Practical Theology and Ethnography


This module will be delivered in the 2018-2019 academic year


Bristol Baptist College


crosswalk Recent developments in the relationship between practical theology and ethnography have opened up important and fascinating opportunities for a deeper theological exploration of the cultures and spiritualties of particular local contexts and the development of missional practices which enable the Christian community to engage more deeply with the complexities of particular situations.

Drawing on these developments, this module will explore key theories, methods and practices which are fundamental for any Christian community that seeks to practice embodied approaches to mission based on theological ideas such as ‘incarnation’ and ‘neighbouring’. This includes an emphasis on training in and practical outworking of ethnographic approaches and techniques in relation to mission. Ideas about ethnography as Christian theology and spirituality will be used to develop ways of ‘seeing’: that is seeing the ways in which power is embodied in the particular social, cultural and spatial arrangements of a context; and seeing one’s ‘self’ in relation to those arrangements.

The module will be of interest to students who regard themselves as ‘practitioners’ and want to develop a more theologically rigorous approach to the challenges of their own particular place. It will also be of interest to those who are inspired by ‘incarnational’ or even ‘non-violent’ approaches to mission and realise that this calls for tools which will enable them to better explore a variety of social-cultural contexts.

For an informal conversation about study contact Mike Pears, Director of Urban Life,






Linking with urban areas across the UK

...Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham...