Jul 052009

Graduation day started off lovely and dry and turned into a major washout when the rain came tipping down in time for the end of the ceremony. But apart from that, I am now John Orr BD (Hons). All the photos I have have family in them so I don’t want to post them here, but, most fortuitously, Stewart spotted me and kindly sent the photo he’d snapped. So here I am, kilted, gowned, hooded (and at this time, still dry). Click the image for a bigger version (if you can stand it).


Jul 022009

I’m back home for a couple of days. I graduate tomorrow (Friday) and I’m not looking forward to being kilted and gowned if the weather is as hot and humid as it is today. I still hold to the vain hope that despite all the ‘hospitality’ in Brussels I can still get my kilt on without ‘sooking in’ too much. If you read reports in the Scottish news of someone being clobbered by a flying belt buckle, that’ll have been my fault.

It’s also great to see the family again – Skype just isn’t quite the same. Plus, the girls have even offered to make the dinner tonight. Result!

Jun 182009

Is what I’ll be doing after the summer.

The arrival of a new member of staff at New College means that there will now be someone available to supervise my Masters research project… and more to the point, they have agreed to do just that.

So, a Masters by Reasearch will be happening. I still have a lot of detail to sort out but at least I have a willing supervisor and the broad outline of a research project.


Jun 102009

Degree awards have now been published (although I’m still waiting for the final marks), but I have been awarded a 2:1. Or to give it its proper title, “Bachelor of Divinity with Honours Second Class, Division One”.


Jun 022009

I’ve recently had an email from the uni about my application to do a research masters. My latest plea seems to have had some effect and the other good news is that there is a new member of staff starting soon. He is a potential supervisor for my work. It’s also been suggested that I take a couple of the taught classes which might have some bearing on my study area. So, a bit of a mix’n’match approach is being suggested. Anyway, it’s looking more positive than it had done previously. I’ve to catch up with the new staff member at graduation and begin working up a research proposal and outline.

May 202009

As mulled over elsewhere, I’m still caught in a dilemma about whether to stick it out for a research masters. The uni haven’t totally ruled out the possibility but are pushing stringly for a taught course. The push is being driven by resourcing problems primarily.

My heart says I’d like to do my pet project but my head says that it’s another opportunity to take some more diverse courses and expand my learning rather than give it depth in one area.

I suppose, as I said in the comments of my initial post, if I can come up with a convincing reason to do the research masters then that satisfies both head and heart. If I can’t convince myself that it’s worth pursuing, then the sensible course of action is the taught degree.

May 142009

Final BD exam was this morning. And it was OK, not great, but not too horrible. And thus ends my degree programme. Results are supposedly due around the 4th of June, then graduation on the 3rd of July. Where has the time gone?

May 122009

I had an email from the uni last night about my Masters application. For various reasons, they’d like to encourage me to consider a taught masters rather than the research one I’d applied to do. Issues over staffing/supervision they say, but I suspect they know me too well and realise I need the structured course to get on with things.

So, I have a choice. If I stick with Edinburgh I could do the Theology in History MTh (which would be closest to what my research masters would have been about) or I could think about the Ministry MTh. Pros and cons with either, but the theology one would allow me to do (some of) my research project. The ministry one would, I expect, be more useful ultimately.

Of course, there’s always the option of doing a postgrad course at Glasgow (but how could I possibly turn my back on New College?). I have to say though, and no disrespect to Glasgow, there are none of them that leap out at me as being a ‘must-do’ course. Another option is distance-learning at HTC, but again, it’s not really a thrilling prospect.

Apr 012009

If you’re bored or struggling to get to sleep, then I’ve uploaded some light reading to keep you amused. I’ve just added my honours dissertation to the downloads section, under the ‘Study’ category. It’s an exploration of eschatology, and in particular resurrection. It’ll also form the basis for my Masters research project. I want to look at other areas of eschatology such as heaven and hell. I also want to explore the ethical implications of the resurrection theology I look at in my dissertation and also the ecclesiology of it. If none of that makes sense, feel free to ignore this post.