When the Head of Education of my Diocese asked me three years ago if I would like to do an MA I thought she was joking. I had just completed 30 or so essays at Vicar Factory so my response was "What is it that you think I don't know?" I then realised that this was not a negotiation and that whether I wanted to or not my learning was to continue and so it turned out to be.
These six are what 30K words has been expended on and I hope they have sharpened my saw:
1. What are you doing when you preach?
2. “I take up the Bible and I read. Here are a million or so printed words, in which divine gold and human clay are mixed, and I have to take the gold and leave the clay” Austen Farrer, The Inspiration of the Bible. Do I? What theologies of the inspiration of Scripture lead you to your answer?
3. What is missional community and how is it created today?
4. Jonathan Edwards is arguably the greatest pastor-theologian of all time. In what sense is his essay ‘The Nature of True Virtue ’a demonstration of this and why does this work still matter?
5. Are the skills of the pastor or the CEO better suited to leading a growing church? Discuss this in light of the growth challenges of Holy Trinity Richmond.
6. “Teams are the future of parochial ministry?” Discuss
I only have one hurdle to leap and that is a thesis. So for my next trick, I will be asking and answering the question- "Why should the Church of England plant churches and how should they do it?" and here is a reading list.