Tearfund’s Young Theologians

Third-year ordinand Laura Symon, from the Diocese of Moray, Ross & Caithness writes: 

On Monday 3 July, I had the absolute joy of attending the first online gathering of Tearfund’s Young Theologians Programme 2023 — an afternoon connecting with young emerging theological thinkers and practitioners spread across the globe, from Scotland to Kenya, Columbia to the Philippines

Several months ago, I heard that Tearfund (https://www.tearfund.org/about-us/our-vision-and-values) — a Christian charity working to end extreme poverty and injustice by responding to emergencies, challenging systemic injustice and empowering churches to transform communities — were seeking applications from young theologians to be a part of their Young Theologians Programme. I applied with the support of SEI, and now am delighted to now be a part of their number!  

This year’s cohort is made up of fifteen young (18–30) emerging theologians from all over the world. Assisted by Tearfund staff, these students will journey together for the next two years as part of a learning and development community. Through the programme, it is hoped that we will develop into ‘established, credible and respected thinkers, communicators and practitioners who influence the church, in theology and praxis, towards integral mission expressions of Christian faith.’ 

Over the next two years, we will attend online learning gatherings, personal development meetings and teaching sessions. One of Tearfund’s aims through this project is to promote the voices of young theologians to contribute to a power shift in theological circles; and to amplify voices from the margins to challenge a status quo that contributes to systemic injustice. And so, rather excitingly, we will be encouraged and supported to contribute to conferences and publications relating to the areas of development, justice and poverty alleviation.  I’m delighted to join this group of young (or in my case, young-ish!) people, and to learn from their experience and expertise over the next two years – alongside the team at Tearfund, a charity I have admired for many years. This is a wonderful opportunity to integrate all that I am learning at SEI with a globally-influenced integral understanding of mission, and to be a part of a new international community.’

Photo courtesy of Ross Stirling-Young