The Centre for the Study of World Christianity offers supervised research degrees at the Masters and PhD levels. For more information, please see the University website.
The Centre attracts a diverse body of students from many different countries and religious traditions. Our students come from Cameroon, China, Ghana, India, Iran, South Korea, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, the USA, and, of course, the UK.
Selection of Current PhD Students
|Nico Brice-Bennett (UK)
My research focuses on the history of Christianity and socio-political thought in Tanzania in the second half of the twentieth century. It was a period when a strong national identity emerged and overt adherence to religious and ethnic identities was discouraged. Yet religion remained an important aspect of Tanzanian people’s lives, and religious institutions—primarily Christian ones—were responsible for the education of many of the nation’s post-independence leaders. My project combines archival research with ethnographic fieldwork in Kilimanjaro and Kagera, and focuses on oral histories amongst Catholic and Lutheran Chagga and Haya people.
| Jeffrey Cannon (USA)
My thesis looks at attitudes within the Church of Scotland toward race and colonialism in Africa. Using images in church-produced magazines, newspapers, and other media, I examine both official and unofficial discourses within the church regarding South African apartheid and the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
|Calida Chu (Hong Kong)
My project aims to construct a Protestant public theology in post-97 Hong Kong. It analyses existing groups of Hong Kong public theologians (namely, Anglican theologians, scholars in Sino-Christian theology, and evangelical theologians), and argues that, although these groups have different theological emphases in the public sphere, they co-exist in a way that complement each other’s theology. I employ Stanley Hauerwas’s Christology and ecclesiology to suggest how evangelical theologians, in the post-Umbrella era, may be witnesses of Christ in the public sphere.
|Karl Dahlfred (USA)
My research explores the ways in which modernizing trends in theology and society affected the American Presbyterian Mission in Thailand and the Thai churches with whom they were associated from the 1890s through the onset of World War II. Using archival documents from the United States and Thailand, I examine how American missionaries and Thai Christians were impacted by modernism and fundamentalism, whether the theological and mission commitments of the American Presbyterian mission in Thailand changed, and how the trends towards nationalism and nationalization influenced the development of Thai Protestant Christianity.
|Tore Johnsen (Norway)
My research involves a qualitative insider’s study of Northern Sami popular Christianity (Norway). The aim is to generate resources for the construction of cosmologically-oriented Christian theology with relevancy to wider Christian discourse. The analysis of the Sami material is informed by perspectives from Native American and African theologies. Indigenous methodology is employed in the study’s methodological framework.
|Elizabeth Marteijn (the Netherlands)
The question at the core of my thesis is how theology and context influence each other within the Palestinian Christian community. I am interested in employing a combination of theology and ethnography to explore the complex intersection between theology, tradition, politics, interreligious encounter and how Palestinian Christians negotiate these multiple factors.
|Andrew Ong (USA)
My research analyses the various concerns and theological conversations that have arisen amongst contemporary Chinese American evangelicals. It further considers the merits of Amos Yong’s Pentecostalism as a resource for Chinese American evangelicals, before arguing for the merits of Neo-Calvinism as a possible complementary or supplementary resource for engaging in a contextualised Chinese American evangelical theology.
|Daniel Qin (China)
My research is on the theological evolution of contemporary Chinese Protestant Christianity. It consists of case studies on selected church figures’ theologies, and the social context as the background will be investigated. The research aims to explore selected church figures’ dominant theological concerns over time and to what extent and in what ways have they addressed the contemporary social context.
|Matt Reis (USA)
My thesis seeks to research the different ways that Brazilian Evangélicos in South Florida understand their identity and mission as an immigrant minority in the US, within their specific diasporic contexts. I am interested in analyzing the connections and disconnections in the areas of identity and concepts of missions amongst Brazilian Evangélicos of varied diasporic contexts, and across different generations.
| Lucy Schouten (USA)
My research is a cross-disciplinary exploration within World Christianity, Migration Studies, and political theology. I am seeking to understand how the Arab churches of Jordan are responding to—and being transformed by—the migration crisis in the Middle East that began in 2012. This research will address the relevant issues of Christian ecumenism and Christian-Muslim relations both in the Middle East and worldwide. I also seek to develop a working understanding for a theology of hospitality in one of the countries most affected by migration, while attending to the concerns for faith, witness, and emigration specific to Christians in contemporary Jordan. This research is heavily informed by several months of fieldwork in Jordan.
|Allie Schwarr (UK)
My research investigates the origins and increase of cultural diversity in a historic, international, evangelical mission agency, SIM, focusing on the issues and challenges of this diversity, and seeking to measure the extent to which increased cultural diversity has become a source of strength as the organisation has responded to these challenges. My research will consider to what extent SIM’s pursuit of an ethos of diversity was innovative, and in what ways this was representative of existing trends.
|Hoon Song (South Korea)
My research is on forgiveness and reconciliation in post-war Korea. It consists of a critical analysis of two different theological approaches of South Korean Protestant churches toward the unification of Korea (c. 1972-2010) and an investigation into an alternative and constructive theology toward peace and reconciliation in the Korean peninsula, borrowing theological and therapeutic ideas pertaining to healing memories and forgiveness. This study, I hope, would constitute a small step made by Christians of the world towards peacebuilding in Northeast Asia.
Selection of recently completed PhDs
- Dhinakaran R. J. Prasad Phillips (2018), ‘Evaluating contemporary Protestant missions to children at risk in South India: investigating foundations and principles for future Christian mission’
- David Wilson McMahon (2018), ‘Analysis of the reception and appropriation of the Bible by Manobo Christians in Central Mindanao, Philippines’
- Sara Afshari (2017), ‘Reception of Christian television in contemporary Iran: An analysis of audience interactions and negotiations’
- Amos Bongadu Chewachong (2017), ‘Intra-African Pentecostalism and the dynamics of power: the Living Faith Church worldwide (Winners’ Chapel) in Cameroon, 1996-2016’
- Christopher Sabanal (2016), ‘Emerging Critical Social Awareness in Evangelical Theological Pilgrimages in the Philippines’
- David C. Kirkpatrick (2015), ‘C. René Padilla: Integral Mission and the Reshaping of Global Evangelicalism’
- Corey L. Williams (2015), ‘Interreligious Encounter in a West African City: A Study of Multiple Religious Belonging and Identity Among the Yorùbá of Ogbómòsó, Nigeria’
- Eric L. Williams (2015), ‘More than tongues can tell: significations in Black Pentecostal thought’
- Andrew Kaiser (2015), ‘Encountering China: the evolution of Timothy Richard’s missionary thought (1870-1891)’