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Studies in Gloucestershire

Today is an exciting day.  This morning I mailed off my letter of acceptance for an offer to do Ph.D. studies at the University of Gloucestershire.  My proposal is for a thesis titled Resurrection and the Life of Holiness: Sanctification as Inaugurated Eschatology in the Letters of Paul.  I’m really excited about this project because it combines two areas of great interest for me that have been somewhat neglected in recent Pauline scholarship.  With all the emphasis on issues surrounding justification and law in Paul over the last several decades, major themes like resurrection and sanctification haven’t gotten a great deal of attention, particularly with regard to their relatedness.  I’m also excited because working on sanctification will allow me to look at the Pauline framework of a distinctive emphasis in my own tradition, which is Methodism.  I will be pursuing the degree on a part-time basis which is desirable because it will allow me to keep my appointment here in Jay.  Gloucestershire has a scheme for international distance learning which involves minimal residency time for part-time students.  I will probably travel to the University annually for intensive supervision; the rest of my work will be done from home with lots of email communication with my supervisor.  I decided this was the best route to go since I don’t intend at this point to move into a teaching post later.  My long term plan is to continue as pastor of a local church, and I don’t want to take leave from that role at this time.  My supervisor will be Andrew T. Lincoln, who is Portland Professor of New Testament Studies and has written both on the later Pauline letters and John’s gospel.  I’m looking forward to working with him.  Of the schools that allow the distance learning option, I think our Lord has been kind to allow me a place in a strong program.  Work commences in October!  I’m looking forward to it.

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