Focusing on research plans and quality output

30 October 2019

The Sydney College of Divinity Research office ran the second Research Writers Workshop for 2019 from 24 – 25 October at Randwick in Sydney. The Workshop was led by Professor Neil Ormerod and Professor Jim Harrison.

Seven participants from the Sydney College of Divinity Member Institutions joined the workshop and presented their research proposals:

  • April MacNeill (NSW College of CPE)
  • David Shaw (Perth Bible College/Australian College of Christian Studies)
  • Debra Snoddy (Catholic Institute of Sydney)
  • Grenville Kent (ACOM)
  • Peter Laughlin (Australian College of Ministry)
  • Philip Kariatlis (St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College)
  • Samuel Kaldas (St Cyril’s Coptic Orthodox Theological College)


The topics covered a range of theological areas from trinitarian theology, to biblical exegesis, patristics, gender issues, and pastoral care.

From the feedback on the last workshop, various changes were made to the format of the two days, including extending the time available by half a day. Sessions on book publishing and on developing a research plan were included, in addition to the previous sessions on targeting quality journals and dealing with referees’ reports. A more extensive period for one-to-one mentoring of the participants was also included. These additions were appreciated by the new round of participants, who left the workshop with a renewed sense of purposefulness to their research activities. One thing that remained the same was an evening meal at a local Lebanese restaurant which was a great opportunity to talk about life more generally.

The main purpose of the Research Writers Workshop is to assist participants to become more intentional about their research activities, to focus more on the quality of their work, not just the quantity. This workshop concentrated on the development of a research plan extending over the upcoming three years to help focus on the larger picture, beyond the next output to something more substantial.

The Sydney College of Divinity continues to strive for excellence in research. Workshops like these, which have been introduced this year, are designed to grow our research culture to a more developed stance positioning us among the best.

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