The Sydney College of Divinity has justifiably acquired a reputation as an excellent research consortium and a leading intellectual and creative resource to the communities it serves. It is also characterised by a broad and balanced application of learning which focuses on preparing the next generation of Christian teachers and scholars.
The SCD has one of the largest bodies of theological staff in the country and it also possesses a number of excellent libraries. The number of postgraduate research scholars is also growing year by year across a broad range of theological disciplines, and the completion rate is high. One of the central aims of our College is to ‘encourage theological scholarship which is ecumenically sensitive and relevant to issues of culture and society in Australia and Oceania.’
All candidates have two supervisors, a principal supervisor and an associate supervisor. These are formally appointed by the SCD Research Committee. Normally, the principal supervisor will be a staff member of a Member Institution of the Sydney College of Divinity. Often candidates who have studied in the Sydney College of Divinity may already have ‘chosen’ a supervisor. Other candidates may have a topic in mind but no supervisor. In both cases, the Director of Research can offer advice. Candidates usually make an approach to the hoped-for supervisor and request the committee to appoint that person.
All candidates for SCD research degrees participate in Research Seminars which are held monthly in the evening. Students living beyond Sydney are asked to attend in person at least once a year and otherwise to attend some seminars by electronic means. As well as contributing to the development of each person’s research capacity and skills, these seminars allow students who are often carrying out their work alone to experience membership of a community of scholars and make friends with other people in a similar position.
Each research degree candidate will be asked to nominate as a home library, one of the Sydney College of Divinity libraries. This enables the supervisor and candidate to build up research resources in the topic area of the candidate using a Research Degree Library Resources Grant to the library from the Sydney College of Divinity. The grant is made to the nominated library each semester the candidate is enrolled. As well, the nomination of a home library allows for a reciprocal arrangement between the candidate and Macquarie University.
Some of the SCD libraries have specific and unique collections which may be of interest to students studying in a particular area. To find out more about the strengths of each library collection candidates should speak with their supervisor, or the college librarians. An overview of the library collections is available in the SCD Libraries Brochure.
SCD research candidates will also have access to all SCD libraries. Each SCD Member Institution has an individual library which supports the educational requirements of students and staff by providing accessible information in the form of books, periodicals and electronic resources. However, the individual libraries also work together and students can access any SCD library via a common web portal. Research candidates will find that the online portal enables them to easily search the full range of library holdings across all SCD libraries. Access online portal.
Research candidates can arrange to borrow items from any SCD library. Candidates should complete the Reciprocal Borrowing Form which is available at each SCD library or download the form here.