School of Divinity

Bronwen Currie - BD Hons I, Systematic Theology and Ecclesiastical History 1989

Bronwen Currie studied for the BD degree.

Bronwen Currie

Current position: (retired) Computing Support Officer, New College

When I embarked upon my BD I had no particular career path in mind. Having made the wrong choices at A level and found myself on a maths and science track, I had dropped out of university the first time around after 6 months of a degree course I was hating.

It took 15 years for the interest in theology which had been sparked in my teens by my father, who at that point was training for the Anglican priesthood, to lead me back to full-time study.

The first lesson that New College taught me was not to make assumptions as to where my path might lead.

By the time I began my studies I had left the mainstream church and was re-examining my beliefs in quite a radical way. I was inspired and set alight by Noel O'Donoghue's teaching of Philosophical Theology, and then found a love of history kindled by the teaching of David Wright, Susan Hardman Moore and Andrew Ross.

The opportunity to enquire, to challenge, to explore my beliefs and to have them tested intellectually by a wonderful and varied set of students and teachers was something for which I was, and remain, immensely grateful.

I treasured all of my four years at New College and can still thumb through my honours dissertation on early Quaker theology, the researching and writing of which gave me an invaluable and informed understanding of my newly-discovered spiritual way, with some pride and some amazement that it was written by me!

Studying theology and ecclesiastical history taught me to think creatively, imaginatively and dispassionately and to express my conclusions coherently. I might have taken those studies further, but after ten years at home with small children followed by four very enjoyable years at New College, postgraduate study felt like something of an indulgence and I suspected that if I didn't get into the workplace soon I never would.

I got a job with SACRO, not on the basis of my academic qualifications but because I could work an Amstrad word-processor! In my ten years there I worked both in victim/offender mediation and in IT, developing a sort of twin-track career that eventually brought me back to New College for nine very happy years as Computing Support Officer.

I won't pretend that I have used my theological and historical training in any specific way in my post-BD career. What I have carried with me, however, is the enjoyment of learning and of exploring new ideas. And my fascination with history has stayed with me. Now that early retirement has freed up space in my life, maybe its time for a bit of indulgence.