On Saturday 6th October, Professor Katherine Southwood and the St John’s Access and Outreach team hosted a Theology Study Day for students from a variety of backgrounds.
The Theology Study Day offered A-Level students an insight into the Theology course at the University of Oxford and focused primarily on biblical studies and religious literacy, with an introduction to ancient Semitic languages. The students really enjoyed getting their teeth into learning the Hebrew alphabet and had all successfully memorised the characters by the end of the session. This language-focused class not only introduced the students to the important linguistic aspect of theological studies, but also demonstrated how learning ancient texts, scripts and languages, is entirely achievable given the right support.
Students had the exciting opportunity to delve into a selection of manuscripts and early printed books from St John’s Old Library, including a 16th-century polyglot edition of the Psalms. The small group size and bespoke delivery made for an informal day in which there was plenty of time for questions and everyone loved making the Ugaritic inscriptions on clay, although it was a bit messy!
Those who attended were provided with materials in the form of study packs to take home; source material and questions which could be used to consolidate and develop on what had been learned during the study day. The participants also benefited from the opportunity to meet current Undergraduate and Graduate students and have a look around the historic spaces of St John’s.
Of all the Year 13 students who attended the study day, 83% went on to make applications to read either Theology or Theology & Philosophy at Oxford, all of whom have been shortlisted. These study days are a great opportunity for any prospective applicants interested in increasing their subject knowledge, study skills and pushing themselves academically. St John’s Access and Outreach team will be running several study days in different subjects this year for those interested in attending. Get in touch for more details by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped out!