Digital Theology

You've probably noticed that we live in an increasingly digital age. Digital phones, digital TVs, digital tablets, digital e-readers. What's that technology doing to us as human beings, as those made in the image of God. Indeed, where is our digital first world heading.  What about the climate impact of all this digitality? 

We have also witnessed the largest and most explosive growth in the digital church during the COVID pandemic. Churches across the world jumped into doing church in a digital format - livestreaming, pre-recorded, or zoom church models were developed. And now we have the new opportunities of the Metaverse Church. 

The figures for online engagement are huge compared to the figures for onsite church. Onsite we get about 4 million people on a good week coming to regular onsite church services. But in our own research during the lockdown we found that around 25% of the British population said they were popping into online worship - that's around 16 million - an increase of 400%.  Such an opportunity to share the good news with a whole new audience.

So, the Centre for Digital Theology has created a whole suite of courses to train up the Church for mission, but also to develop a whole new tribe of digitally-engaged theologians to think through the issues around digital culture and its impact on our world.  From AI to robots, from zoom services to online communion, from avatars to offgrid living - so much to think about together to build a community prepared to bring God into the conversation about digitality. 

Does this excite you? If so, look at our courses. Explore the possibilities. Sign up below!

Our flagship course, the MA in Digital Theology, has regular taster days. Or get into contact with the Director or Deputy Director and ask them your questions on email or Twitter:

Email: p.phillips@spurgeons.ac.uk or j.kurlberg@spurgeons.ac.uk
Twitter: @digitheolcentre
APPLY NOW

New courses for 2022

Equipped for Digital Ministry at Spurgeon's College

DMin in Digital Theology for Mission and Ministry with United Theological College, Dayton, Ohio  (with bursary offer)
“The content, structure and flexibility of the MA in Digital Theology is assisting me in my ministry and the regular supervision and the delight of exchanging ideas with fellow students by learning from their own contexts are all aspects of part-time study that I am valuing immensely. What is great about digital culture is that it challenges us all over again on how to be properly human. I have experienced how this is a well-run course, and with the benefit of a study day, it has brought energy and creativity to my ministry and pushed my thinking further than it would have gone without it.” 
 
Rev Craig Philbrick
Structure

The course can be either full-time over two years or part-time over four years. The units will be taught through intensive teaching blocks, at Spurgeon’s College’s historic campus in London, combined with online seminars.

The core units are taught by the staff of the Centre for Digital Theology (formerly CODEC Research Centre), which has for over a decade been a pioneering research centre in the nexus between Christianity and digitality.

Within the MADT there are four components:

Two core units
• Digital Theology (30 credits)
• Digitally Mediated Christianity (30 credits)

Two short methodology units
• Theological Enquiry and Interpretation
(15 credits)
* Theological Research (15 credits)

Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional unit (30 credits) selected from Spurgeon’s College’s provision, including

• Preaching – Theology and Practice
• Biblical Literacy in a Media Culture
• Studying Christian Theology
• Reading and Using the Bible
• Contemporary Issues in Theology
• Christian Spirituality

About Spurgeons

Spurgeon’s is an evangelical College in membership with the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Evangelical Alliance and the Micah Network. We are committed to studying and understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ as witnessed to by the Scriptures, and the challenges of the world in which this gospel is to be proclaimed. In doing this it combines classical and contemporary emphases in theology and ministry in serving the Church. The College’s core activity is training men and women for Christian mission, ministry and leadership in the contemporary world. The College has also developed provision for continuing ministerial development and academic research as well as for the training of church members seeking to serve in lay capacities.
Assessment

Assessment takes place through a variety of means such as essays, reflections, textual analyses, oral presentations, and contributions to online media such as wikis or blogs, totalling approximately 6,000 words or equivalent per unit. There are no examinations.

Dissertation

The second part of the course consists of a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words; students must complete the first part of the course before proceeding to the dissertation. The dissertation is expected to provide evidence of a person’s analytical, evaluative and creative abilities. The dissertation will be on a topic of your choice which builds on your study from Part One.

Entry requirements

A good second class honour degree in Theology or Religious Studies (at least 55%)

Graduates in other disciplines and with experience of Theology or Religious Studies to at least Certificate level (with marks at merit or higher) may also be admitted to the programme

Suitably qualified mature students who have undertaken formal academic study to a similar level in non-accredited courses may also be admitted to the programme with the agreement of the Admissions Committee

A score of 7 or over on the ILETS test for non-native English speakers.

For more information about entry requirements please email admissions@spurgeons.ac.uk

Exit qualifications

Students who complete 60 credits can obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Theology; students who complete 120 credits can receive a Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Theology.

College Life
Spurgeon’s College is a key member of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and has the happy responsibility for training more than 40% of the Baptist Union’s Ministers each year.

We also have a very close and warm relationship with three of the Baptist Associations: The London Baptist Association, the South Eastern Baptist Association and the Eastern Baptist Association.

This does not mean that we are exclusively Baptist though. We welcome and train all the main Christian denominations in fitting with our evangelical, mission-oriented ethos.
Sport
The College has a tennis court within the grounds and students can often be found playing cricket or croquet on the large lawn.  There are plenty of hills nearby for those of you that like to run or cycle.  The near-by Lake makes a relaxing walk for the less energetic.
Accommodation
We have a number of single rooms which are available for the whole academic year or on a night by night basis. Availability is limited on all accommodation so please enquire and book early.

All of our accommodation has communal cooking facilities.

The first degree of its kind

The MA in Digital Theology offers a unique opportunity for theological reflection on digitality and its implications for the contemporary church, preparing students for ministry and mission in a digital age.

If you would like to find out more about the MA in Digital Theology please do fill in the form below.

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Frequenty asked questions

When can I start?
Students can join the programme either in September or January each year.

Can I study part-time?
Yes, the programme can be taken over a maximum of four years.

What are the entrance requirements?
The normal entrance requirement is a degree in Theology or Religious Studies with normally at least a good second class honours degree (55% or above). Graduates in other disciplines and with experience of Theology or Religious Studies to at least Certificate level (with marks at merit or higher) may also be admitted to the programme.

Do I need a degree in theology to apply?
Not necessarily. Students who have a degree in another discipline may be admitted on the programme with the agreement of the admissions committee. One pathway for graduate student from other disciplines is to enrol on a Postgraduate Certificate and progress upon successful completion.

Does the MADT allow for distance learning?
Yes, and in fact most of the students on the MADT study from distance, including from abroad.

Is the programme open to international students?
International students are welcome on the programme. The support staff at Spurgeon’s can assist with visa applications if required.

What are the tuition fees?
The fees for the MADT is £8,500 for the whole programme regardless of whether the home or international student status.

See complete fee structure here.

Are there any additional costs I should bear in mind?
There are typically two weeks block teaching at Spurgeon’s College campus in London per year (depending on which optional unit you choose). Students will have to pay for their own travel and accommodation during these times.

It is also advisable to budget for books, especially for those who don’t have easy access to Spurgeon’s library.

Are there any funding opportunities?
Eligible students are able to attain UK student loans.

Students accepted on the MADT can apply for the Professor Rae Earnshaw Scholarship. It covers half of the tuition fees for one home student and one international student. The assessment criteria are academic merit and financial need.

For further funding opportunities contact admissions@spurgeons.ac.uk

What’s the learning environment like?
We take a community centred approach to learning. This means that the classes on the core units are discussion based and interactive. The students are expected to stay on top of the dedicated readings for each class which form the basis of the discussion.

The MADT students are also invited to partake in the various events and undertakings by the Centre for Digital Theology.

The students are encouraged to participate in the community life of Spurgeon’s College not least through its chapel services and postgraduate research seminars.

Who’s the MADT for?
The digital revolution is radically changing our societies, our way of life, how we interact, and even our identities. The MADT is for Christians who desire to reflect theologically on how digital technology and culture is shaping the world and on its far-reaching implications for the practices and mission of the Church. Essentially the programme equips students for missions and ministry in a digital age.

Who are the MADT students?
Our students come from a range of work backgrounds, church traditions and even cultures. Some are ministers and pastors; others have worked in comms or in the tech and IT industry. This diversity leads to often interesting and dynamic conversations.

What do the MADT graduates go on to do?
This obviously differs quite a bit. Most of our graduates now work in church ministry, while others work in church comms or related jobs. A number of the MADT graduates are pursuing doctoral research.

Can I speak with one of the tutors?
Yes, do contact Dr Pete Phillips (p.phillips@spurgeons.ac.uk) or Dr Jonas Kurlberg (j.kurlberg@spurgeons.ac.uk) to make an appointment.

How do I apply?
You can apply by completing an online application form found here.

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