The SCIO office comprises well qualified and research active staff.  Many are Oxford trained and all have been in the city and university for many years, so that you are taught by people who really know the Oxford system and who face the same challenges as you do, as you research in the libraries and muster your thoughts in answer to a probing question.

Academic staff

Stan Rosenberg – Executive Director


Dr Rosenberg founded and directs Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO). He is an academic member of Wycliffe Hall and a member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, teaching early Christian history and doctrine. His research and teaching interests focus on Augustine’s works, early Christian cosmology and its relationship to Greco–Roman science, culture and philosophy, and the interplay between intellectual and popular thought in this period. Detailed biography.

Elizabeth Baigent – Senior Tutor and Academic Director

MA (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon), PGDipLATHE (Oxon), FSA, FRHistS, FRGS, FHEA

Dr Baigent is the University Reader in the History of Geography.  Her research lies in the history of travel, geography, and cartography.  Detailed biography.

Simon Lancaster – Associate Director

BMus, GradDipMus., Cert Christian Counselling (CWR), MSc (Oxford)

Simon is an associate tutor with Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, and his present studies focus on nineteenth-century religious practice in England.  He worked for several years as the chief Bibliographic Editor for the Oxford dictionary of national biography and is trained as a professional Christian counsellor. Detailed biography.

Matthew D. Kirkpatrick – Wycliffe Hall Tutor for Visiting Students and SCIO Lecturer and Director of Studies in Philosophy and Theology

MA (Oxon), MSt (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Kirkpatrick is the Lecturer in Ethics and Doctrine, and Tutor for Graduates, at Wycliffe Hall and liaises between the SCIO programme and the wider staff at Wycliffe. His research interests include existential philosophy, ethics, and systematic theology.  Detailed biography.

Michael Burdett – Research Fellow and Director of Studies in Religion, Science, and Technology

BA (Azusa Pacific), BA (Azusa Pacific), BS (California State University, Fullerton), MPhil (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Burdett works on a science and religion project funded by the Templeton Religion Trust.  His research centres around technology, transhumanism, evolution, and theology.  Detailed biography.

Miguel Farias – Lecturer and Director of Studies in Psychology

BSc (Lisbon), MA (Wales), DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Farias is Departmental Lecturer and Deputy Course Director of the MSc in psychological research at the Department of Experimental Psychology, at the University of Oxford.  His reserach focuses on how beliefs in general — whether in God, spiritual forces, or humanity — work and affect our experience and interpretation of events, and on the motivational and cognitive origins of these beliefs, i.e. how they arise and are strengthened by environmental situations such as anxiety and stress.  Detailed biography.

Jonathan Kirkpatrick – Lecturer and Director of Studies in Classics, Lecturer in History of Art

BA (Oxon), MSt (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Kirkpatrick’s research interests currently centre on pagan religious cults in Roman Palestine.  He is writing a book on C.S. Lewis’s connection with the classics.  Detailed biography.

Richard Lawes – Lecturer and Director of Studies in English Language and Literature

BA (Oxon), MSt (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon), MB, ChB (Edin.), BSc (Edin.), MRCPsych, PG Dip Cognitive Therapy

Dr Lawes has taught English in the English faculty of the University of Oxford and is lecturer in English at Regent’s Park College, teaching literature of the Renaissance period and literary theory. Richard’s interests include spiritual autobiography, poetry of the seventeenth century, psychological literary theory, and C.S. Lewis. He is also a qualified medical doctor and psychiatrist, currently working at the University’s counselling service.  Detailed biography.

Meriel Patrick – Lecturer in Theology and Philosophy, Academic Standards Officer

MA (Oxon), MPhil (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Patrick’s research interests stretch from philosophy of mind through metaphysics and philosophy of religion to Christian doctrine.  She is also religion and theology metadata editor for Intute: Arts and Humanities, a national service which reviews websites for use in higher education and promotes the use of online learning resources.  Detailed biography.

Emma Plaskitt – Lecturer in English Language and Literature

BA (McGill), MPhil (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Plaskitt is a specialist on the literature of the Restoration and eighteenth century, but her research interests also include the Victorian novel — particularly the gothic novel and novel of sensation — and children’s literature.  Detailed biography.

John Roche – Senior Lecturer in the History of Science and Senior Consultant to the Bridging Two Cultures project

MSc, MA, DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Roche teaches the history of science at Linacre College, Oxford, and applied physics at Oxford Brookes University.  His main research interest lies in using the history of physics to clarify difficult concepts in today’s physics.  Detailed biography.

Olivia Anderson – Junior Dean, North Wing

BA (Palm Beach University), MSt (Oxon)

Olivia is reading for a DPhil in English at the University of Oxford (Lincoln College). Her research focuses on late seventeenth-century conversion narratives.  Detailed biography.

LaRae Ferguson – Junior Dean, The Vines

BA (Hillsdale College), MPhil (Oxon)

LaRae is reading for a DPhil in Classics, examining the language of ‘grace’ that includes its treatment by earlier pre-Christian authors, outlining the development of the concept across the boundaries of ancient religious mentality. Detailed biography.


Administrative Staff

Kathryn Goetz – Senior Academic Administrator

BA (Hope College), MA (Georgetown University)

Kathryn studied German and philosophy at Hope College and completed a Master’s at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. After studying and working in Germany for three years, she served as director of two not-for-profit organizations in Washington, D.C., namely the Buxton Initiative (interfaith dialogue) and PathNorth (leadership development).  Detailed biography.

Fiona McGrady – Academic Administrator

MA, PhD (St Andrews)

Fiona took her first degree in modern languages before completing her PhD in the Department of German and the Reformation Studies Institute at the University of St Andrews. Her thesis explored the development of the dialogue genre in printed pamphlets of the early German Reformation.  Detailed biography.

Joyce François – Operations Administrator

BA (Legon), DPhil (Oxon)

Dr François is a soil scientist by training, having taken her first degree at the University of Ghana (Legon) and her doctorate at Oxford. She has undertaken research for scientific publications and written policy reports on Africa.  Detailed biography.