Postgraduate research in Theology and Religion
We combine a strong commitment to research and scholarship with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Postgraduate students study broadly in the areas of biblical studies, patristics, Christian doctrine, philosophical theology, and the ethical, social and political implications of Christian theology. Some choose inter- or multi-disciplinary topics. There are close links with other disciplines in the College of Humanities and Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. We welcome research degree applications from those wishing to study on a full-time or part-time basis, on campus or at a distance.
In Theology and Religion we adopt a hands on approach to supervising our PhD students and this has proven effective and popular. Our research culture is built on inter-disciplinary communication and interaction, involving our research students at every level.
We support our research students with a series of courses that provide a grounding in all the key research skills you will require to develop, investigate and write-up world-class and cutting edge theological research. Through fortnightly research seminars, the postgraduate study day and involvement in societies our students are part of a vibrant research community.
Arrangements can be made for part-time students who live a considerable distance from Exeter or even from outside the UK, although there is a six-month residency requirement.
Find out more about our MPhil/PhD and MA by Research in Theology and Religion at Exeter.
Our research covers a wide range of areas, these broad headings give an indication of our special interests:
- Religion and ethics in public life
- Biblical studies and biblical interpretation
- Christian theology and the learning church
- Philosophical reflection and aspects of human life
Visit our Theology staff profiles pages for details on individual staff research interests and publications.
Our current PGRs
We're proud of the research carried out by our PhD students. There are currently around 50 PhD students in the Department, many of whom maintain an online personal profile detailing their research activities. Follow the links below to find out more about them and their research projects.
|Student||Research title||First supervisor||Second supervisor|
|Rachel Addison||Overcoming the legacy of Eugenics - historical, cultural and religious issues regarding the legitimacy of state involvement in the use of generic technologies.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Professor Christopher Southgate|
|Joshua Bryant||An Empire Made Safe:The roles of late antique Roman fortified structures in the Eastern frontier region.||Professor Emma Loosley||Dr Ioana Oltean|
|Robert William Button||The Theology of Ritual in the Russian Orthodox Tradition: Perspectives on the Nikonian Reforms.||Professor Morwenna Ludlow||Professor Emma Loosley|
|Philippa Campbellclause||Eucharistic Food Ethics: Challenging our Stale Economy with the Bread of Life in an Era of Increasing Food Insecurity.||Professor Christopher Southgate||Professor Tim Gorringe|
|Esther Chew Su Li||Recovering Heilsgeschichte for a Trinitarian Ethic||Dr Esther D. Reed||Dr Brandon Gallaher|
|Elisabeth Cook||Implications of Ezra 9-10.||Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou||Professor David Horrell|
|Penelope Cowell Doe||Queering The Pilling Report||Dr Louise Lawrence||Dr Susannah Cornwall|
|Jonathan Curtis||Teetotalism as ethical choice.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Avril Mewse|
|Catherine Donner||The centrality of death in the life and writings of Thomas More.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Professor Henry French|
|Paschalis Gkortsilas||John Chrysostom and the Greeks: Hellenism and Greek philosophy in the rhetoric of John Chrysostom||Professor Morwenna Ludlow||Dr Richard Flower|
|Stephen Goundrey-Smith||The Impact of Pharmaceutical Research on the Shape of Human Life in the 20th Century||Professor Christopher Southgate||Dr Jonathan Hill|
|Eva Marina Syster Hannus||‘Theological anthropology in light of evolutionary and cognitive science’||Professor Christopher Southgate||Dr Jonathan Hill|
|Alistair Harper||‘Subversive-Fulfilment’: How Acts relates with the Greco-Roman world||Professor David Horrell||Professor Morwenna Ludlow|
|Giovanni Hermanin De Reichenf||The role of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John within Origen’s and Augustine’s Commentaries.||Professor Morwenna Ludlow||Dr David Tollerton|
|David Horner||Body and Soul: An evaluation of Richard Swinburne’s arguments for substance dualism||Dr Jonathan Hill||Joel Krueger|
|Cherryl Hunt||The manner the Bible is read and used in churches.||Dr Louise Lawrence||Dr Mike Higton|
|Hyun Kang||Establishing a novel eco-feministic model of godfrom Korean folklore.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Heidi Hadsell|
|Ha Young Kim||Divine Christology and Priestly Sacrifice in 1 Peter.||Professor David Horrell||Dr Louise Lawrence|
|Diane Lincoln||Emerging Church||Dr Esther D. Reed||Avril Mewse|
|Daniel McClellan||Divine Agency in Early Israelite and Jewish Literature and Cult||Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou||Professor Siam Bhayro|
|Daniel Nessim||Didache, Torah, Gentile and Jew: A paradigm of distinction and unity.||Professor David Horrell||Professor Siam Bhayro|
|Amy Poppinga||Knowledge preceding action.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Scott Thumma|
|Louise Prideaux||Towards a Christian Theology of Contemporary Culture in the Reformed Tradition||Dr Esther D. Reed||Dr Louise Lawrence|
|Leanna Rierson||Evaluating Paul’s Power-in-Weakness Claims and Strategies in the Corinthian Correspondence in Light of Current Vulnerability and Humility Research||Professor David Horrell||Dr Louise Lawrence|
|Mark Rivers Bland||Can money be “made” to glorify God? A proposal for a church-based token currency.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Professor Tim Gorringe|
|Carla Roland||Theology and Religious Studies.||Professor Ian Netton||Yahya Michot|
|David Shaw||New testament: Identity and Mission in the Letter of 1 Peter.||Professor David Horrell||Dr Louise Lawrence|
|Hyunte Shin||New Testament Eschatology and the Environmental Crisis of South Korea: Towards a Contextual Christian Environmental Ethic||Professor David Horrell||Professor Christopher Southgate|
|Rebekah Welton||A Study of Gluttony and Drunkenness in Narratives of the Hebrew Bible in Relation to the Law of the Rebellious Son in Deuteronomy 21:18-21||Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou||Rita Langer|
|Ying Lam Yip||Choosing to Suffer: A Narrative Analysis of the Identity-Making Processes in Philippians||Professor David Horrell||Dr Louise Lawrence|
Supervisors - all students have a primary and a secondary supervisor who provide regular, high quality advice, support and direction in their academic endeavours. You will work closely with your supervisors over three to four years (full time PhD) or six to seven (part-time PhD) to develop, investigate and write-up a project at the cutting edge of theological research.
Visit our staff profiles for more information about individual research interests or use the search box on the right of this page to find a supervisor.
Mentor - each student will also be assigned a mentor who will take on a pastoral role and mediate on any problems that arise during the period of study. Your mentor will keep in regular contact and will provide background stability and support.
Graduate School Office - the College of Humanities has a dedicated Graduate School Office that supports our postgraduate research students during their study with us. The Office promotes intellectual and social contact between research students in all our disciplines to foster a vibrant research community within the College.
View list of funding opportunities available to students on our research degree programmes in Theology and Religion.
The College of Humanities works closely with the University’s Career Zone to help you gain the skills, experience and expertise employers are looking for. There are a wide range of opportunities to enhance your employability, along with the support you need to make important career decisions.
We have our own Employability Officer who works to develop close links with employers and arranges careers events. Each department has an academic representative who promotes the employability needs and interests of their students. This helps us ensure that employability activities are relevant and appealing to you.
Former Exeter Theology and Religion postgraduate students have gone on to research posts at:
- Azusa Pacific University, USA
- Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
- Bethel University, USA
- Eastern University, USA
- Cambridge, UK
- Durham, UK
- Exeter, UK
- Oxford Universities, UK
- Woolf Institute, UK
Former graduates are also employed at Prospect College, Washington DC, the Jamaica Theological Seminary, Sarum College, Rye St Anthony School and Exeter College. Outside education, students have gone on to roles such as working in research and development in the Methodist Church and Christian Concern for One World.