This week we present our first ever group post. Some of the FiSch Fellows, plus guest Alan Chettle, each give their response to a question that we asked ourselves:
Last weekend, about 45 Christian postgrads, postdocs, early career academics and those who work with them gathered at Dovedale House in the tiny village of Ilam in the Peak District. Together we worshipped, listened to talks, ate, shared our stories, went on walks and even had a barn dance! Having been to the conference every year since 2008, every year I am amazed again by the excitement that develops from recognizing each other’s passion and struggles as Christians in academia.
Last week I outlined three questions that I felt needed answering before I could commit to 3 or more years of study. Although the process that led to me reflecting in this way was painful at times, it meant that I went into my studies confident that I was making the right decision. In this post, I want to unpack each of the questions in a little more depth, and explain how they helped me realise that a PhD was the right choice for me.
I started applying for PhD projects mainly because I didn’t want to abandon ideas I’d been developing during my earlier studies. I had a blue-sky, rose-tinted, starry-eyed view of academic research. In my final undergraduate exams I may have lost precious marks by trying to work out my own odd ideas instead of focusing on the breadth of existing scholarship that my lecturers had imparted. So here was an opportunity to redeem myself: I could do a PhD and work everything out in a thesis!
If you read our “About” page, you’ll see that Faith-in-Scholarship is all about “Dynamic Christian thinking in the university and beyond”. Within that, there is a particular focus on supporting postgraduate students. Today we have an announcement about one aspect of that.
One way in which Christian postgraduates can grow as Christian scholars and thinkers is through local groups. These provide an excellent opportunity for people to work through what it means to follow Jesus as a postgraduate student.
Last week we considered some of the contributions postgrads can make to their churches. This week, we’re turning the question around: how can churches support the postgraduates in their congregation?