This page is for those who are taking part in TTG in 2016 from Glasgow, Dundee, Yorkshire and Birmingham (and from September East London) and also for those who were part of the Birmingham and Bristol pilot groups in 2015.

As you scan down the page you will see:

  • Theology-to-Go Overview
  • Session Outlines (including scanned copies of some of the reading material)
  • Resources and references that are recommended be each group in the course of discussion and added as the year progresses
  • Some of the materials used by the groups in 2015
  • Bibliography: a list of further reading and resources

We can all add to the page as we progress through the year.

  • This is an opportunity to put some of your own work ‘out there’ for other people to engage with – this could be a blog piece, dissertation, reflection, video, or some research on your own context.
  • What are you finding helpful? Can you share it with us? This could be a blog, film, book, journal article … It could be something that has helped you to understand some of the broader themes we are exploring such as Practical Theology or it could be something more focused, for example around prisons, ‘white’ estates or migration

If you would like items included on the page then please email them to our ever-helpful web and social media person Rob Schellert at



Welcome to Theology-to-Go. The following notes are intended to help you to make the most of our time together through the coming year. The notes below include a more detailed overview of the first four sessions. Notes for the final sessions will be provided later in the year.

TTG takes a conversational approach to doing theology and is therefore limited to about 10 people in a group. Conversation enables us all to benefit from the knowledge and experience brought by everyone and allows us to reflect more deeply on the particular situations and contexts that each of us is coming from. As the year progresses there will be opportunity for group members to explore issues relevant to their own place and to present some of their own pieces of work and it is helpful to be thinking in advance about particular areas you would like to research (if any).

The 8 sessions follow a curriculum that is designed to cover key areas in practical theology for those involved with work or mission in marginal or deprived contexts. Each session has recommended reading associated with it and I have tried to identify texts that relate most effectively to the challenges faced in a British urban context. The conversational approach depends on the group doing the reading beforehand and one of the aims of TTG is to encourage us to nurture the habit of reading well which includes taking quality time to read rather than at the low point of the day.

However (… being realistic) with the best intentions reading time may be squeezed so to help you out I have scanned a key chapter from each book (within legal limits). It is great if you can afford to buy the books – they will serve you well over time – but if not we are trying to have a couple of copies of each of the core books available at the library of a local partner organisation.

Whilst there are no set Biblical texts, the expectation is that we will find ourselves dwelling in certain texts as our conversation develops through the year. Some of these texts will be those that you bring to the group yourself that have been inspirational for your own engagement with the places you live and work in. Other key texts will be introduced through the course of the year. One important group of texts that we will explore are those that develop the theme of ‘seeing and perceiving’ and which are introduced in Isaiah 6 and then developed in the synoptic gospels (for example Matt 7:1-5, 13:10-18; Mark 8:14-38, 10:46-52; Luke 10:21-37).

We have a dedicated TTG webpage on which we will host all the material we use throughout the year. I hope this will become a helpful resource for books, websites, media pieces and some of our own work. The page works on a login basis so that materials are shared only with those in TTG groups around the country. You can access the page through the Urban Life website or by going directly to the page itself You will be provided with a username and password in the new year.

I hope these notes are helpful and not too daunting. If you have any questions do feel free to get in touch with me or one of the people who are co-hosting your group. I look forward to our journey together in 2016 – good conversation, growing friendships … and of course coffee!

Mike Pears

0780 4639120  /

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Augsburger, David. Dissident Discipleship: A Spirituality of Self-surrender, Love of God, and Love of Neighbor. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2006.

Bevans, Stephen B., and Roger P. Schroeder. Prophetic Dialogue: Reflections on Christian Mission Today. New York: Orbis, 2011.

Crang, Mike; Cook, Ian. Doing Ethnographies. London and California : SAGE, 2007.

Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger. London and New York: Routledge Classics, 2002.

Hauerwas, Stanley. The Peacable Kingdom: A Primaer in Christian Ethics. SCM, 1991, 2009.

Hauerwas, stanley, and John Vanier. Living Gently in a Violent World. Downers Grove, Il: IVP, 2008.

McClintock Fulkerson, Mary. Places of Redemption: Theology for a Worldly Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Morisy, Ann. Journeying Out: A New Approach to Christian Mission. London and New York: Morehouse, 2004.

Scharen, Christian , and Aana Marie Vigen, . Ethnography as Christian Theology and Ethics. London and New York: Continuum, 2011.

Shannahan, Chris. Voices from the Borderland: Re-imagining Cross-cultural Urban Theology in the Twenty-first Century. London: Equinox , 2010.

Sibley , David. Geographies of Exclusion. London and New York: Routledge , 1995.

Standing, Guy. The Precariat. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2011.

Vanier, Jean. Becoming Human. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist, 1998.

Veling, Terry A. Practical Theology: On Earth as It Is in Heaven. New York: Orbis, 2005.

Volf, Miroslav. Exclusoin and Embrace . Nashville: Abingdon, 1996.

Wacquant , Loic. Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality. Cambridge: Polity, 2008.

Ward, Pete, ed. Perspectives on Ecclesiology. Grand Rapids, MI. and Cambridge UK.: Eerdmans, 2012.

Wells, Samuel, and Marcia A Owen. Living Without Enemies. Downers Grove: IVP, 2011.

Christian involvement in marginalised communities and deprived urban areas raises all kinds of questions and challenges. Theology-to-go is about engaging with the important issues that arise out of everyday life in such places. It explores how theology, values, and the experience of everyday life shape our practical Christian involvement in tough places.

From January 2015 we are piloting Theology-to-Go groups in Birmingham and Bristol. This page is the designated space for the current Theology-to-Go groups and can be accessed by the login information you receive on joining a group. If you are not a member of a Theology-to-Go group and are interested in hosting one in your area, please do get in touch. 

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