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Pastoral and Social Studies

Our unique history and range of teaching in pastoral theology and allied disciplines has provided us with a strong profile in the UK and internationally.

The Pastoral and Social Studies Department currently has degree programmes in pastoral and practical theology, Christian spirituality, ethics, liturgy, canon law and psychology which includes a unique specialism in the psychology of religion. These academic disciplines provide an opportunity to reflect on our personal, social, political and ecclesial experiences and relationships in the context of faith.


The department's research focuses on:

  • Practical and pastoral theology: contemporary issues, Church and society
  • Contemporary ethical issues: moral imagination, business and finance
  • Spirituality
  • Psychology and sociology of religion: faith and personality, religion in secular society


The Heythrop Institute: Religion and Society provides critical reflection on contemporary issues and is both a resource and a stimulus for formulating Christian responses to the many complex questions that arise today.

The Religious Life Institute's mission is to foster a theological vision of Christian religious life through study and research.

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