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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009
    Save Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield
    This just in. The vice-chancellor needs to know what you think...
    Many students, academics and others associated with the discipline of Biblical Studies around the world have been shocked to hear of the news that the University of Sheffield is considering closing down the undergraduate program in the Biblical Studies Department.

    * The department of Biblical Studies should be saved because it has a worldwide reputation for being one of the finest places to engage in the discipline anywhere in the world as the staff are some of the leaders in the field (such as Dr James Crossley, Professor Hugh Pyper, Professor Cheryl Exum and Professor Keith Whitelam).

    * In the recent Research Assessment Exercise, all members of staff were recognized as producing international quality research and 65% of all work submitted was assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*). The Department is ranked third in the country on the basis of its 4* and 3* publications.

    * On international ratings alone the department is ranked joint first.

    * It boasts having some of the finest Biblical scholars in the world.

    * The closure of the undergraduate degree program would not only affect the University of Sheffield, but the discipline worldwide.

    * In the National Student Survey the department comes out as one of the best departments in the country. Graduating students always rate the department very highly.

    Academics, students and others associated with biblical studies and other disciplines have been sending in their letters of support. The team campaigning to keep the department open have had letters from every continent. The response so far has been overwhelming.

    Please use
    this website to find out why the Biblical Studies Department should not be shut down and to have your say.
    UPDATE 27 October 2009: The welcome news that due to the strong response to the university's proposal, the department has been saved: see here.