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, InsideHigherEd.com, 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|

Calling all student programme alumni – SCIO now on LinkedIn

We are pleased to announce that SCIO is now listed as a teaching and research institute on LinkedIn. This means that current students or alumni of SCIO can now list us in the ‘Education’ section of their LinkedIn profile.

Please do incorporate your educational experience here in Oxford into your online CV. It couldn’t be easier. Search ‘SCIO: Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford’, and then enter your programme:

Scholars’ Semester in Oxford
Scholars’ Semester in Oxford, Yearlong
Oxford Summer Programme

in the ‘Degree’ section. Once you’ve done that, you can then enter the subject that you majored in while you were here in the ‘Field of Study’ section. The rest ought to be fairly self explanatory.

At SCIO we are always looking to provide ways of linking our alumni community together. We do hope that this additional means of staying in touch with us and your fellow alumni, while also being able to share your experience here with potential employers, will be useful for you all. Get involved!


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

Life after SCIO: alumna reads for MPhil at Oxford

We are delighted by the news that Marianna Nichols (Michaelmas Term, 2016) has accepted an offer to read for an MPhil in Roman History at St Cross College, Oxford.

A native of Iuka, Mississippi, Marianna completed her undergraduate degree in History and Religious Studies at Judson College in Marion, Alabama. Following her graduation from Judson, Marianna enrolled as a graduate student at Cornell University, where she read for an MA in Archaeology. Concerning her research interests, she writes:
Currently, I am interested in Graeco-Roman influences within Judaea during the first century CE and their effects upon localized identity formation. I am also intrigued by the alternative roles taken by textual and material expression within identity construction. While at Oxford I hope to acquire a greater understanding of how Roman politics, and perspectives, historically impacted self-perception within outlying regions of the Empire. My ultimate goal is to specialize in Classical Archaeology and teach at the collegiate level back in the states.
Remembering her time at SCIO, Marianna writes:
I participated in SCIO during my final year as an undergraduate, and I cannot express how positive the experience was for both my personal and academic development. Though I always planned on attending graduate school, I am certain that without my experience with SCIO I would not now be enrolled at Oxford. However, SCIO also provided me with a truly supportive academic environment that has fundamentally influenced the way I understand “community.”  The programme gave me an opportunity to form close bonds with a diverse range of academically-inclined individuals. Some of these individuals remain among my closest friends and have been a true source of inspiration within my current academic efforts. I am thankful that this programme exists [...]

By |October 12th, 2018|Life after SCIO, News|0 Comments|

Life after SCIO: alumna to read for MLitt at St Andrews

SCIO is pleased by the news that alumna Jen Schmidt (Michaelmas Term, 2016) has been accepted to study for an MLitt at the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts (ITIA) at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

Jen, who was a Creative Writing major at Biola University in La Mirada, California, remembers that she had ‘no thoughts of grad school’ when she arrived in Oxford at the beginning of the fall semester of her senior year. Her desire simply to ‘escape to the mountains to write’ took a dramatic turn, however, upon encountering the lively academic atmosphere of Oxford; she writes:
During a tea at Wycliffe, I met and spoke with Dr. Michael Burdett, who, after a conversation on heroic literature, C.S. Lewis, and medieval theology, recommended that I look into ITIA — the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts, a postgraduate program at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Encouraged by my tutor, Dr. Jonathan Thorpe, and my insightful Oxford friends, I ended up applying and am now an MLitt student with the program for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Regarding her research interests, Jen writes:
Even though my passion lies specifically in writing fiction and poetry, there is much to be learned from the stories that continue to influence our culture over the centuries, and much to be learned from how theology has both shaped and been shaped by stories of heroism. Our perception of heroes is simultaneously fluctuating and static, and literature is a beautiful medium for conveying, celebrating, and critiquing that perception.
Though Jen is now two years removed from her time at SCIO, her experience of Oxford remains significant:
During SCIO, I was able to explore my interest [...]

By |October 12th, 2018|Life after SCIO, News|0 Comments|