The Centre does not have a formal research PhD program. It is however, linked in with the PhD in Divinity (Practical Theology) within which students can focus on key issues within the area of spirituality and health. The school also offers the Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology.
A Theology of Homelessness
My research comes from my work in the inner-city of Atlanta with the homeless. I was working for a para-church organization that would meet essential needs of the homeless while trying to get the local church to take responsibility. It rarely happened that the local church was interested. Out of my frustration I found that most of the churches did not have a strong or rigorous enough ecclesiology or theology of mission to sustain them within their own community.(Neither did we as a "para-church" organization). Most of the churches in the inner-city where I was working tended to be independent or loosely affiliated "American-born" evangelical churches without a "sophisticated" theology or sense of theological history. So I decided to undertake the task of working toward that end.
I am using Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a main guide and dialogue partner along this journey. Through him and others I am trying to develop an ecclesiology that can support and sustain ministry with the homeless. This includes a theological and social understanding of both the church and the homeless. I am intentionally including in the dialogue voices from the tradition that I come from and that my para-church work comes from (Wesleyan/Holiness) to make the connection with Bonhoeffer and the rich theological tradition that he draws from.
A Theology of Dissaffection in Education
Aileen Barclay lectures part time in Educational Studies in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen. She has had a long association with State Education as a teacher and manager, particularly in the field of Inclusive Educational Practice. Her research interests lie in exploring the theological implications of school disaffection in a system that often challenges fundamental Christian views and beliefs.
Currently, she is completing a PhD in practical Theology entitled, “Bring the Children Home: An educator of the cross reflects on school disaffection. The thesis sets out to engage with the question: what does faithful Christian discipleship mean for Christian educators working with the important public issue of School disaffection?
By Aileen Barclay