Life after SCIO: alumnus accepted for PhD in Theology at Yale

We are pleased that our alumnus Samuel Ernest has been accepted to a PhD programme at Yale.

Sam grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire and Grand Rapids, Michigan and studied English Literature at Seattle Pacific University. He graduated with a Masters of Art in Religion and Literature from Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, as well as a Certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School.

His time with SCIO helped him developing his academic interests:
In my first term with SCIO, Michaelmas 2013, I discovered gay literature, which profoundly challenged my understanding of what sort of shapes life and love can take. When I returned for Michaelmas 2014, I took a Special Topics tutorial designed with tutor Jonathan Thorpe called “Faith and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Fiction,” which laid the groundwork for both my SCIO thesis and my honors thesis at SPU.
His work at SCIO was a foundation for his PhD topic:
My work will map and plumb the boundaries between religion and literature, religious studies and theology, and queer theory and systematic theology. I hope to spend considerable time with poetry and theology by marginal gay and queer figures from the mid-twentieth century through the present day to better understand how gay writers reimagine the Christian forms of erotic and divine desire they’ve inherited and, from there, to offer my own constructive thoughts on gay literature might inform doctrine.
In the future, he hopes to continue in academia and work as a professor.



Life after SCIO: alumnus accepted for MSt degree at Oxford

We are delighted that our alumnus Joshua Austin has been accepted for a master’s degree in the history of war at Oxford. He is the recipient of a SCIO de Jager alumni scholarship.

 Joshua grew up in Richmond, Virginia and is studying for his first degree at Gordon College where he will graduate in May 2019. His time with SCIO inspired him to pursue a master’s degree:
I was privileged to attend SCIO’s Scholars’ Semester in Oxford from September 2017 to April 2018 and took tutorials in the First and Second World Wars in addition to writing a thesis which examined counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. The military studies in particular played a significant role in my decision to pursue a MSt degree in the history of war at the University of Oxford.
The integration of faith and scholarship was also important to him:
It was good encouragement throughout my Oxford experience never to be afraid to explore new ideas, yet always to remain grounded in your faith. Simply put, faith and academics are not at odds with each other, and SCIO assisted in giving us a framework for pursuing our studies.
His academic interest concerns international counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan and it is also his future ambition to work with this topic.

Life after SCIO: alumna studying for a PhD at Princeton

We are very pleased that our alumna Abigail M. Sargent is studying for a PhD in Medieval History at Princeton.

Having grown up in East Barre, Vermont, Abigail studied history at Gordon College. She graduated in 2009 and then completed a MA in Medieval Studies at Fordham University. She explains that her time in Oxford with SCIO inspired her current PhD studies:

My year at Oxford with SCIO in 2011-12 had helped cement the Middle Ages as my particular corner of history; I still remember the sudden immediacy of the Anglo-Saxon period when I sat in my tutor’s office as he explained how I could walk out his door and follow the course of the medieval town wall.’

Besides encouraging her academic discipline, the spiritual side of scholarship that SCIO offers also helped her:

SCIO also helped shape my vision of what faithful scholarship could look like, in all senses of the term, and in settings beyond the Christian liberal arts college. Right now I’m living one version of that life as I work on my PhD at Princeton. At the moment I’m in Europe doing archival research for my dissertation. I spend my days sifting through abbreviated French and Latin documents, trying to detect when and how people in fourteenth-century rural communities acted as groups to fulfil external demands and to resist external pressures on what they saw as their rights and privileges.

Her future ambition is to teach medieval history, with a particular focus on ‘ordinary’ people’s lives, which she considers important to both our professional and private lives.

On the Road: staff member goes on US speaking tour

In late November and early December SCIO staff member Andrew J. Newell, a DPhil candidate with the English Faculty and member of Wycliffe Hall, visited the US on a small speaking tour. Andrew lectured on the Christmas carol, ‘Hark! the Herald Angels Sing’, focusing on the context out of which it was written and its complex textual history.

He spoke at:
• Calvary St George on Sunday 2 December: Calvary Church, New York City, NY
• Friends of Wycliffe Hall on Monday 10 December: St John the Divine, Houston, TX.

An audio recording of the lecture is available here.

By |December 19th, 2018|News|0 Comments|

Life after SCIO: alumna awarded fellowship

We are extremely pleased by the news that Rebecca Richards (year long, 2016) has been granted the John Jay Fellowship.

Raised in East Winthrop, Maine, Rebecca completed an undergraduate degree in Philosophy at Baylor University, Texas. Following her time at university, Rebecca applied for the John Fellowship based in Philadelphia, for which she has been accepted. Regarding the fellowship, she writes:
The stated goal of John Jay is to create principled, public leaders. For four months, eight fellows live together in a house outside Philadelphia and study the interface of philosophy, politics and faith from Constantine to the present.
The fellowship shares several features with the SCIO programme: ‘Similar to SCIO’, she writes, ‘we read 150 pages a day on average, write weekly papers and spend 3 hours in seminar four days a week.’

Remembering her time at SCIO, Rebecca writes:
As much as I care about Baylor, my time at Oxford was the highlight of my time at university. It sharpened my approach to general academics but especially to political philosophy. SCIO also cultivated an incredible community where fellow students from diverse academic disciplines and colleges studied, ate, and debated together. During and after the program, I felt cared for by everyone in leadership at SCIO. After my experience at Oxford, I knew I had to keep studying political philosophy and to find or build that kind of community. The John Jay Fellowship has elements of both.
Like many SCIO students, Rebecca’s plans for the future are suitably ambitious:
After the fellowship ends, I am hoping to move to DC this spring to work in public policy and social justice. Eventually, I would like to go to graduate school to study political philosophy and public [...]

By |December 17th, 2018|Life after SCIO|0 Comments|

The Boston Tea Party – SCIO hosts alumni event in Boston, MA

On Saturday 10 November SCIO faculty Dr Liz Baigent and Simon Lancaster hosted an alumni gathering in Boston, Massachusetts. Held at Park Street Church, the ‘Boston Tea Party’ drew fifty SCIO alumni from both OSP and SSO programmes from across the years.

A historic venue, Park Street Church is located on the Freedom Trail, and was originally founded with the aim of planting a church rooted in the orthodox Trinitarian tradition in the centre of Boston. The construction of the church began in 1809 next to the Granary Burial Ground, which was itself founded in 1660, and contains the remains of three signatories of the Declaration of Independence: John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, and Samuel Adams.

Three prizes were given out to students who were judged to have travelled the greatest distance in order to be present at the gathering, with two awardees making the long journey from California, and one flying in from Oregon.

Attendees were treated to some British fare, with sandwiches, scones, cakes, and two different types of tea served on or in vintage china. All alumni were awarded with a SCIO mug, which they were given as a memento of their time in Oxford.

Following the tea, the party were treated to an extremely entertaining, albeit somewhat chilly, walking tour led by SCIO alumna Genevieve Peterson, who was previously employed as a professional tour guide in the city of Boston.

Simon Lancaster commented on the gathering that:
Meeting alumni after so many years was wonderful and inspiring. Students from as far back as 2009 were present, from twenty-four schools across the US. For many this was the first time that they had visited Boston, and it was humbling that they would travel so far to [...]

By |November 14th, 2018|News|0 Comments|

The State of the Evangelical Mind: SCIO co-sponsors discussion seminar

SCIO is co-sponsoring a discussion led by Dr Jerry Pattengale (University Professor, Indiana Wesleyan University) on the topic of his recently edited book, The State of the Evangelical Mind.

Pattengale’s anthology of essays asks whether the Evangelical world is currently sitting on the threshold of another crisis of intellectual maturity, or whetherthere are now even greater opportunities for faithful intellectual engagement and witness. The reader is invited to a virtual ‘summit meeting’ on the current state of the Evangelical mind. The insights of national leaders in their fields will aid readers to reflect on the past contributions of Evangelical institutions for the life of the mind as well as prospects for the future.

Contributors to the book include:

 Richard J. Mouw
Mark A. Noll
Jo Anne Lyon
David C. Mahan and C. Donald Smedley
Timothy Larsen
Lauren Winner
James K. A. Smith
Mark Galli

Jerry A. Pattengale (PhD, Miami University) is a scholar, researcher, author, and speaker. He has served for over twenty years in administrative leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University, currently as the first to earn IWU’s title of University Professor. He is also executive director of education for the Museum of the Bible in Washington D. C., where he oversees an international team of academics, writers, researchers, convergent media specialists, and editors developing a Bible curriculum for high school students.

The author of many books, Pattengale is a nationally recognized lecturer on education innovation and biblical studies. He is a senior fellow at the Sagamore Institute, an honorary senior research associate at Tyndale House, Cambridge, a distinguished fellow at Excelsia College, Australia, and is a research scholar at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. His writing has appeared in Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Washington Post, Books & Culture, Religion News Service,, Patheos, Chicago Tribune, and Christian Post.

Join Professor [...]

By |November 5th, 2018|News|0 Comments|

SCIO book launch held at Oxford University Museum of Natural History

At an event attended by over ninety scholars, students, and enthusiasts, Dr Stan Rosenberg (Executive Director, SCIO), Dr Michael Burdett (Assistant Professor in Theology, University ofNottingham), Dr Benno van den Toren (Professor of Intercultural Theology, Protestant Theological University, Groningen), and Revd Dr Michael Lloyd (Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford) unveiled their new book, Finding Ourselves After Darwin: Conversations on the Image of God, Original Sin, and the Problem of Evil.

The launch was held at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the site of numerous historic engagements on the topic of science and religion (from the debate between Samuel Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce in 1860, to the more recent debate between professors Richard Dawkins and John Lennox in 2008).

The anthology is a wide ranging volume, with chapters discussing the interface between Christian doctrine and evolutionary scientific research. With contributions from a number of leading academics from various fields, including Richard Swinburne, Gijsbert van den Brink, Christopher M. Hays, and Vince Vitale, the volume addresses a variety of issues,


Concerning the event, Dr Burdett comments:

We were pleased that so many came to support us to celebrate the culmination of many years work, with many illustrious scholars contributing to it. We are extremely excited about the contribution that this work will make to the field of science and religion. In particular we hope that the book’s unique combination of being introductory in nature while also being exhaustive in its doctrinal focus will be useful to readers of all levels, from scholars to laity.

Finding Ourselves after Darwin is available in both paperback and e-book form at Blackwell’s, Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), and Barnes & Noble.

By |November 2nd, 2018|News|0 Comments|

On the Road: Executive Director goes on US speaking tour


In late September and October, the Executive Director of SCIO, Dr Stan Rosenberg, journeyed across the US on a speaking tour. Dr Rosenberg addressed science and religion topics in open lectures; he also spoke at meetings with the science and religion clubs started under the auspices of SCIO and its Bridging the Two Cultures grant project. These included:

Calvin College on 25 September: a lecture on Augustine’s Theological Foundations for the Early Modern Move from Organism to Mechanism given at the ‘Christian Perspectives in Science Seminar’; an open forum held with the student science and religion club
Oklahoma Christian University on 28 September: a lecture on Can Nature be ‘Red in Tooth and Claw’ in the thought of Augustine
Southern Nazarene University on 1 October: a lecture on Can Nature be ‘Red in Tooth and Claw’ in the thought of Augustine; an open forum held with the student science and religion club.

For further discussion on the topic of science and religion, check out Dr Rosenberg’s new book, Finding Ourselves After Darwin.



By |October 26th, 2018|News|0 Comments|

SCIO Publication Announcement: BioLogos research group publishes volume

We are pleased to announce the publication of Finding Ourselves after Darwin: Conversations on the Image of God, Original Sin, and the Problem of Evil, an anthology general edited by the Executive Director of SCIO, Dr Stan Rosenberg. The volume is the product of the BioLogos research group, for which several SCIO staff members form part of the core research team.

Associate edited by Dr Michael Burdett, Rev Dr Michael Lloyd, and Prof Dr Benno van den Toren, the anthology is a wide ranging volume, with chapters discussing the interface between Christian doctrine and evolutionary scientific research.

With contributions from a number of leading academics from various fields, including Richard Swinburne, Gijsbert van den Brink, Christopher M. Hays, and Vince Vitale, the volume addresses a variety of issues, and aims to equip readers from a range of backgrounds, from academics to students, from pastors to laity.

The book has already garnered endorsements from across the academy. Celia Deane-Drummond (professor of theology and director of the Centre for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing, University of Notre Dame) writes that:
This is not just another book on theology and evolution but a serious attempt by well-established and emerging scholars to grapple with the most pressing theological issues that result from that engagement […]. This is not only a book for serious scholars in this field, but – given that it encourages open and honest debate – it is also one that will be extremely useful for teaching and deserves to be fully embedded in theology courses as well as those in theology and science.
Finding Ourselves after Darwin is available in both paperback and e-book form at Blackwell’s, Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), and Barnes & Noble.

By |October 12th, 2018|News|0 Comments|