Revd. Elizabeth Jordan talks about her experience of the Doctor of Practical Theology programme
Hello, my name's Elizabeth Jordan and I'm in my second year of the Doctorate in Practical Theology. That's a course which allows me to continue my work as a priest in the Church of England, whist at the same time studying for a Doctorate, part-time here in the University. The second year means that I've completed the first year, which was a literature review - which was a large amount of reading and writing to do to begin to locate myself within the subject, and in that I was helped by my supervisor Stephen Pattison.
The research project Am looking at is in the area of lay and clergy relationships within the Church or England. In ordinary congregations that is - not in congregations where there's conflict or upset, but just to try to understand how those two categories of members of the church - lay people and ordained people - are relating to each other in the 21st century. This is something I've been interested in ever since completing a masters here at the University.
As I said, the professional doctorate allows me to continue in my own life as a priest. At the moment I work part-time in two churches in a working class area of Walsall. I'm able to reflect on those experiences I have day to day, using the resources of the academic world. So I'm able to bring to bear on my practical experience some of the understanding which has come from sociology, phsycology and theology to enable me to see more clearly the dynamics that are happening in the congregations that I'm with.
I've greatly appreciated the opportunity to combine academic study and practical work which this particular doctorate gives, because I'd wouldn't like to be just in the academic world, or working in a parish without any access to some kind of academic reflection on what I'm doing. So the effect on my own practise is that I hope I'm able to offer a richer and deeper ministry to those I'm with, whilst at the same time satisfying my own desire to study these subjects further.