Note: the 2020-2021 Fellows Programme has now finished. The page below provides information about this past year’s programme. If you are interested in joining us this coming year, please do get in touch.
We invite you to consider applying to join our scholarship group – the Fellows Programme – which we host for around 6-10 PhD students who would like to go deeper in forming a Christian mind through guided reading and seminars.
Successful Fellows gather for 90 minutes every week in term-time (mid-December to mid-June) to engage with set readings and seminar material on serving God in the academy as Christians.
We discuss significant texts and ideas from the Christian intellectual tradition which encourage the re-integration of the Christian faith with scholarship, teaching, research and the intellectual life.
The curriculum is intended to help equip Fellows both to engage in their academic work in a way that is shaped by the gospel and also to pursue their study toward its ultimate end of worship, including by deploying it within a cultural apologetic and pointing persuasively to Christ.
This year the Fellows will meet by Zoom, which gives us the opportunity to benefit from a wider range of guest contributors and discussion leaders, including:
- Dr Chris Watkin, who lectures in French Studies at Monash University, Australia, where he also teaches in the Literary Studies and Religion and Theology programmes; publications include: Thinking Through Creation: Genesis 1 and 2 as Tools of Cultural Critique.
- Dr Brad Green, Professor of Theological Studies, Union University, Jackson TN, chair of the Scripture and the University Seminar within the Tyndale House Scripture Collective; publications include Colin Gunton and the Failure of Augustine and The Gospel and the Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life.
- Dr Anna Nickerson, the Katherine Jex-Blake Research Fellow in English and College Lecturer, Girton College, University of Cambridge.
- Tim Benton, former actor and theatre director, now executive communications coach at GSB Comms.
- Dr Dan Strange, College Director and Lecturer in Culture, Religion and Public Theology, Oak Hill College; publications include For Their Rock is Not as Our Rock.
- Andrew Fellows, Director of Apologetics at Christian Heritage Cambridge, former Chairman of the L’Abri International.
- Rev Dr Kirsten Birkett, Latimer Trust Research Fellow, and Tutor in Ethics and Philosophy.
- Rev Dr Craig Bartholomew, Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, Cambridge; author of both academic and popular volumes, such as The Doctrine of Creation: A Constructive Kuyperian Approach and Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Christian Worldview.
- Dr Chris Ansberry, Director of Postgraduate Studies, and Lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew, Oak Hill College
- Prof Julian Rivers, Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Bristol
- Dr Peter Williams, Principal of Tyndale House and University of Cambridge Divinity Faculty member; publications include Can We Trust the Gospels?
The Fellows Programme offers:
- The opportunity to be a part of an interdisciplinary reading and discussion group, learning in community, with seminars led by experienced mentors
- A book grant of £300 to support you in the integration of your Christian faith and your research
- Support in preparing a written paper and a draft public talk (see below)
Fellows are expected:
- To commit to one another to attend the full programme
- To attend the opening “away day” (or Zoom equivalent half-day, with breaks) on a Saturday in January.
- To write a paper that illustrates an impact of a Christian worldview for your academic field, and to prepare a 20-minute talk for a public audience in which your specialism contributes toward an attractive and persuasive commendation of Christianity.
Taster session dates, application process and contact details
We will be hosting three ‘taster’ sessions open to all-comers, on Tuesdays from 4:30pm to 6:00pm on Zoom:
|1/12||I. Thinking through the nature of God||Chris Watkin|
|8/12||II. Thinking through the Trinity and creation||Chris Watkin|
|15/12||III. Thinking through the intellectual impact of the Fall with Augustine||Brad Green|
These tasters will include an opportunity to hear from a Fellow from last year’s programme.
If you would like to apply to the Fellows Programme, you are strongly encouraged to attend these taster sessions, which cover the first three topics of the main curriculum. The closing date for scholarship applications will be 22 December.
Successful applicants will gather together to commence the formal Fellowship from 19 January.
To register for these and receive the pre-reading, and to receive the scholarship application form, please contact Anja: info [at] formingachristianmind.org.
As I approached my first year as a PhD student at University of Cambridge, I had no idea how much of a highlight the Fellows Programme – then completely unknown to me – would be as I now reflect on my first year. The generosity of the bursary allowed a “cash-strapped” PhD student to further pursue the many fruitful trails begun during the sessions in a more permanent and enduring way. The programme’s excellent lecturers and fellow partcipants helped me dig deeper in ascertaining the Gospel’s implications for my field.
I would thoroughly recommend the Fellows Programme to any aspiring Christian thinker. The discipline of setting aside time to think about the practice and duties of Christian scholarship is hugely valuable. And it is a privilege to read and debate some of the great pieces of Christian scholarship in such congenial company!
The Fellows Programme enhanced my perspective on faith-influenced
work in science and medicine. It provided fellowship with scholars from disparate fields and discussions on readings from the most influential theological writers. Many concepts learned from this programme will certainly be applied to my dissertation research and profession as a whole.
|Part 1 – Thinking through our Foundations|
|The Trinity and creation: the context of reality|
|The Fall and its intellectual impact: insights from Augustine|
|Scripture and hermeneutics|
|Part 2 – From Christ to our work: Christian scholarship|
|Vocation and the role of a teacher|
|Understanding modernity and the Enlightenment|
|Christianity and the Arts|
|Discussion of Fellows’ white papers|
|Part 3 – From our work to Christ: a persuasive cultural apologetic|
|Approaches to apologetics from an academic perspective|
|Christ as the subversive fulfilment of the cultural values in our faculties|
|Communicating your work to a public audience|
The Forming a Christian Mind Fellows Programme is delivered in partnership with the UCCF and IFES Europe Postgraduate Initiative, Good News for the University.