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Read our latest news bulletin

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  1. Upcoming Deadlines
  2. Annual Conference for Theological Educators 2023
  3. Common Awards Webinar: Trauma, Theology and Pastoral Care
  4. Consultations – Step Marking, Misconduct, Classifications
  5. Seedcorn Grants: 2023 Call for Applications
  6. Durham University Board of Examiners (Overarching)
  7. New Student Registration Data (Late Entrants)
  8. Campus Card update
  9. TEI Invoices
  10. TEI Approved Concessions / Change of Registration Form
  11. Good Practice Story
  12. Staffing Update
  13. Further Information

1. Upcoming Deadlines

3rd February - Student Representative Information is published on Durham’s Common Awards website and the election opens

10th February - Deadline: TEIs to submit New Student Programme Registration data (late entrants)

16th February - CA Webinar: Trauma, Theology and Pastoral Care

27th February (approx.) - TEIs to receive Banner IDs for late entrants

1st March – Invoices issued to all TEIs (payment terms: 30 days)

2. The Annual Conference for Theological Educators 2023

The 2023 Annual Conference for Theological Educators will be taking place on July 3rd – 5th.

Please note, the conference will now be taking place in Hertfordshire at the High Leigh Conference Centre, and not in Durham as originally stated, due to Durham University’s summer congregation ceremony dates being moved to the same week as the conference.

The theme of the conference will be: 'Theological Education and the Environmental Crisis'

Speakers will include:

Norman Wirzba, author of This Sacred Life

Ruth Valerio, author of Saying Yes to Life

Martin Hodson, co-author of A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues

and Anupama Ranawana, author of Liberation for the Earth

Bookings will open on 17th April. 

Having experimented with a hybrid conference last year, we have decided this year to hold the conference onsite only, but then to run a series of webinars over the following academic year covering similar material, and where possible with the same speakers. The conference is for staff; the webinars will be for staff and students.

3. Common Awards Webinar - Trauma, Theology and Pastoral Care

The next Common Awards webinar is on Thursday 16th February 1.30-3pm, entitled 'Trauma, Theology and Pastoral Care' and will feature a conversation with Dr Delroy Hall and Dr Katie Cross.

Dr Hall is a counsellor with over 30 years experience in a range of settings including churches, the NHS and universities. His PhD focussed on black pastoral care in Britain and his recent book A Redemption Song (SCM press, 2021) address the themes of racial trauma, pastoral care and theology. Dr Katie Cross is Lecturer in Theology at the University of Aberdeen where one of her major research and teaching areas is feminist trauma theology. She has co-edited two books in this area including Bearing Witness: Intersectional Perspectives on Trauma Theology (SCM Press, 2022) and Feminist Trauma Theologies: Body, Scripture and Church in Critical Perspective (SCM Press, 2020).

Free tickets are available here:

4. Consultations – Step Marking, Misconduct, Classifications

We are pleased to announce the launch of three Common Awards consultations:

  1. consultation on whether Common Awards should move over to a Step Marking scheme
  2. consultation on revisions to the Common Awards Academic Misconduct Policy
  3. consultation on whether undergraduate Certificates and Diplomas should be classified

You can access all consultations from this page on our website.

We would welcome responses from TEI Management Committees on all consultations by Friday 31st March 2023, and would be grateful if feedback could include opinions from student as well as staff members of the Committees. You may submit your responses by email, or by using the online forms available on each consultation page. Please only submit one response per TEI, per consultation.

If you have already held your Spring TEI Management Committee meeting, we would be grateful if you could please give consideration to the consultations through alternative means, for example via electronic circulation, or through holding an extraordinary meeting. Thank you very much.

If you have any questions, or experience any issues accessing the consultation documents or online forms, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

5. Seedcorn Grants: 2023 Call for Applications

We are pleased to open applications to the 2023 round of Seedcorn Grant Applications. The deadline is 24 March 2023. Please read our Seedcorn Grant-Call for applications, and use our Seedcorn Grant-application form.

We are interested in proposals in any relevant area of research, but for this round we will give priority to projects in two areas:

  • theological education and mental health, and
  • diversity, inclusion and belonging

Further information on these, and our current research theme can be found on the Common Awards website.

6. Durham University Board of Examiners (Overarching)

The Overarching Board of Examiners have been provisionally set as September 4th (Summer) and December 1st (Winter), 2023.  If these dates change after the new Chair is appointed, TEIs will be advised.

We therefore ask that TEIs hold their own Board of Examiners no later than 4th August 2023 (Summer) and 3rd November 2023 (Winter). This allows the Common Awards Team enough time to process the data received from TEIs, and resolve any queries, before the Overarching Board of Examiners. However, please do let us know if these dates present any problems for your TEI.

7. New Student Registration Data (Late Entrants)

TEIs are to submit New Student Programme Registration data for late entrants by the 10th February.

Detailed guidance on this process is available on the Common Awards website  here.

8. Campus Card update

The University’s Computing and Information Services (CIS) team is responsible for the Common Awards campus card production, which is unfortunately taking longer than usual this year. Please be reassured we have escalated the issue with the CIS senior leadership team, and are doing all we can to get the campus cards to Common Awards students as soon as possible. We will be in touch with TEIs as soon as we have an update.

In the meantime, please see below information on TOTUM cards, which may be of interest to your students if they wish to access student discounts:

Common Awards students are all eligible for TOTUM cards. Students looking to request a card should be advised that they must contact their TEI directly, requesting a verification link. You will then need to contact the Team here and we will issue verification codes upon request. Students should be able to order TOTUM Cards to be delivered to their home address, rather than being posted to the University.

9. TEI Invoices

Thank you to all TEIs who reviewed the census data and informed us of any remaining errors in the records. Our Finance Team will be sending invoices to TEIs around 1st March 2023. The invoices will be based on a snapshot of student records data from 1st December; all changes communicated to us before 1st December will be reflected in the invoices.

As per the Standard Validation Contract, the TEIs were previously informed of the increase to the validation and per capita student fees in line with inflation. Please contact us if you have any further questions on this.

10. TEI Approved Concessions

TEIs are reminded that where concessions will result in a  ‘Change of Registration’ if approved, there is no need to send Durham a separate Change of Registration form; the student registration changes can be included at the bottom of the Concessions form.

However please do not send a Change of Registration form in place of a Concessions Request. Please find below a summary of when concessions require TEI approval (which should still be sent to Durham following approval), and which concessions need to be sent to Durham for approval:

Concessions which require TEI-level approval, and should be sent to Durham following TEI approval:

Programme transfer (within a TEI)

Suspension of studies

Readmission after withdrawal

Late entry to a programme or module

Concessions which require University-level approval:

Approval process: University-level

Non-standard admission

Exemption from programme requirements

Programme transfer (within a TEI)

Programme transfer (to another TEI)

Frequency of study

Suspension of studies

Extensions across two academic years

Thank you very much.

11. Good Practice Story

Mentoring Students in Effective Academic Writing 'A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.' Sidney Sheldon In the second in our series of Common Awards’ Best Practice Videos, Dr Andrew Hayes, Director of the Centre for Discipleship and Theology at The Queen’s Foundation, discusses a writing mentoring scheme for students. Writing can be incredibly challenging, as testified to by even the world’s greatest writers. To help overcome these challenges, the scheme offers bookable one-hour slots with an experienced writing mentor to focus exclusively upon providing support to improve academic writing skills for the whole range of students, regardless of their current level of confidence and ability. Click here to hear more about this scheme and how similar initiatives could be developed in other TEIs. The previous Best Practice video with Dr Ali Grey from the Cambridge Theological Federation discussing a distinctively theological approach to staff development can be found here

12. Staffing update

Dr Frances Clemson will unfortunately be leaving the Common Awards team in mid-March this year. She will be joining Christian Aid as their Faith Communications and Just Scripture Specialist.

The Department of Theology and Religion will shortly begin the process of recruiting for Frances’ replacement, and we will keep TEIs updated on progress. It is hoped that her successor will be in post by September 2023.

We will be contacting TEIs about new ULO arrangements in due course.

13. Further Information

The full 22/23 academic calendar is available here.

With thanks,

The Common Awards Team