Hi friends. As some of you know, I do a lot of teaching online. Beyond my local teaching, I have been a distance education instructor in a variety of forms for 16 years now. Continuing a series from last year, I want to highlight some of the places where I do my teaching. This week I am looking at Northwind Seminary, where I am a Distinguished Lecturer in Romantic Theology.
Northwind Seminary is already unique in that it is a program led by a number of senior scholars in various theological fields offering relatively low-cost and culturally connected graduate degrees in concentrations like Spiritual Formation and Faith-Based Community Development (as well as some traditional disciplines). In 2020, they launched the Romantic Theology concentration within their Doctor in Theology and Ministry degree. The brainchild of Dr. Michael Christensen, who wrote an early and important book on C.S. Lewis and scripture, the DTM is a creative and engaging program meeting a critically important niche at a very high level. Moreover, they have attached a strong group of core faculty and lecturers, among the most engaged Inklings scholars I know. It is an opportunity for a new way of resourcing a generation of thinkers and leaders by being immersed in the work and thought of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams.
As a “Distinguished Lecturer,” I come into the program offering lectures like “The Spiritual Theology of C.S. Lewis” and “Like the Falling of Small Stones: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Theology of the Small.” As it is both culturally aware and a theological approach to Inklings studies–or better, an Inklingsistic approach to theology–I am pretty curious about the Romantic Theology program and excited by everything I hear about it, including a strong inaugural class. Perhaps you might be interested in extending your studies and looking at this unique doctoral program.
You can read the original full press release for details in this PDF: Announcement of Romantic Theology.2020. You can check out their website at www.NorthwindSeminary.org or link to the Northwind Romantic Theology Facebook page where there are updates and announcements. And to hear a bit more in a personal way, check out this podcast discussion with Profs. Charlie Starr and Michael Christensen, hosted by William O’Flaherty at All About Jack.
Doctoral Program in Romantic Theology
The Doctor in Theology and Ministry degree (DTM) with a concentration in Romantic Theology at Northwind Seminary is believed to be the first of its kind in theological education. According to Professor Christensen, “Romantic Theology represents as cross-current of Theology and Literature focused on creative imagination as a portal of divine revelation. Its romantic and religious themes foster spiritual formation and ministry applications. The spirited collaboration of the Inkling writers produced a body of work worthy of the name.”
“A romantic theologian does not mean one who is romantic about theology, but one who is theological about romance, one who considers the theological implications of those experiences which are called romantic.”—C. S. Lewis in Essays Presented to Charles Williams
The Romantic Theology concentration offers life-long learners a formative way to read or review the creative works of the Oxford Inklings, do original research in the field of Inklings Studies, and contribute the future of Romantic Theology. The program features six core courses followed by an Oxford Pilgrimage to visit historic sites, meet other Inklings scholars, and do portfolio research in University libraries supervised by a faculty mentor at Northwind. Visiting Faculty and Distinguished Lecturers (noted Inklings scholars) serve as faculty mentors, discussion leaders, and doctoral committee members. The program is designed to be completed in two years.
Learn more about Romantic Theology as a discipline in this blog post from Center Director Michael J. Christensen.