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Archbishop awards Lambeth Diplomas

Thursday 20th May 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, awarded Lambeth Diplomas to Elisabeth Brewitt-Taylor, Charles Farrar, Jeff Morgan and Stephen Edgar.

The presentation of the Diplomas was part of a Theological Education event at Lambeth Palace, which included a lecture by Dr Leslie Griffiths based on his autobiography "A View from the Edge"

The Lambeth Diploma of Student in Theology was instituted in 1905 by Archbishop Randall Davidson.  The Archbishop’s concern, and that of Miss Gladys Bevan who pioneered the idea, was to provide the opportunity for women to study and become proficient in theology, principally so that those who taught religious education were equipped with a high standard of biblical and religious knowledge fitting for their work. What was created was a comparatively rare thing, an advanced qualification which could be undertaken by women who until this time (in practice if not in theory) had been largely excluded from the field of advanced theology.  It took nearly forty years, however, and the arrival of Archbishop William Temple to finally agree that the same opportunity should be made available to men, and to secondary school teachers in particular. Originally the Diploma was only taken by examination but the thesis option was created for those who already had some appropriate theological qualification. 

Elisabeth Brewitt-Taylor completed the Diploma by examination, and produced a dissertation entitled "Fresh Expressions: Friend or Foe", examining a movement which seeks to be a bridge to today's society by by using contemporary methods of communication to present the good news about Jesus Christ.Lambeth Diploma recipient Elisabeth Brewitt-Taylor with Archbishop Rowan Williams
Charles Farrar attained his Diploma via the thesis route, writing on "The Life and Work of Archdeacon Erasmus Lafayette Baskervill". Baskervill was one of the first black archdeacons in the Episocpal Church.Lambeth Diploma recipient Charles Farrer with Archbishop Rowan Williams
Jeff Morgan's thesis, entitled "Aspects of Protestant Catachesis in the Tudor Period", looked in detail at one of the methods that English Protestant clergy used to persuade people to move from Roman Catholicism into an acceptance of the Protestant faith.

Lambeth Diploma recipient with Archbishop Rowan Williams

Stephen Edgar's thesis was "The radical coherance and pastoral effectiveness of the open theism model", which compared the open theism model of God with models advanced by classical theism.

Lambeth Diploma recipient with Archbishop Rowan Williams

 Lambeth Diploma recipients at Lambeth Palace

L-R: Revd Canon Dr Maureen Palmer (AET Academic Registrar), Mr Charles Farrar, Mrs Elisabeth Brewitt-Taylor, Archbishop Rowan Williams, Mr Jeff Morgan, Dr Stephen Edgar, Revd Dr Martin Kitchen (Director, AET). 


Note: Since 2007, the Lambeth Diploma and Lambeth MA are no longer offered by the Archbishop's Examination in Theology (AET) because of the launch of MPhil/PhD research degrees. The research degrees programme has been developed with Quality Assuarance Agency requirements and general university standards in mind.

The Archbishop of Canterbury enjoys the right to grant these degrees by an Act of Parliament in 1533. This act gave Archbishop Cranmer the right to grant dispensations previously granted by the Pope.

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