Studying Theology

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
COURSE UNIT 102 - 8102


This unit provides an introduction to the process of studying Christian theology.  After considering various approaches to the theological task; the unit explores an integrated, theological approach which gives due weight to Scripture, tradition and context.  Far from being an irrelevance, such faith seeking understanding is vital to the health and mission of the Christian church.  The unit considers various aspects of critical thinking, and illustrates the significance of critical thinking for an academic study of theology.  In addition, a range of learning activities provides students with the opportunity to refresh essential study skills or be introduced to them for the first time.  These skills are developed through a short formative assignment which forms the basis for the assessed essay expected at the end of the unit.  Students are expected to take into account the feedback on the formative assignment as they prepare their final essay.  


To provide a practical introduction to the academic study of theology for people beginning, or returning to, undergraduate studies.


Category of outcome

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

·      Explain how Scripture, tradition and context contribute to the process of doing theology

·      Describe the critical and constructive aspects of the theological task

Intellectual skills

·      Discuss the nature of theology and identify different approaches to the theological task

·      Discuss the significance of critical thinking for theological study

Practical and Transferable skills; Personal qualities

·      Identify, access and use relevant material from libraries and relevant online resources

·      Use the study skills to plan and write an essay on a theological theme

·      Express basic theological perspectives on various topics


Assessment task


Weighting within unit



1000-1300 words

1000-1300 words




·         102:

·         8102:

An essay

An essay



2000 words

2000 words






·         102:

·         8102:

An essay

An essay

and a learning journal*


* Distance learning students are required to pass this element. So long as this element has been passed, they will be eligible for compensation if the overall unit mark is within the compensation zone (30-39%), and the compensatable credit allowance as set out in the Degree Regulations has not been exceeded.




Available on which programme(s)?

BA in Theology


1.    Why bother with theology? The basis for understanding the transforming nature of theology

2.    What is theology? Different types of theology

3.    How do we do theology?

4.    Tools: Starting with Scripture 1

5.    Tools: Starting with Scripture 2

6.    Tools: Listening to the Great Tradition

7.    Tools: Responding to Culture

8.    Drawing on Scripture, Tradition & Culture – a reflective trialogue

9.    Theological reflection and reflective practice

10.  Models of reflection

11.  Making connections (i.e. bringing it all together)

Teaching method

102 Interactive lectures

8102 Distance learning

Additional eLearning content

Unit materials are available at Spurgeon’s Online to support student learning


Written feedback within 15 working days from submission

Date of approval (for office use)


Information updated on

December 2015

Indicative reading


Chadwick C. and Tovey P., Growing in Ministry: Using Critical Incident Analysis in Pastoral Care (Grove Booklet 84, 2000)

Cottrell, S., The Study Skills Handbook (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)

Gorringe, T., Redeeming Time: Atonement Through Education (London: DLT, 1986)

Green, L., Let’s Do Theology (London: Mowbray, 1990)

Grenz, Stanley J., and Roger E. Olson, Who Needs Theology? (Leicester: IVP, 1996)

Hart, T., Faith Thinking: The Dynamics of Christian Theology (London: SPCK, 1995)

McGrath, A., Christian Theology: An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001)

Nash S and Nash J., Tools for Reflective Ministry (London: SPCK, 2012)

Pattison S., "Some Straw for the Bricks: A Basic Introduction to Theological Reflection", in

Peterson E., Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987)

Rollins, P., How (Not) To Speak of God (London: SPCK, 2006)

Williams, R., On Christian Theology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999)

Wright, T., Scripture and the Authority of God (London: SPCK, 2005)

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Studying Theology

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
Course Unit 102 - 8102





Hours of Learning:



Rev. Dotha N. Blackwood and Dr Joshua T. Searle

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