‘Engaging with the Word and the World’
The Masters in Bible and Pastoral Contexts is a postgraduate degree offered by the School of Postgraduate Theology at Liverpool Hope University.
This master’s programme will allow students to study biblical texts and their reception in contemporary society while critically taking into account their historical, social, cultural literary and religious settings, considered against the most recent scholarly contributions of the field.
Students will develop an enquiring approach to the interpretation of smaller and larger units of selected Old and New Testament writings, reflecting on the issues involved with modern day interpretations and applications in a pastoral context.
The Masters in Bible and Pastoral Contexts seeks to engage students in understanding the complex issues at play in modern social and cultural contexts. Students will learn to take an analytical approach to the relative strengths and weaknesses of theoretical approaches and research methodologies.
This programme will draw on a crucial reflection of biblical theory, personal experience and scholarly research in order to generate and implement creative and independent solutions to pastoral issues and situations.
The MA will give students the opportunity to engage with key theological themes, while providing them with an extensive range of research skills that will underpin their ability to design, manage and critically reflect upon a research project of significant scope.
The MA Bible and Pastoral Contexts programme comprises two compulsory 30-credit taught modules: Biblical Hermeneutics in a Pastoral Context and the Postgraduate Textual Seminar, 60 credits of optional modules and a compulsory 60-credit research dissertation adding up to 180 credits. Assessment methods may include coursework in the form of essays, class presentations, exegetical studies, Viva Voce examinations and research dissertation.
Biblical Hermeneutics in a Pastoral Context
The Christian scriptures are read, preached from and inform the liturgical practices of all churches, yet to many the academic approaches and theories of the field of hermeneutics seem remote or foreign to the everyday life of church and pastoral praxis. This course brings into dialogue the theories and methods of biblical hermeneutics with the ecclesial realities of modern pastoral practice.
Masters Level Thinking Skills
From the onset, M-level students need to deploy a number of key academic skills. These include the ability to identify and access appropriate research materials, to write in a complex and critical manner, and bibliographical and referencing adeptness. This course, the first taken in any M-level award sponsored by TPRS, helps students to fine-tune these skills. It also provides the teaching team with an early diagnostic tool to identify any problem areas that may need particular attention.
Postgraduate Textual Seminar
The material covered will take the form of a close-examination particular aspects or issues within the fields of theology, pastoral practice, philosophy, religion and/or biblical studies. These aspects or issues may be approached in one of a number of ways - for example by studying the contribution to debate of a particular scholar/s or a particular school of thought or by critically examining a selected range of primary texts. Though not a precondition for the course, where possible and appropriate, key texts will be studied in their original languages. Normally this module will be placed immediately before the dissertation or after 90 credits of taught postgraduate modules.
The World of Early Christianity Study Tour
This module consists in an intensive, 10-day programme of seminars and visits to archaeological sites, museums, and other places of significance for the development of the early Christian movement. Each year the study tour takes place in a different part of the Mediterranean (typically Greece or Turkey). The course offers students an opportunity to explore the social, cultural, and geographical environment of Early Christianity, and to learn how to critically assess the relationship between literary and material evidence. The selection of early Christian writings (including both the New Testament and noncanonical literature), studied in connection with the tour, varies, as it depends on the itinerary in a given year.
Pauline Literature and the Acts of the Apostles
This course will begin with an overview of the writings comprising the Pauline Corpus and main issues in the academic study of the historical figure of Paul and the Pauline literature, followed by a more detailed discussion of select themes in the Pauline letters and the way in which they have been dealt with in contemporary Pauline scholarship. Leading to broader discussions of how the Acts of the Apostles relates to the Pauline corpus, the person of Paul, the early developments of the Christian Church in the ancient world and the role of Acts within the New Testament canon.
Approaching Homiletics: Between Text and Congregation
This course is particularly designed for professional clergy and lay persons with a special interest in the study and practice of preaching. Focusing on developing advanced skills of interpreting the Bible and communicating the Christian faith through the spoken word, this course will invigorate tired practice, making the pulpit ministry exciting; real theology but on the shop-floor. The methods and practice of great preachers from a spectrum of theological backgrounds will be examined through written sermons and recordings.
The recent field of Pastoral Psychology reflects on ways in which Christian texts, practices, and thought have helped to shape the tradition of soul-care. This ranges from early therapeutic treatment of the inner life of believers through to modern forms of psychotherapy and their emergence from and interaction with Christian spirituality. The course will examine ways in which Christian tradition might provide helpful resources for contemporary pastoral care and spiritual direction.
Normally a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours Degree a relevant discipline (other Professional qualifications may be considered).
For students whose first language is not English there is a language requirement of IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 minimum of all components. In addition to this, we also accept a wide range of International Qualifications, for more information please visit our English Language Requirements page.
For additional information about country specific entry requirements visit the your country pages.
The School of Postgraduate Theology is led by well-respected theological and philosophical academics with internationally recognised research profiles in the fields of Pastoral Theology, Christian Education, Asian and African Christianity and 100% of the School’s research has been deemed as internationally recognised by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
As the only interdisciplinary department in Europe built upon an ecumenical foundation, the School works closely with both the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool, as well as with faith communities throughout the world.
Those undertaking the MA (Res) will have the benefit of belonging to an international community of postgraduate students at both masters and doctoral levels. They will also have access to the university’s excellent library holdings in the fields of theology, philosophy and religious studies.
Teaching in the School is in line with the wider University Learning and Teaching strategy and encourages learning in small groups to foster the development of academic potential and improve the working dynamic between students and members of staff. All taught classes are held at Liverpool Hope University’s main campus, Hope Park.
The campus is situated just four miles from the city centre and offers superb academic and support facilities, including on-campus library with extended opening hours, free computer and Wi-Fi access, access to the on campus gym and sports centre and a careers service for advice on part-time work opportunities and post-study careers.
Tuition fees for Home/EU students for 2019/20 are £5,200
We offer a number of scholarships and loans to help fund your postgraduate studies. Visit our scholarships pages for more details.
The International tuition fees, for courses starting in the 2020/21 academic year, are £11,400 per year (provisional).
If you are an international student, visit our international scholarships pages.
The MA Bible in Pastoral Contexts opens up a vast array of career opportunities, you will develop a broad-ranging theological knowledge and skills base, particularly the close reading of texts and their application to contemporary life which. These skills can be applied to virtually any organisational setting, across the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Orthodox churches both in the UK and overseas.
This programme is an academic master’s degree, which is suited to students who may wish to undertake further study and progress to a PhD.