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New course not the first

by
14 March 2012

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From the Revd Dr Jolyon Mitchell

Sir, — I was delighted to read about the initiative by the University of Chester and the Church of England to establish a new professional qualification in Theology and Communication (News, 2 March). The more critical and creative engagement in this area the better.

The claim that this is the “first professional qualification in the UK in theology and communications” is incorrect, however. Over the past two decades at the University of Edinburgh, more than 100 postgraduates (including journalists, broadcasters, press officers, teachers, and clergy from all over the world) have successfully completed a postgraduate degree either in the Theology and Ethics of Communication or more recently the M.Th. in Ethics with special reference to the Media.

More than a dozen more students have produced doctoral-level research in related areas, investigating topics such as parabolic communication; filming theology; preaching in media-saturated environments; or the pertinence of Pauline hardship narratives for handling bad and good news.

During the early 1990s, this educational and research initiative, exploring the relation between theology and communication, was seed-funded by the Jerusalem Trust, who have generously supported other developments around the UK in this rapidly evolving field.

JOLYON MITCHELL
Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion
The University of Edinburgh
New College
Mound Place
Edinburgh EH1 2LX

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