Manager and Research Fellow
Religious Leadership in an Age of Science
Public Affairs team, Church House, London
Grade Church of England Litchfield Scale
Position Type Full-time
Contract Type Fixed Term (three years)
£24,420 + Housing allowance £13,652 + Resettlement Grant in First Year
Closing Date 30th January 2015 at 5pm
10th February 2015 (Church
Starting date: April 1st 2015
A three year postdoctoral position is
available to work with Revd Professor David Wilkinson, Professor Tom McLeish
and Rt Revd Professor Richard Cheetham at Durham University, in their strategically
important and exciting Templeton World Charitable Foundation funded project ‘Equipping Religious Leadership in an
Age of Science’.
This project seeks to transform the quality
and increase the quantity of serious engagement with science amongst Christians
in England, by focusing attention on the role of senior church leaders in
shaping church leadership in an age of science.
We will target strategic leaders in
conferences, provide training resources for a much larger number of trainee
leaders, and develop a range of flagship local engagement projects to
demonstrate where leadership in this area can take people. All of this
will be underpinned by original research, which will itself be a significant contribution
to public understanding of the relationship between religion and science.
This project will research the attitudes
towards science of current strategic leaders both within the main denominations
but also in new churches and parachurch movements, and explore how their
leadership and thinking shapes the assumptions, priorities, practice and
theological beliefs of leaders and laity within their organizations. It then will provide an already trialled form
of conference where strategic church leaders are brought into transformative
dialogue with senior scientists and theologians, so that they can own science
as a key partner of theology and thereby of the Church’s ministry.
This work with senior leaders then gives
added importance to the creation and use of resources in science and theology
for the Church of England’s Common Awards programme. This began in September 2014 as a partnership
with Durham University and structures the vast majority of training for church
leadership in the UK involving 1500 students in the first year. It also gives a natural network and structure
for a new “Scientists in Congregations” programme for England; and for ongoing
support of senior church leaders in their thinking, media work and preaching.
The Fellow will be primarily based in the Church of England Mission and Public
Affairs team in Church House, London but will also be embedded in the research
team at St John’s College in Durham University.
This will involve frequent and regular visits to Durham. Management will be provided by the Durham
project leaders and by Revd Dr Malcolm Brown at Church House.
The Fellow will be responsible for:
Managing the project in close collaboration with the project leaders. This will include management of the
Postdoctoral Research Assistant who will be working on the three year research
on attitudes to science among clergy.
The delivery of theologically and scientifically informed research and consequent
resources as part of the Mission and Public Affairs team of the Church of
Assisting in the administration and delivery of conferences for key
religious leaders here in Durham
Managing the ‘Scientists in Congregations’ programme, liaising in
particular with senior church leaders
Creating resources for the Common Awards
Resources in the science and religion
dialogue are now present in a variety of UK locations. The network created by this project, with its
Durham base, however is an ideal place to provide specific resources for the
Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England, and then offered to other
senior church leaders across the different denominations and parachurches.
The employment on a three year initial contract
of a scientifically and theologically literate person (lay or ordained) who
understands key networks in the Church of England for three years is crucial to
this part of the project. This person
will constitute the central element of a bridge between senior leaders in the
Church of England and the resources of the project not only at Durham but on wider
scale. This Project Manager and Research
Fellow will become part of the Church of England Mission and Public Affairs
team and have a base both in Church House, London and Durham. The Fellow will therefore need to be in
sympathy with and supportive of the mission of churches in the UK.
This will lead to:
·Advising the Church’s social
policy advisors in the Mission and Public Affairs Division (MPA) to ensure that
position papers and media outputs are scientifically well-informed. There are many aspects of MPA’s work which the
presence of a scientifically literate person on the team, engaged with a wider
scientific community, will enhance. We
estimate that this will influence c. 30 papers and media releases over the
three year period..
·Working with MPA staff to
initiate the discussion of key scientific topics within the Church of England.
This will includepreparation of position papers on scientific issues for the
church. Within the next three years we see the need for theological work on
SETI, artificial intelligence, human enhancement, geoengineering and nuclear
energy among many others.
·Developing a virtual network of
senior church leaders with leading scientists, liaising in particular with
Christians in Science, the Faraday Institute and other key networks. We note in this that there are also
scientists who are not part of these networks who would be open to being
involved in this project. We will begin
this on the basis of personal relationships built through the conference
programme and support it through a virtual community hosted on our
·Being available to give media
advice to 200 senior church leaders on
the impact of science on the church
·Horizon scanning to alert
senior church leaders of forthcoming issues such as the discovery of Earth-like
planets and policy decisions on energy.
We estimate that this will lead to over 300 emails and web-posts over
the period of the project.
·Case studies for related
training resources in the Common Awards.
The successful candidate will be highly
motivated and able to work independently. This post is fixed term and is
available from April 1st 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter for
a period of 3 years.
Interested candidates should submit a CV and a cover letter detailing his/her
interest in the research and qualifications for the position.
·Management of the project
·Delivery of key resources
·Generate networks to achieve
the goals of the project
·Develop detailed programmes of
work and assess progress against the work plan.
·Liaise effectively with and
assist other members of the research team.
·Prepare monthly and quarterly
reports; participate in scheduled electronic and face-to-face meetings
·Advocate the resources of the
project at national and international conferences.
·Write or assist with the
writing of papers for publication in international journals and conference
Masters level qualification in science, social sciences or humanities
Excellent English language skills, both
written and verbal
Excellent team-working and interpersonal skills
Ability to work independently and exercise
Good time management skills and ability to
focus on the objectives of the project
Experience of managing a project
Doctoral level qualification in science,
social science or humanities
Expertise in delivery of a project
involving resources and research
Knowledge and understanding of church leadership structures and networks
Knowledge and understanding of theological
issues as they relate to science
Please apply via CV and covering letter to
David Wilkinson, St John’s College, 3
South Bailey, Durham DH1 3RJ (firstname.lastname@example.org) including
the names of three referees
5pm 30th January 2015.
Interviews will be held on 10th
February 2015 at Church House London
Shortlisted candidates will be asked to do
a ten minute presentation on ‘Key challenges and opportunities involved in this