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Durham e-Theses
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Watching Over one another in Love:
Methodist Superintendents and Oversight in the Church

COCKLING, IAN,NEIL (2015) Watching Over one another in Love:
Methodist Superintendents and Oversight in the Church.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The thesis tests the claim that superintendent ministers in the Methodist Church of Great Britain exercise an effective ministry of personal oversight which is pivotal in the church’s life, and which makes a distinctive contribution to the Christian understanding of episkopé.
The thesis describes empirical, exploratory research into the nature, operant practice and understanding of superintendency which was focused on the Newcastle upon Tyne District of the Methodist Church during 2011-2012. Data was gathered by means of triangulated interviews of superintendents, their colleagues, and the lay leaders of circuits, the circuit stewards.
Using the model of ‘Theology in Four Voices’ developed by Heythrop College’s Action Research: Church and Society Project, the thesis captures the conversation between the espoused understandings of ‘ordinary theologians’, the operant theology disclosed in practice, and the normative theology of the Methodist Conference, focusing on the 2005 statement What is a Circuit Superintendent?
The thesis argues that the role of the superintendent minister has enduring value in the Methodist Church of Great Britain only insofar as the superintendent inculcates a connexionalism in the local circuit which includes inclusive, empowering and participatory leadership of everyone in the life of the church; which exercises personal oversight in both collegial and communal contexts; and which permits devolved episkopé to colleagues who are trained and trusted to lead local churches.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Theology and Ministry
Keywords:episkope; episcope; superintendent; superintendency; oversight; Methodist Church; connexionalism; connectionalism; leadership; collegial; conciliar; communal; representative; participatory; Action Research Church and Society; Theology in Four Voices; espoused theology; operant theology; normative theology; practical theology
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Jan 2016 08:56

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