Wednesday, February 10, 2010

partnerships and possibilities

The letter arrived. Marked “personal and confidential” (only to be blogged be me so that the whole world might read), it was to congratulate me on my status.

Senior Lecturer, Flinders University.

This possibility, and the partnership that is signals, was for me one of the intriguing dimensions of the move to Uniting College. The College is part of Adelaide College of Divinity (ACD), alongside Anglican and Catholic church, housed at Brooklyn Park. As a body, the ACD then relates to Flinders University, some 10 kilometres away.  Hence the letter, approving my “status.”

It is an intriguing partnership. Flinders provides access to university libraries, human resource programs and research funding. (Together ACD and the Archaeology School have a dig in Turkey! where they are excavating Colossae!)

The partnerships raise some other intriguing possibilities. For instance,

  • teaching, perhaps a course, taught at the University rather than Brooklyn Park campus, on Bible and pop culture or contemporary spiritual search
  • chaplaincy linkage, in some shape or form
  • research funding. For a time, the Centre for Theology, Science and Culture existed as a research centre at the ACD here at Brooklyn Park. Currently it’s just a sign on a wall and a bank account. But it’s history gives hope, of a genuine public theology, done not from a private ivory tower, but as part of the (funded) flow of university life. Perhaps linked with my research interest, around the everyday narratives of pop and contemporary culture.
Posted by steve at 03:23 PM


  1. Cool. The linkage with an institution like a university does give you those extra options – research funding (or at least the opportunity to contest for it); additional library and IT resources; opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration and a different demographic of students to engage with.

    Any PBRF or similar strings attached?

    Comment by Stephen — February 10, 2010 @ 7:03 pm

  2. thanks Stephen. It certainly reminds me a lot of the Auckland ACTE days, pre School of Theology, which sort to hold together university resources and direct ecclesial grounding. I’m not aware of any PBRF strings, primarily because of the financial autonomy that is supplied by the ecclesial bodies. Plus there are such a high number of post-grads here that we look really great in terms of that dimension of research-led teaching.

    Being Uniting, there is that strand of Presbyterian valuing of scholarship, which I suspect is a value that greatly helps the partnership to work.

    But I’m new and my perceptions could all be up the woop


    Comment by steve — February 11, 2010 @ 8:13 am

  3. Yes, there is that strand in Reformed traditions – the well-educated pastor or teaching elder. Will be interesting to see how that interacts with the Wesleyan strand that getting out and ‘preaching the Word’ as sometimes conflicting with the scholarly strand.

    All the best for the new semester. Teaching here kicks off March 1 and looks like it’ll be another busy year.

    Comment by Stephen — February 11, 2010 @ 8:46 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.