We are pleased to share with you the experiences of some GTF students and alumni who have studied in the Oxford Theology Summer School.
Since the establishment of our affiliation with the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education
in 1994, we have sent hundreds of students to the annual University of Oxford Theology Summer School. While most GTF students in attendance are studying at the doctoral level, we encourage GTF students in any degree program and at any level to consider studying at Oxford. Credits earned may be applied toward a degree at the GTF. The experience of being among an international group of your peers and learning from distinguished scholars at Oxford and other prestigious institutions is unparalleled. The student body of the Theology Summer School is international with many students coming from the UK, the U.S., and Europe.
Ms. Debbie Miller
Student: Doctor of Philosophy
"The experience of being able to study on the campus of Christ Church College is enriching for mind, body & soul. When you step foot through the Tom Gate into the largest quad of the Oxford colleges, with the cathedral spire in front of you and the outlines of the Great Hall to your right, you enter into another world. The hustle and bustle of tourists, bicycles and double-decker buses from St. Aldate’s Street fade into the distance, and you can almost imagine that you’ve stepped back in time into a world of intellectual ardor, theological inquiry, and impassioned discourse that seems to belong to a forgotten age...
If the charms of living and learning in this revered setting were not compelling enough, the courses are first-rate. Each year, the tutors develop content for seminars that revolve around a centrally chosen theme. The courses that I have taken were structured to include a mix of teaching methods – usually a combo of lecture and class discussion, sometimes small group activities, or even class excursions. The amount of work required for each course varies by tutor. In general, there is an expectation that you have done required reading in advance of the course so that you can participate thoughtfully in the classroom conversations. Some instructors ask you to do additional reading, write reflection papers, or do some specific “homework” between classes. In the eight courses that I’ve taken, only two had expectations for additional work to be done while you are in Oxford, and I found those assignments to be manageable.
In my experience, the students represent diverse theological and cultural traditions, and the programme fosters rich, respectful dialogue."
of Ms. Miller's reflection and see a selection of photos from Oxford.
Biography: Ms. Debbie Miller, M.A. is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Facilitator for Brené Brown’s Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ curricula. She is pursuing a PhD. in Pastoral Psychology through GTF. When she’s not studying in Oxford, she lives in Orlando, Florida. Miller’s research interests include the theology of God’s face, psychology of shame, impacts of developmental attachment wounds, and evocative power of creative expression. The intersection of these topics are her life’s work. Recently, Miller and her husband launched a project called Art Sanctuary, an organic spiritual fellowship forged around the process of art journaling. It has been a transformative experience, and she hopes to encourage others to create similar authentic faith communities around artistic endeavors.
Dr. James Keating
Alumnus: Doctor of Education
"The summer experience in Oxford is one that is unforgettably unique and one that I would recommend to anyone who can manage it. There are a number of reasons for this. The university is, of course, known the world over for its academic rigor and its thousand-year reputation for excellence; but it is much more than that. When attending the program at Oxford, students will find there is history everywhere…literary, academic, political, religious, philosophical, musical, architectural…and so on. So the culture in which students are immersed, is inspiring almost beyond words. Additionally, the theology summer school offers a tremendous opportunity for both church and lay leaders to meet one another, discuss important and intriguing issues, and to form life-long collaborations and friendships.
It is with the greatest joy that I note the international participation in the Oxford Theology Summer School. Literally, students arrive from around the globe to attend this course. In my two experiences in the program there were students from China, Nigeria, Australia, several European nations, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the Americas, both North and South. Moreover, the students have religious affiliations that cross denominational and theological boundaries.
The Oxford Theology Summer School makes possible a kind of academic and intellectual experience that is incomparably enriching. The entire experience (academic, personal, professional, cultural, etc.) is one of the most rewarding events along the degree path, and I would urge everyone to consider attending the Oxford program."
Dr. Keating has written for the GTF blog about his experiences in Oxford and traveling in England. Visit these posts to learn more:
Biography: Dr. James Keating is a professor at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he teaches composition classes, as well as classes in the university core. He received his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from the Graduate Theological Foundation in 2004. Dr. Keating has worked in education since 1969 at the secondary and especially at the college level. In addition to his work at Butler, he has also worked with the U.S. Army and Air National Guard programs at Vincennes University and as a Master’s Degree supervisor at Warnborough University in Dublin, Ireland. He is a faculty supervisor with the Phi Beta Delta International Studies Honorary and is a member of the business fraternity, Beta Gamma Sigma. He serves in a number of local volunteer positions including the SAWS Initiative (Servants at Work), Sociedad Amigos de Colombia (Scholarship Program), and with the Children’s Learning Center in Indianapolis.
Student: Doctor of Philosophy
"The experience was…fantastic, refreshing, enjoyable to the nth degree, and most profitable from an educational standpoint. My study times with Fr. N. King, Canon Robin G., and Canon Edmund, were outstanding. We have so many good teachers and so many great courses that it is difficult to limit ourselves to just four courses. I have thoroughly enjoyed my three years to date and pray that I will also be like [GTF alumnus] Dr. Joe Casey [Ph.D. 2012], et al, a "perpetual" summer student. It is a true blessing to be able to be there for even two weeks. The camaraderie enjoyed by our group was absolutely precious. I met a few new people this year and enjoyed all of them. GTF should rightly be proud of the caliber of our participating members. What a fantastic organization to be a part of. All in all, it was a highly successful summer school for me."
Mr. William Moneyhun
Student: Doctor of Philosophy
"The University of Oxford Theology Summer School is an extraordinary gathering! The program has provided me with the opportunity to both learn from distinguished tutors and discuss ideas with students from many places of the world. The Christ Church College venue, located near Oxford’s city center, is grandiose and saturated with history. The studies, while highly academic, are conducted in a relaxed manner which encourages questions and input from participants. My course themes have included the origins of religious consciousness, the relationship of science and religious faith, the historical development of the concept of the human self, various philosophical views regarding the fundamental nature of reality, and diverse theological approaches to human personhood and the well-ordered life. I have also enjoyed the spiritually rich worship services in magnificent Christ Church Cathedral and the experience of mealtimes in the spectacular Great Hall. The city surrounding Christ Church College is easy to navigate and impressive. This is truly an unforgettable experience!"
Mr. Moneyhun is also featured in our Student Profiles section. Visit his profile
to read about his experiences as a student at the GTF.
Biography: Mr. William Moneyhun received his Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1978. His studies at Midwestern were highlighted by his selection for an intern program at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) for the 1976-77 academic year and his receipt of the Baker Book House Award in Theology at his graduation from Midwestern. He was employed by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company from 1978 to 2002. As a telephone company employee he administered employment tests, assisted retirees with their employee benefits, procured office equipment and supplies, taught in the education department, and worked as a design engineer. Mr. Moneyhun continued his studies at the Graduate Theological Foundation in 2010. In 2013, he completed his Master of Theology Degree and was that year’s recipient of The Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion. Mr. Moneyhun is currently a member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kennett, Missouri, where he serves occasionally as a substitute teacher in the Church Sunday School. He was accepted into the Foundation’s Ph.D. program in Theological Studies in 2013.