Sophia: DRS Women's Network

REF 2021

1st in the UK

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

Sophia: DRS Women's Network

Convenors: Dr Katherine Hockey (, and Dr Katie Cross ( 

Sophia is a new initiative that seeks to create a supportive environment for female post-graduate students and staff within Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. The Greek word ‘sophia’ (σοφία), as well as the Hebrew equivalence ‘hochma’ (חכמה), means Wisdom and is often personified as a feminine figure. We chose the name ‘Sophia’ for our initiative in order to represent the collective ‘wisdom’ that can be provided by the DRS Women’s network when female scholars come together to share ideas and experiences.

Both the academy and the Church need qualified women leaders and role models. In light of the historical and present underrepresentation of women in theology and biblical studies particularly, this forum aims to encourage women in the Divinity and Religious Studies Department in their personal and career development, in order that female students who wish to pursue an academic career after the completion of their studies are equipped to do so.

We meet monthly on select Fridays between 10:00-11:30 am; see details below for the locations.

Our aims are:

  • To create an informal meeting place for women in DRS to share experiences and to offer mutual support.
  • To offer career advice to female students who aim for a job in the academe.
  • To increase the visibility of female role models by inviting senior females in the profession to give tailored advice.
  • To organize panel debates that address gender-related topics in both the academe and in the Church.
  • To offer an informal and supportive forum for students and early career researchers to present research ideas and to receive constructive feedback.

Please join us on Facebook.

Upcoming Events

We’re delighted to bring you details of our upcoming Sophia (DRS Women’s Network) sessions for this term. As with last term, all of our meetings will be held on MS Teams. You can search for “Sophia (DRS Women’s Network)” in MS Teams, or drop us an email if you’d like to be added to the Teams space. Note that details below include local Aberdeen time, but distance students are warmly encouraged to join us too!

Monday 1st February: Welcome back social

A chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones- bring your own coffee/tea! First-time attendees are very welcome.

Monday 15th February: Viva workshop

A short workshop looking towards the end of the PhD and the viva exam. All welcome, regardless of stage (prospective PhDs too!)

Monday 8th March: Prof. Francoise Mirguet

We will be joined by Prof. Francoise Mirguet who is Jess Schwartz Associate Professor of Hebrew and Near Eastern Cultures at Arizona State University. Prof. Mirguet will be speaking on her research, particularly on violence, forgiveness, and reconciliation practices in scripture and across cultures.

Monday 29th March: Easter social

An evening social before we take a break for the holidays.

(date/time TBC) May: Dr. Eve Parker

Dr. Eve Parker, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Theological Education at Durham University, will be our guest for our final session of the term in May. Time and date TBC- more details to follow. 

As always, if you have any other questions about Sophia, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Past Events
  • Christmas social (8 Dec 2020)
  • Talk by Prof Louise Lawrence (17 Nov 2020)
  • Divine Dialogue Online Series- Women in the church (4 November 2020) 
  • Talk by Kait Dugan (20 October 2020)
  • Welcome back social (6 October 2020)
  • Career talk: how to write a job application and to prepare for a job interview (20 Oct 2017)
  • Social gathering: Christmas party (15 Dec 2017)
  • Social get-together (16 Feb 2018)
  • A Conversation with Dr Rachel Muers (University of Leeds) – ‘Challenges and opportunities for women in academic theology’ (12 Oct 2018)
  • Navigating the Academic Conference – How to select the right conferences and write a successful abstract (2 Nov 2018)
  • End of Term Social (23 Nov 2018)
  • Welcome Coffee (27 Sept 2019)
  • Workshop: Seminar conduct and participation (11 Oct 2019)
  • Workshop: Networking and building networks (8 Nov 2019)
  • Christmas Social (13 Dec 2019)