Academy of Theology

REF 2021

1st in the UK

Divinity at the University of Aberdeen was ranked 1st in the UK for overall quality of research

Academy of Theology

The popular Aberdeen Academy of Theology is in its eighth session.

The classes attract interested church members and church leaders from throughout the denominations. No previous theological training is necessary as the aim of the classes is to be accessible to all.

Next Session

Our next series of Academy classes is called Who is Jesus?  The New Testament Gospels as Testimony and Theology’

These will be led by Dr Katy Hockey of Aberdeen University and will take place in Rubislaw Church Centre, Beaconsfield Place, Aberdeen, AB15 4AB, from 9.30am – 12.30pm each day.


Saturday 25 January: A faithful Witness? How and what do we know about the man from Galilee
Saturday 29 February: Jesus:  the suffering servant, the teacher or the egalitarian prophet?
Saturday 28 March: A different perspective: John’s Gospel and the non-canonical Gospels

The New Testament Gospels witness to the life and work of Jesus, but can we trust their testimony as reliable or is the real Jesus hidden from view? What are the Gospel authors’ theological claims about Jesus? How, as the church, do we deal with the multiple canonical and non-canonical voices witnessing to Jesus? These questions will be investigated as we explore the New Testament Gospels as testimony and theology.

Classes cost £15/£10 (unwaged) per session and can be booked by emailing Clare Davidson at

Previous Sessions

Autumn 2019

Why (and how) should the Church read the Old Testament was led by Dr Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer of Aberdeen University.

The Old Testament is Israel’s testimony about God. As such, it contains a wide range of literature: historical drama, love poetry, laws, prophecy, hymns, and laments. As Christians, we are often uncertain how to read and preach this diverse body of texts and make it relevant for Christians today.

Spring 2019

Joy and Woundedness in the Life of the Church was led by Dr Leon Van Omen Aberdeen University. 

Recently some theologians have argued that joy should receive a more central place in the theology and practice of the church. Indeed, joy is an important theme in Scripture.

However, echoing the psalmist we may ask: How can we joyfully sing in a suffering world? In this new series of meetings of the Aberdeen Academy of Theology we will study theologies of joy and of woundedness. Together we will explore the role of joy and woundedness in the practices of the church, in particular in worship and pastoral care. We will ask how this role might challenge our theologies and, vice versa, how theologies of joy and woundedness might challenge our church practices.

Autumn 2018

Christian Discipleship and the Way of the Cross was led by Dr Mike Mawson of Aberdeen University. This session explored and reflected upon a Christian account of discipleship.

What does it mean to understand discipleship as a kind of following after Christ? What does it mean that we are called by Christ to discipleship? We will give attention to the claim that Christian discipleship always entails suffering, that is, ‘taking up one’s cross’ (Mark 8:34). What role does suffering play in preparing and forming us for discipleship? As Christians, should (and can) we embrace this suffering? We will explore these and other such questions with reference to the Gospels, the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and William Stringfellow, and other theologians.

Spring 2018

This session was entitled Pastoral Care, led by the Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey. Topics covered included: Saturday 27 January: What is care and why do we care?; Saturday 24 February: Who, when and where do we care?; Saturday 24 March: How do we care?

The command to ‘Love one another’ sits at the heart of the Christian faith. In this series of classes Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey explored pastoral care as it has been understood in Scripture and the Christian tradition and examined our calling to practice love for one another in the church and in the world today.

Autumn 2017

On the 7th October, 4th November, and 2nd December 2017, Professor Phil Ziegler led a session on 'Hope and Forgiveness at Creed’s End'.

The bishops who gathered at the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD amended the Nicene Creed by, among other things, adding three final statements concerning baptism, and Christian hope in resurrection and eternal life. In this, the final series of classes exploring the ancient creed and its meaning for the Christian life, Professor Philip Ziegler explored how these teachings have been understood in scripture and tradition, and how we might own them in faith and hope today.

Previous sessions

Previous sessions included: ‘Who is God?  Everything you wanted to know about God but were afraid to ask’,  with Professor Tom Greggs,  ‘I believe in One Lord Jesus Christ’ with Professor Paul Nimmo, ‘We believe in the Holy Spirit’ led by Dr Don Wood, and ‘What is the Church?' led by Professor Ivor Davidson.