiences at such schools. Learning to teach has been a steep learning curve. To her surprise, students sometimes find Lexi scary. This has required her to engage in all sorts of tactics, including dressing like a unicorn and serving British tea, to encourage students to engage in discussions, accept feedback, and do the large amounts of work required by the honors college.
Paul teaches English as a Second Language and is almost finished a second Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, both at Indiana Wesleyan University. He never thought he would be getting a second bachelor’s degree, but initially (and not entirely surprisingly) the market for post-secondary level ESL in rural Indiana was not incredibly high. The combination of degrees should make searching for work a little more flexible in the future. With any luck, he should be finished with this degree by August 2018. In addition to this, he has been slowly learning how to play bass guitar and does some volunteering for an organization called Circles USA. Sadly, since SCIO, he has not been able to partake in any lip sync battles or play Wii sports.

In some ways, we remain very foreign, whether British or Canadian or something else entirely. American culture is still sometimes as mystifying as it was when you tried to explain it to us at The Vines. Why are some neighborhoods (including our own) devoid of sidewalks? Why do people say “we’d love to have you over sometime” as a way of saying good-bye? Why are donuts a breakfast food? And what’s up with the french vanilla coffee creamer? We order PG tips online because the tea in America, even when claiming to be British, is obscenely weak. We don’t cycle anymore but we are grateful that we live close enough to campus that we can still walk to work.

Yet we have also adapted somewhat to our new American environment. Lexi managed to obtain her very first driver’s license, thanks to Paul’s patient insistence as a driving instructor. This was probably a mistake. Lexi is still afraid of driving and has also never driven on the freeway, yet she somehow now participates in this most American of freedoms. We also occasionally drink coffee, we have been to a baseball game (Go Cubs Go!), watched fireworks on the fourth of July, and eat the above-named donuts when colleagues bring them to work.

We have done a decent amount of travel across your beautiful country, including to Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Ashville, Minneapolis, and Duluth. We have had the privilege of seeing many of you in your natural habitats since coming here as well. Indiana is a fantastically central place and many of you travel through on your way to elsewhere. We love catching up, so please let us know if you are ever in the area!
We think and talk about our time at The Vines often. We miss the community, the discussions, the food groups, and the privilege of witnessing your personal and academic growth. We pray that you are well, wherever you find yourselves.
Love, Paul and Lexi Eikelboom (i.e. Mom and Dad)

Natalie Alves and Thiago Alves Pinto, 2015–16

Junior Deans, The Vines

The time we spent at the Vines as Junior Deans was very intense for both of us, but we really enjoyed getting to know almost 150 students. We thought we would have less work after we left the role, but it has been just as intense. Since we left, Thiago’s main work, apart from his research, has been teaching. He was a Graduate Teaching Assistant for two years and has given tutorials in Public International Law and Human Rights Law. It has been rewarding seeing his tutees enjoying the courses. One of them even won the award for the best paper in Human Rights Law.

Thiago also had the chance to participate in several conferences, either presenting his research or as a panellist. He also served as a consultant in a project for the UN in Geneva and was invited by the British Parliament to contribute to a report on freedom of religion or belif. He has also been judging human rights moot courts in Oxford and abroad. Thiago continues to teach this academic year and is also working on three parallel projects. He plans to submit his thesis at the end of next year.

Natalie finished her Master’s Degree in French language and literature. She did a course in poverty alleviation and is currently studying Biblical Hebrew in Oxford. Last year she was facilitating a Bible study group which was prepared for international students who were interested in learning more about Christianity. She is now working full time as an Executive Assistant at Open Doors UK, a charity that supports Christians persecuted for their faith in more than 50 countries.

We have also helped in a group of postgraduate students at our church that meets once a term, and last year we were part of a programme of mentorship of young academics organised by the Oxford Pastorate. In addition, Thiago worked as a Chapel Clerk in his college during the last academic year, and he still supports many of the chapel activities. We are currently working as graduate assistants, a role similar to the Junior Deans, at a charity that provides accommodation for international graduate students in Oxford. We are responsible for 40 students from all over the world, and it has been great to learn from them as well.

We still vividly reminisce our talks at the Vines about faith, music, academia, gender, research, relationships, career aspirations, and so many other subjects. We remember your laughter, dancing in the kitchen, open mic nights, Thanksgiving football, and all the times you shared your baked goods with us. Although it was hard to say goodbye to all of you, we are glad to see glimpses of your lives on Facebook, and we know that you are all capable of achieving great things. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. You have all taught us so much and our lives are definitely richer because of you. We would not be the people we are today had we not met you.

Jesse Richards and Carissa Quinn Richards, 2016–2017

Junior Deans, The Vines

Dearest SCIO alum,

This past year at the Vines is so fresh in our minds and our hearts. We enjoyed getting to know each of you, watch you fall in love with Oxford, and seeing you grow in your own academic interests and skills.

Throughout our wonderful year as Junior Deans, Jesse continued to work on his MPhil in Theology (New Testament) and Carissa got in to the DPhil in Oriental Studies (Hebrew and Jewish Studies). About halfway through the year, we had some exciting news–we were going to be parents! During the summer, we celebrated 10 years of marriage and moved back to Portland to begin a year of paternity/maternity leave from studies. Sarina was born in September, and is the joy of our lives. We didn’t know we could love a little person so much! We love watching her grow and discover her world. She is currently enthralled with the existence of her own hands. 🙂

While in Portland, Jesse is doing some research as a visiting scholar for the Murdock Trust. Carissa is getting to soak in being a new mom for the time being. We both plan to resume doctoral work in Fall, 2018.

We miss you all dearly and would love to hear how you are doing and what you are up to.

Many blessings,

Carissa & Jesse

Olivia Anderson, 2016–present

Junior Dean, North Wing

Dear SCIO alum,
It’s my second year now as the North Wing junior dean, and I have such fond memories of all of you. Your enthusiasm and wonder made Oxford appear even more Narnia-esque than it already was!
My doctoral studies took a much-needed turn this year. In January 2017, I switched supervisors due to a slight change in my era of focus. During our first meeting, my new supervisor suggested that I drop my topic altogether. I seriously considered dropping out of Oxford and applying to my local McDonald’s back in Florida! Thankfully, I spent a week in prayer instead and emerged with a more developed research topic than the previous six months of work had produced. My new topic explores the evangelism techniques of dissenters from the Church of England during a time of intense religious persecution (1662-1689). Rather than focus on nonconformist sermons or autobiographies, which were intended for nonconformist communities, my research deals with nonconformist literature, which, I argue, is intended for an even wider audience. Though still hard work, the research is delightful now!
This year, I’m also a doctoral fellow with the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, and the secretary of the C.S. Lewis Society. I’m still rowing with Lincoln College, but balancing all of that exercise with cake runs to Barefoot Café. In April 2018, I will travel to Florence, Italy, to present my research at a conference. (The location may or may not have been a draw!)
I’d love to hear from you and learn how you’re doing!
Wishing you every joy,


Other ex-SCIO staff

Katie Finlay / Sister Makrina, 2000–05

Junior Dean, 2000–02, Administrator 2002–03, Assistant Director 2003–05
I left SCIO a long time ago so most of you alumni will not have encountered me. Still, I am glad to think that you will have benefitted from some of what we envisioned in the early days. After serving as junior dean, administrator and then Assistant Director and Dean of Students, I left England in the summer of 2005, learned as much German as I possibly could and entered my monastery in Dinklage, Germany, in December 2005. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but being plunged into a new culture and language and trying to figure out what it was to be a nun while also switching my academic focus from modern church history to Patristics (particularly 4th century lives) occupied me for my first few years and is still the basis of my life.

My experience in study abroad eventually came in handy. Upon closing their boarding school in 2010, I was asked to develop some educational initiatives at Kylemore Abbey in Ireland. That developed into a partnership with the University of Notre Dame which opened an education centre at the abbey in 2016. During those years I was also helping to develop our Cardinal von Galen Centre back at home. The centre is named for the Bishop of Münster who courageously spoke out against the Nazis during the Second World War and who also happened to be born in our house before it became our monastery. I am still actively involved in both of those centres although, thankfully, I get to be in Germany much more often now than previously.

In 2015 circumstances changed in Germany and for me personally when the borders were opened and a large number of refugees became our guests and then our neighbours and brothers and sisters. At that stage, we converted half of our guesthouse into refugee accommodations and I encountered Yezidis for the first time. I have since become very involved in the refugee population here, especially with the Yezidis from Northern Iraq who have settled in Dinklage and the surrounding area and I advocate for them in a variety of ways.

If you would like to see some impressions of my monastery, you can go to our website. If you prefer to read the site in English, go to ‘English site’ on the left hand side of the screen.

Nicola Barham, 2005–07

Academic administrator


I remember my two years working amongst SCIO students really warmly. Field trips and evenings spent at the Vines or Crick feature especially vividly in my mind. The SCIO cohorts were fun communities, and meeting people from across the continental US really sparked my interest in America! So much so that, as some of you may remember, I moved there after leaving my job! I have seen a few of you over the years during my time in grad school in the US, and fully enjoyed exploring all things American: giant pretzels in DC, bottles of mouthwash that required two hands to be lifted, and becoming rugged enough (or simply bundled up enough!) to brave winter conditions in the Midwest! I was back and forth a lot between Chicago and Oxford during those years.

Over several of the trips back home, I got to know a Canadian man who seemed an intriguing combination of American and British. ; ) We got married in 2011. We lived in Oxford and in Chicago, and after that moved to Beirut, Lebanon for a year where I was teaching at the university and he was investing in refugees. This year he is continuing to work among refugees in Germany, and I am a guest scholar at a university here. I think warmly back to our times as SCIO communities in Oxford. I hope you and your families are all doing well.

God bless, Nicola

Claire Shuttleworth, 2013–16

Academic Administrator

I worked as academic administrator for SCIO from Sept 2013-2016 and saw 6 SSO and 3 OSP cohorts through the programmes.

I still live in Oxford and now work as an administrator/ Office manager for the Oxford Pastorate, a ministry to graduate students in Oxford. Working with graduates means from time to time I bump into SCIO alum who come back for their master’s or doctorate programmes; it is always fun to reconnect.

Outside of work, I am now an auntie to my twin sister’s son, Isaac. I really enjoy this role and make frequent visits to see him in Devon whenever I can. I now live in East Oxford and attend Magdalen Road Church recently getting involved with an Art exhibition that they put on. I still drink a lot of coffee, upcycle old furniture, crochet, and dream of one day making my millions running some sort of creative craft business… 🙂
Much love to you all!



Notes from some of the current SCIO staff

All SCIO staff have current biographies on this site, but below some of us have added more personal notes and updates for you all.

Jonathan Kirkpatrick, 2003–
Former Scholars of SCIO, greetings!

After ceasing to be Junior Dean in 2011 I finally managed to polish off my doctorate, which was a great weight off my mind. I’ve continued to be fully involved with SCIO, teaching Classics and Art History, and helping run conferences through SCIO’s partnership with Museum of the Bible.

Since leaving 8 Crick Road I’ve lived twice at C.S. Lewis’ former home, The Kilns, on the second occasion as Warden. There I became very interested in Lewis’ background as a Classicist, and also had the chance to welcome SCIO alumni who made the pilgrimage to the place.

My enthusiasm for photography has increased in leaps and bounds, to the extent that people even pay me to take photographs now. In 2015, Blackwell’s bookshop housed an exhibition of photographs I took of various places in Oxford reflected in puddles.

In 2017 I was married to Haley Drolet, of South Portland, Maine. She had studied with SCIO and subsequently worked at SCIO too. We have our home at the bottom of the Botley Road, and are expecting a Dalmatian puppy in the new year.

Simon Lancaster, 2004–

Simon with his family and his certificate of British Citizenship, 2017

Dear all,

For some it has been many, many, years, and for others much less time, but to everyone from this programme I send my heartfelt greetings! I have been the person responsible for getting these alumni pages up and running, and doing that has been for me quite a trip down memory lane. It is has been both fun and a bit sad to remember how many wonderful people I have met while working for SCIO.

I still work full time at SCIO, but have also completed a Master’s degree at Oxford in 2013, and since then have been writing a DPhil part time. My subject involves researching Oxford and its nineteenth-century parish churches, and while doing that my appreciation of this wonderful city continues to grow. The DPhil is great fun, but is also quite a time-consuming project! Also this year, after 20 years of living here, I took the plunge and became a British citizen.

On the family side, Coral has been getting a lot more cello work recently, and in the last year alone has travelled with orchestras to perform in Taiwan, Japan, Gibraltar, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Luxembourg. It has been wonderful for her to get back into serious music making. My two children, Natasha and Rory, are both well, and keeping us on our toes. Natasha has just finished reading Pride and Prejudice, and I realized how jealous I was for her, in that she was able to read such a fun text for the very first time! Rory is playing bassoon, and reached a milestone, in that he beat me at a game of chess, which was a humbling experience for me, but at the same time a very proud one.

Please keep all of us at SCIO in your prayers. We are a very busy team who would greatly appreciate knowing that we are being remembered back in the States. I am not an obsessive social media user, but I enjoy the updates that come way with connections on FaceBook and LinkedIn, and if we are not already connected the please feel free to send a request.

Keeping you all in my prayers, albeit not always individually!


Michael Burdett and Emily Reed Burdett, 2008–2010, 2016–
Greetings SCIO Alum,

Emily and I both valued our time as junior deans at The Vines and we often say that meeting with old students, whether here in Oxford or abroad whilst on travel, is one of the most satisfying things we do. We love hearing about your lives, how you’re each impacting your local communities and reminiscing about our time together. Here is an update on what we’ve been up to since our tenure as junior deans at the Vines.
Both of us graduated from the University of Oxford with DPhils in 2013 and, despite being at separate colleges, we were able to sit next to each other and graduate in the Sheldonian Theatre together.

In August 2013 we moved to St Andrews, Scotland for Emily to take up a research post in the psychology department at the university and Michael worked remotely for SCIO/Wycliffe Hall on various science and religion grants whilst he was a visiting scholar in the St Andrews theology department. We loved our time in Scotland and the many weekend adventures in the Highlands, the Outer Hebrides and Glencoe. Our final years in Scotland were spent in a small fishing village called Pittenweem and our house on the sea is greatly missed. Following the completion of Emily’s research post in St Andrews we moved back to Oxford in September 2016 for Michael to carry on his work with Wycliffe Hall. We had our first child, a daughter called Eleanora Isla Reed Burdett, in February 2017 and Emily landed a joint research position at Oxford and Coventry that she interviewed for the day before Eleanora was born!

With two academic careers and a budding family, it’s amazing we get any sleep at all! Please do let us know how you are doing. We’d love to hear from you.


Michael and Emily Burdett