Humanity’s deepest questions concern truth and meaning, wisdom and worship, justice and reconciliation.
Our students choose to read Theology and Religion, or Philosophy and Theology, as a way to engage with questions central to human experience. In the process they find themselves acquiring the sorts of skills of critical thought and reflection that equip them for a remarkably rich variety of future pursuits in the service of teaching or research, of business or government, of the arts or international development, of religious ministry or the charitable sector.
For further information about the two courses at Oxford, see the Faculty of Theology and Religion website and the Theology and Religion and Philosophy and Theology pages on the Oxford University website.
At Keble: 4 (Theology and Religion) + 3 (Philosophy and Theology)
At Oxford: 32 + 29
Past Admissions Feedback
Every year tutors prepare detailed feedback about the admissions process.
Links to the text from the last three years can be found below.
The Course at Keble
There are few colleges as well-placed as Keble for library access and the main teaching centres for these courses: the Faculty of Theology and Religion, and the Philosophy and Theology library, are both five minutes’ walk in one direction; and the Bodleian Library and Examination Schools are five to ten minutes’ walk in the other direction.
Research seminars in New Testament studies and Church History are held regularly at Keble, and together with Westminster Abbey, Keble hosts the annual Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture on spirituality. There are two teaching fellows in the fields of New Testament and Early Modern Christianities, and a professorial fellow, the Dean Ireland Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture. The Chaplain is another fellow engaged in theological research. In Philosophy, Keble has one Tutorial Fellow and a professorial fellow, the Professor of Ancient Philosophy.
Whether you are taking Theology and Religion or Philosophy and Theology at Keble, you will often be taught together at the start of the course. Later on you’ll become more specialised and you may interact with students on the other joint courses with philosophy – in Modern Languages and Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). There’s a large group – generally around seven each year – on the two degrees, plus a sizeable number of graduates. This scholarly community provides multiple levels of academic support, and ensures there is always a lively exchange of ideas.
It is not necessary to have a particular religious affiliation to read Theology at Keble – or any affiliation at all. The qualities we’re looking for in applicants, as well as academic excellence, include an appreciation of the importance of historical, literary and theological questions and a general empathy with the subject. Many will combine this with a desire to explore further and to ask constructive and critical questions about their own religious faith.
Theology Essay Competition
We are running an essay competition to encourage more interest in Theology and Religion in schools, and to offer an opportunity for students to consider in more depth questions of contemporary and historical significance. The top prize is £300. Smaller prizes will be awarded to runners-up. The deadline for submissions is 10th June 2022.