Exploring Theology

Living with the Bible and Belief

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said ‘the only constant is change.’ We are all dealing with a significant amount of change right now, and the Exploring Theology programme at Sarum is no different.  

Register for the current Exploring Theology Autumn Term Here.

This flagship theology course is for anyone who wishes to deepen their knowledge of and relationship with Christian Scriptures and teachings. Successor to the previously long-running Theology Quest and Questions course, Exploring Theology offers intellectually rigorous, interactive, and accessible learning.

While Exploring Theology is a two-year course, it is designed so that students can join in at any time.  Year A focuses on Exploring the Bible, serving to equip students with knowledge and tools to read and encounter the Scriptures faithfully and fruitfully in their own lives.  Year A is comprised of three terms which provide introductions to both the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament and then a third term on the various ways in which we read, interpret, understand, and make meaning of the Bible.

Year B focuses on Exploring Christian Belief, which serves to help students see the bigger picture in relation to developments and themes within the Christian tradition.  Year B is also comprised of three terms, focusing on exploring Christian history of belief, modern developments in theological conversations and issues, and then the final term considers the practicalities of living in Christian faith and ethics.

‘I loved [this term of Exploring Theology], and can’t wait for the next one. It gave all of the depth and challenge that I’ve been looking for, but I also feel like you dug up a few of the paving slabs of my faith; which is never a bad thing.’

‘The Exploring Theology Course is wonderful – inspiring, thought provoking and transformative. A real landmark on my spiritual journey.’

‘The quality and level of expertise and experience of critical research amongst the lecturers is just so impressive. I felt very privileged to have access to a wealth of interesting and talented people.’

‘I find Exploring Theology intellectually stimulating and spiritually rewarding in that my views of spirituality have broadened considerably.’

Exploring Theology Students, 2019

Register for Next Term: Autumn 2020

Following on from our online delivery of Exploring Theology last term due to COVID-19, we will be offering Exploring Theology in both an online and socially distanced in-person format in 2020-2021. For those who wish to participate on Sarum’s campus, we will have a limited number of spaces available for people to attend the sessions in person each Tuesday evening. 

For those who are further afield or are still shielding, an online option will also be available as the Tuesday evening lectures will be streamed live, recorded, and posted online for flexible access.

Register for the current Exploring Theology Summer Term Here.

Course Details & Schedule

The draft schedule of sessions for Year B: Exploring Christian Belief is available here

All registered students will be given access to SarumLearn, our online learning portal, where a discussion forum will be hosted, recordings and Zoom links shared, and reading/handouts available in advance.  Students will be responsible for printing their own reading and handouts, if needed. 

At this time, we are only offering registration for Exploring Theology on a termly-basis in order to make it easier for staff to predict numbers in relation to public distancing within the college setting and to enrol students into SarumLearn for online access to materials.

The cost of each term is £80, which includes 10 weekly sessions.  If you wish to write an essay to get an educational reference or take your learning further, more details are available here (https://www.sarum.ac.uk/learning/exploring-theology/writing-essays). Payment and administration for essays are arranged separately.

After registration and payment, you will be sent details on how to access SarumLearn where all readings will be available as well as links to live and recorded sessions.  Live online sessions will be conducted via Zoom. 

The weekly sessions will run according to the following schedule:

1)  Each lecture will be presented and recorded on Tuesday evenings in Sarum College.  For those who are able to attend in-person or via Zoom, the lectures will be live.  Recordings of lectures will be made available by the following day [Wednesdays] for those who are unable to attend on Tuesday evening.  Each lecture will last no more than 45 minutes.  For those participating online, the Zoom link will be available on SarumLearn.

3) We will take a break between 7:45pm-8:00pm. The Zoom room will remain live during the break.

4) We will then gather again at 8:00pm for the discussion session.  The format will be as follows:
     — 8:00-8:20pm: Q&A with the tutor based on their pre-recorded lecture
     — 8:20-9:00pm: Immersive Textual Reading & Discussion where we will be reading and discussing the identified primary source text made available before the lecture on SarumLearn.  This session will be recorded and a link to the video will be posted on Wednesday for those who wish to watch it later.

We will be finished by 9pm as per usual. Register for next term here.

NB: The above assumes that Sarum College is open and that social distancing measures enable in-person delivery of lectures.  If things change and college closure and further lockdown is required, all sessions will be shifted to online delivery only.