A vibrant research ethos is a clear distinguishing feature of the Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) and its Graduate Research School. Whether you are a research student studying at the Graduate Research School or a new faculty member based in one of SCD’s Member Institutions or the Korean School of Theology, you will find that effective scholarship and the pursuit of research are highly valued and strongly supported across the SCD.
Excellence in research at the Sydney College of Divinity has been recognised by relevant Government agencies. In 2009, for example, the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) strongly commended the SCD for its ‘vibrant theological research culture’ and for ‘the support offered to research students and in particular to doctoral research students’, as well as its ‘culture of academic rigour, informed by scholarship drawn from across diverse theological traditions’. In 2016, when the SCD received self-accrediting status, the Tertiary Education Standards and Quality Agency (TEQSA) praised its strong research ethos, noting its ‘history of sustained scholarship’, which ‘impacts positively on teaching’, and its ‘active scholarly community’, which exists in a ‘supportive, collaborative environment’.
SCD has mounted research conferences each year since 2013 in theological education, public theology, and biblical, exegetical, and historical studies. Keynote speakers are internationally known scholars in their fields and conference proceedings have been published from each conference so far. Some of the Member Institutions and the Korean School of Theology have held research conferences of note. In addition, SCD also holds the Annual and Special Lectures on evenings in first and second semester each year, respectively, at which guest academics present new research for the general public and scholars. The redevelopment of the SCD Press in exciting new directions in 2017 represents another important expansion of the research culture. SCD’s Honorary Research Associates, invited academic colleagues from other institutions of note, provide, variously, occasional thesis supervision, contributions to SCD conferences, faculty professional development, and research advice.
SCD research students are encouraged to attend and offer papers at the SCD conferences and other academic conferences that are publicised within SCD. The SCD has partnered with four other national theological institutions in developing the annual Postgraduate Research Conference: Theology and Philosophy, where SCD research students are encouraged to offer papers or simply attend and meet other research students from across the sector.