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The Hull and District Theological Society

Hull & District Theological SocietyThe Society exists to bring together academic theology, as studied and taught at university, and the ‘everyday’ theology which all Christians do whenever they worship, share the Gospel, or live out their discipleship in the world.  This is achieved by a programme of lectures, day schools, and panel discussions.  During nearly sixty years of the Society’s existence, the worlds of the Academy and the Church have sometimes seemed poles apart; but our members (who include lecturers and students, clergy and laity, and non-Christians) know how mutually enriching it can be when they come together.


The Archbishop of York as Patron

As someone at home in both worlds, through his rigorous academic training and his renowned pastoral focus, Dr Sentamu is an inspirational figurehead who exemplifies the vision of the Hull and District Theological Society and we are very grateful for his patronage.  Our first Patron, Archbishop Michael Ramsey (later Archbishop of Canterbury), was an enthusiastic supporter, and gave the Society’s inaugural lecture in 1957.  Since then, all the Primates of England up to Archbishop Sentamu have addressed the Society at least once. 


What do we do?

The vast majority of The Hull and District Theological Society meetings focus on aspects of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, with Biblical Studies, Church History, Historical Theology, Doctrine, and Practical Theology (including Christian Ethics) all well represented.  However, since the Society’s purpose is to reflect the full range of theology as it is taught in UK universities, from time to time we explore other religious traditions, covering topics such as new-age spirituality in the English north-west, Hinduism in Leeds, Islam in Britain, and Buddhism in Japan.  Our speakers are mainly leading academics from UK universities or abroad, at the cutting-edge of their respective fields, with occasional contributions from church leaders and our own members.  The opportunity to discuss issues with the speaker, either formally in the meeting or informally over coffee, is a valued tradition of the Society.


What do we achieve?

The Society hopes to provide common ground on which academic and everyday theologians can meet. The Society meets in a university, which ensures that no one doctrinal party-line can be pushed and that no avenue of academic inquiry is shut off: the Society is ecumenical, inter-denominational, and non-aligned. Audiences consist mostly of local clergy and laity, which means that academic theologians are able to test out the implications of their theories and discoveries with practitioners.  Visiting speakers often tell us that they feel they learn more from the experience than they impart, while our audiences relish the opportunity of quizzing some of the leading theologians of our day.


Want to know more?

The Society meets monthly during university term-time at the University of Hull.  Everyone is welcome, though non-members are asked to make a small contribution towards expenses.  More details about the Society, including the current programme, can be found on the Society’s website,


The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has been Patron of Hull & District Theological Society since 2006.