Pupils show continued faith in Divinity

Issued: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 00:00:00 GMT

One hundred and fifty delegates will attend Glasgow's largest religious studies conference for school pupils and teachers. The high turn-out continues the revived interest in religious studies. Organised by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow, the conference will cover a broad range of contemporary issues including gender, ethics, secular humanism and world religions.

Professor David Jasper, Dean of the Faculty of Divinity said: "It is encouraging that pupils want to know more about the benefits of studying religion and theology at university. In our experience a degree in religious studies has all the advantages of an arts degree, and can lead to a career in social work, teaching or the media. There are signs that religious education at the University is about to enjoy a renaissance."

Applications to Glasgow's Faculty of Divinity have consistently increased in recent years and it is hoped that the Faculty will offer a distance-learning degree from October 2001.

The conference, organised by the Darlene Bird, the Faculty's Schools Liaison Officer, is aimed at 5th and 6th year pupils and their teachers. Darlene said: "This conference is also for the benefit of teachers. Religious education teachers are looking for support. Many of them studied over ten years ago, when the focus was very much on Christianity. In today's society it is important that teachers are also comfortable teaching other religions such as Buddhism and Islam."

While the numbers of students pursuing a degree in religious studies have declined until recently, first year courses in Religious Studies and Bible Studies have consistently been very popular, especially with Arts and Sociology students. In 1999 the department of Theology and Religious Studies introduced an MA in Religious Studies as a broader alternative to the Batchelor of Divinity degree, which caters for students hoping to enter the ministry.

The Department of Theology and Religious Studies employs specialists in the major world religions, many of whom are involved in community liaison work and broader social issues. Teaching staff are supported by international postgraduates with a wide range of study pursuits.

Media Relations Office (media@gla.ac.uk)


The conference will take place on Wednesday 14th March at Wellington Church, University Avenue, Glasgow.
Morning sessions on Christianity, Islam and Buddhism will run from 10.30 - 12.00.
Afternoon sessions on Gender, Ethics and Secular Humanism will run from 1.00 - 2.30.

For further information contact:
Darlene Bird, Department of Theology & Religious Studies on 0141 330 6526
or Professor David Jasper, Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, 0141 330 4405

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