Project Description

Postgraduate Short Courses

These modules form part of the ARU MAs and are open to all MA students as part of their degree.

Suitably qualified students can also be admitted as affiliate students (for credit) or as paying guests (for interest only)

*Only one module can be carried over to an ARU MA by an affiliate student.

Price per module:

Paying ARU MA Students: free

Affiliate Students (for credit): £800

Paying Guests: £230

If you are interested in attending any of these modules as an affiliate student or guest, please contact Dr Louise Nelstrop:

COVID-19 Information

All our courses can be accessed online. It may be, that as restrictions lift, some courses can be taken in person. You can enquire about this by contacting Dr Louise Nelstrop: The safety of our students is paramount. We will follow guidelines issued by the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University in accordance with government guidance.

Christian Spirituality in Context

Online Asynchronous (10 weeks)

Course Leaders: Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ and Fr Dragos Herescu

Dates: 18th Jan–26th March 2021

This postgraduate module aims to introduce students to some of the major figures and themes in Christian spirituality across many ecumenical traditions (from the spirituality of the Early Church, to early monastic expressions, the Late Middle Ages, the early modernity of nineteenth century, to the present day). Students will explore the ways in which an awareness and re-appropriation of past expressions in Christian spirituality can lead to fresh and meaningful Christian experiences today.


*This course may also be available as a block week in Cambridge (1st–5th Feb 2021) depending on social distancing restrictions. Course Leader: Dr Louise Nelstrop

Wesleyan Spirituality and Theology

Online Synchronous (10 weeks)

Course Leader: Dr Andrew Stobart

Date: Wednesdays 23rd Sept to 25th Nov 2020, 3–5pm

This postgraduate module will introduce students to a rigorous and critical study of these key aspects of the spirituality and theology of the Wesleyan tradition. In particular, it will help students connect traditional Methodist emphases with contemporary issues of faith and ethics. The Wesleyan family of churches is one of the most widely-spread Christian traditions. About 80 million people world-wide belong to Methodist and other Wesleyan churches. Many more are part of movements – such as Pentecostalism – influenced by this Wesleyan tradition. Distinctive Wesleyan approaches have developed in response to important issues of theology, spirituality and ethics. These include the ethical issues of slavery, economics and equality, a spirituality focused on the concept of holiness and a theology that sets mission within a vision of the universality of God’s grace.

Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian Tradition (New Module)

Online Synchronous Block Week

Course Leader: Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ

Dates: 7th–10th June 2021, 9–10.30am, 11am–12.30pm, 2–4pm

This postgraduate module will enable students to examine and reflect critically upon the theory and practice of Christian spiritual direction with a specific focus on the Ignatian Tradition. Building on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, this module will explore the dynamics of spiritual direction and issues that arise in the pastoral ministry of spiritual accompaniment.

Orthodox Spirituality: Life in Liturgy

Online Synchronous (10 weeks)

Course Leader: Dr Razvan Porumb

Dates: Tuesdays 11th May–13th July 2021

This postgraduate module explores essential aspects that characterise and define Orthodox spirituality – the interconnections between liturgical life and communitarian/societal understanding. It will cover ways in which Orthodox theology is implicitly communitarian (and therefore pastoral), theology as holistic: inseparable connection between the liturgical and sacramental life, social action and commitment, and the concept of theosis as ‘engine’ and ultimate goal of Orthodox theology and spirituality, as well as monasticism, prayer, inner life, the sacrament of the brother, Catholicity and Life according to Holy Trinity.

Moral Development, Reasoning and Decision Making

Online Synchronous (10 weeks)

Course Leader: Dr Anna Abram

Dates: Mondays 18th Jan–22nd March 2021, 5.30–8pm

This postgraduate module introduces students to different ways of thinking about moral matters and dilemmas within normative philosophical ethics. It enquires into such questions as ‘what makes an act right or wrong and the human being good or bad?’; ‘how should one live?’ (a Socratic question), ‘what is the good life? (an Aristotelian question), ‘how do we assess difficult moral situations?’; ‘where our principles come from?’; ‘why be moral?’, ‘do moral facts exist?’; ‘what does moral living require of us, both as human beings and within our specific social, professional and vocational roles?’. The course will enable students to think in an informed and structured way about the meaning, role and patterns of moral reasoning and decision making in terms of deontological, teleological and virtue-centred moral theories. Selected moral psychological theories of ego, cognitive and affective development as well as contemporary discussions within social and neuro psychology will also be also studied, adding an interdisciplinary element to this module.

Christianity and Ecology

Classroom-Based Block Week: (*mode dependent on restrictions relating to COVID-19)

Course Leader: Dr Elizabeth Theokritoff

Dates: 7th-11th June 2021.

This postgraduate module resources students to respond through a careful ecumenical study of the lives of the saints and writings the early Patristic Fathers, as well as Christian thinking on the sacramental life. It will explore how ecological awareness raises questions about our understanding of the natural world and the human place within it. In particular it will students an insight into the rich theological resources of the often overlooked Orthodox Tradition.

Secularisation in the Christian World

Online Synchronous (10 weeks)

Course Leader: Fr Dragos Herescu

Dates: Tuesdays 19th Jan–9th March 2021

This postgraduate module introduces students to one of the most pervasive paradigms about religion in modern society: the process of secularisation. Considering European and world contexts, students will study the tenets of the secularisation paradigm (rationalisation, pluralisation, structural differentiation, the contraction in the scope and role of religion in contemporary society) and perspectives which draw attention to related but different processes (religious change, Western European exceptionalism, different models of state-church relations, alternate modernities etc.).

Mystery of Love

Online Synchronous (10 weeks)

Course Leader: Dr Christoph Schneider

Date: Thursdays 1st Oct–3rd Dec 2020, 3–5.30pm

This ecumenical postgraduate module analyses some of the most sophisticated critiques of Christian love and explores how theology can respond. It investigates the philosophical and theological features of love from the pre-Christian era up to the twenty-first century. The module will explore the relationship between agapē, erōs and philia, how Christian theology deals with the tension between preferential love (erotic love, friendship) and the demand for universal love (neighbour love), whether reciprocity is an intrinsic part of Christian love, or the highest form of love is unilateral, whether love is a virtue that needs to be acquired and what the relationship is between different models of love and metaphysics (especially the relationship between nature/creation and grace).

Theology and Practice of Mission

Online Synchronous (10 weeks)

Course Leader: Dr Muthuraj Swamy

Dates: Tuesdays 29th Sep­–1st Dec 2020, 10am-12pm

The postgraduate module focuses on understandings of missiology in key historical and contemporary contexts. It aims to provide an understanding of missiology as a theological discipline. Topics studied include scriptural interpretations of mission, how these lay foundations for diverse and shifting models of mission within the Patristic and modern periods, and contrasting theologies of home and overseas mission. Students should be prepared to think reflexively, as well as critically engaging with historical and theological readings of mission. The course is open to all but will be particularly applicable to those interested in developing critical and reflective thinking in practice.

Philosophical Theology

Online Synchronous (10 weeks)

Course Leader: Dr Christoph Schneider

Dates: 13th May­–15th July 2021, 2–4.30pm

This module investigates the relationship between theology and philosophy. One theme is usually used as a focus for the entire course, for example: ‘faith and reason’, ‘evil’, ‘divine and human action’, ‘language/semiotics’, ‘religious epistemology’, etc. The aim of the module is to familiarise students with the most important positions, movements and schools in Philosophical Theology. The module discusses texts from the Continental tradition, Analytic Philosophy of Religion and Russian Religious Philosophy. Prior knowledge of philosophical theology and philosophy of religion is an advantage, but no prerequisite to attend the module.

Themes in Pastoral Theology

Online Asynchronous (10 weeks)

Course Leader: Sam White

Dates: 18th Jan­–26th March 2021

This module explores the history of pastoral theology and the practices of pastoral care in a variety of Christian traditions. It uncovers ways in which these dimensions are now in dialogue with multi-cultural, multi-faith and non-religious settings and insights. It explores some of the ways in which social science thinking and practice has entered into critical dialogue with established ecclesial practices and understandings. Students will be expected to contribute their own experiences, practice and contexts into the emerging and developing conversation surrounding contemporary pastoral theology as a discipline and its outworking in Church, chaplaincy and wider society today.

Pastoral Placement

Course Leader: Sue Price

Dates: 4th November 2020, 4.30–6.30 pm, 20th January 2021, 4.30–6.30pm, 27th January 2021, 4.30–6.30pm, 3rdFebruary 2021, 4.30–6.30pm, 21st April 2021, 4.30–6.30pm, 28th April 2021, 4.30–6.30pm, 5th May 2021, 4.30–6.30pm. Course will be online or in person, depending on COVID-19 restrictions in place.

This module is primarily designed for students on the Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy pathway to give them the opportunity to work in and reflect on practical contexts and situations of pastoral care. It provides students the opportunity to be supervised working within a particular placement context and to develop skills suitable for pastoral and chaplaincy roles. It engages students in developing an appropriate theologically reflective approach to their own practice, and requires them to critically evaluate their own pastoral development

This module is not normally open to affiliate students and guests.

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