Developing a Christian Mind began in Oxford in 2007 under the leadership of Donald Hay, Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College and Tutor in Economics, and formerly Head of the Division of Social Sciences and acting Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University. Since then over a thousand Oxford postgraduate students and academic staff have participated in the programme.
Developing a Christian Mind provides space for postgraduate students, postdocs and faculty to consider how they integrate their Christian faith and their academic life. The programme aims to foster the development of a Christian intellectual community within and emerging from Oxford. We hope that those who participate in this community will be enabled to discuss, think and write on themes which engage Christian faith and academic research at the highest level. With this in mind, Developing a Christian Mind continues to be led by senior Oxford academics who offer oversight, lectures, and mentoring and convene conference streams.
Although most lectures are given by Oxford academic staff, the course is not formally affiliated with the University of Oxford.
For more on our conferences, people and partnerships both within Oxford and beyond follow the links below.
Postgraduates and Postdocs
As a Christian postgraduate student or postdoc it is rare to have the opportunity to integrate Christian faith and academic studies, particularly in partnership with senior researchers in your field of study. Developing a Christian Mind offers the opportunity to be equipped with intellectual and conceptual tools which will allow you to develop and refine your own informed and nuanced Christian worldview. We hope that this will begin a life long journey of worshipping the Lord with all of your mind.
Developing a Christian Mind’s programme is structured around two annual conferences: Christianity and the Life of the Mind: An Introduction and Seeking Wisdom: Discipline Streams. The first conference offers an introduction to the relationship between core theological doctrines and academic disciplines. The second conference meets within discipline streams and focuses in on key questions within each field of study. This gives space to explore specific methodologies and approaches from a perspective of faith.
Alongside the conferences we also run a year-round formation group called Christians in Academia which offers the opportunity for a smaller number of postgraduates and postdocs to consider their own vocation to academic life and the role of character and virtue in academia. This group includes discussion, retreats and personal mentoring from an established academic.
There are many other groups around Oxford who offer lectures and events that complement Developing a Christian Mind. Please visit our ‘Other groups’ page to explore these opportunities further.
There are several ways to get involved in the life of Developing a Christian Mind – attend a conference; apply to be a part of our formation group; support us academically, financially or in prayer; or simply get in touch to explore how you might become a part of our academic networks within Oxford and beyond.
In its initial form, the Developing a Christian Mind conferences were aimed at serving the academic community of Oxford University. For both practical reasons and to make the programme most useful to those involved, participation in the conferences is limited to the following:
- Postgraduate students at Oxford University registered for the following degrees: MSc, MSt, MTh, MBA, MPhil, MPP, BCL/MJur, PRS and DPhil.
- Postdoctoral researchers
- Academic Staff (e.g. professors, lecturers, etc.)
- Other researchers and teachers in colleges or University departments, including academic visitor
Members of Oxford Brookes University in these categories are also welcome. Members of other universities are asked to contact us to check eligibility. If you are unsure of your eligibility, contact us via the link below.
Christians from all denominations and traditions are welcome, as are those who are simply curious to learn more about how those who hold to the Christian faith engage with the life of the mind. We thrive on discussion and look forward to welcoming a variety of perspectives.