#4: Trinity’s PGR programme connects its students with top scholars and important academic opportunities.
The postgraduate research programme is led by Director of Postgraduate Research and Tutor in Christian Doctrine Dr Justin Stratis. Dr Stratis works to connect Trinity’s research students with key scholars in their fields to help supervise their research, whilst simultaneously working to organise a rota of outside scholars to address research seminars and a well-known scholar to provide the keynote lecture for the June research conference.
Dr Stratis connected student Alison Walker with her advisor, Dr Susannah Ticciati, who is Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Kings College London, over a meal together after a research seminar. ‘She is amazing,’ Alison says. ‘She is a well-rounded and astute theologian, and it has also been helpful to have her as a model, as a woman.’
Dr Stratis has also worked to connect our research students with opportunities at national and international theology conferences. In Britain, where he serves on the Executive Committee for the Society for the Study of Theology, he arranged for Trinity student Alison Walker to serve as the postgraduate respondent to plenary speaker Dr Willie James Jennings’s paper at the 2017 annual conference. Fellow Trinity research student Kim Quak-Winslow also participated in the conference as a member of a panel discussion led by Dr Stratis on class and theology—the only student participant alongside professors from the Universities of Aberdeen and Leicester.
At last year’s Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion meetings in San Antonio, Texas, Trinity research students Michelle Stinson and Mark Glanville both had papers accepted to present at the gatherings, with Mark presenting a total of three papers—an achievement for any research student.
Trinity’s own June research conference has welcomed senior scholars such as Prof Francis Watson (Durham), Prof John Webster (St. Andrews), Revd Prof Walter Moberly (Durham), and Prof Katherine Sonderegger (Virginia Theological Seminary). At the conferences, students present their own research as well, with the top paper winning an annual research prize.
‘The papers and workshops, and the worship and socialising together, helped me begin to feel that I’m part of an academic community who are all seeking to love and honour God with our mind as well as with our heart, soul, and strength,’ says PhD student Fiona Gibson. ‘The visiting speakers have been world class, and very generous in sharing their wisdom and experience as well as their knowledge. That has felt like a real gift.’