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Cranmer Hall, St John’s College,

3 South Bailey, Durham DH1 3RJ

Dr Samuel Tranter

Sam is Director of Postgraduate Studies at Cranmer Hall, having joined the team in the summer of 2020. Within this role, he is responsible for overseeing the Durham MA in Theology and Ministry and (with Prof Pete Ward) co-directing the Durham Doctor of Theology and Ministry programme. His writing and research interests are in the areas of doctrinal, moral/political, and practical/pastoral theology – often at the interfaces of these disciplines, and always as they are informed by Scripture and tradition, and the practice of the Christian life.

At Cranmer, Sam collaborates with colleagues in MA teaching – especially Theological and Practical Reflection for Mission and Ministry – and in the taught components of the DThM programme, as well as in the supervision of research students. He is presently developing an MA module to run in future years entitled something like ‘Christian Doctrine in the Life of the Church’.

At undergraduate level, Sam co-leads the modules Introducing Theological Reflection and Gender, Sexuality, and Ministry, and joins the conversation for a session or two in a few other modules: Topics in Christian Doctrine (where he teaches eschatology), Christian Faith and Ethical Living (on the theology of work, and on environmental ethics), and Global Theologies (talking about Asian theologies). He also contributes a session to the Department of Theology and Religion MA module Anglican Theology in Context (this year focusing on the contemporary theologian Katherine Sonderegger).

In terms of background, Sam is Lancastrian (so too in sporting allegiances, come rain or shine – or more rain), but comes from a mission and ministry family and spent much of his childhood in Asia (Bhutan and Indonesia) and around the UK. He came to a personal response to God’s gentle, persistent call as a teenager following a period of serious illness and some months in hospital.

Sam studied for his first degrees in theology in Aberdeen, where he also met his wife, Alex McKay, who at that time discovered a vocation in work with adults with learning disabilities. A little later Sam came to Durham to undertake AHRC-funded doctoral research, which eventuated in the publication of a book based on the thesis, entitled Oliver O’Donovan’s Moral Theology: Tensions and Triumphs (London/New York: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2020). Sam and Alex’s daughter Aithne was born in Durham (and is named after the Northern saint, Aidan).

Sam’s first steps in teaching, during doctoral studies, were in the North East, at Lindisfarne College of Theology; more recently he taught at St Hild College, Yorkshire. In between, Sam and his family spent a year in Southeast Asia, where he was Lecturer in Theology and Pastoral Tutor at an Anglican/ecumenical theological college.

Sam is an Associate Director of Durham’s Michael Ramsey Centre for Anglican Studies and currently serves on the Committee of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics as Conference Secretary. He has reviewed books for journals including Studies in Christian Ethics, Anglican Theological Review, Irish Theological Quarterly, The Expository Times, Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology, and Reviews in Religion and Theology. For an example of some other published work, see the co-authored article ‘Ethnography, Ecclesiology, and the Ethics of Everyday Life: A Conversation with the Work of Michael Banner’, Ecclesial Practices 5 (2018): 157–71.

He can be contacted at samuel.tranter@durham.ac.uk .

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