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The Bible, Gender and Church Research Centre

The Bible, Gender and Church Research Centre 

What is it? 

The BGC Research Centre focuses on biblical and practical gender studies, and how these intersect and inform the lives of women and men in the contemporary church.

About the Centre

The Sophia Network’s ‘Minding the Gap’ report recently demonstrated that, although women make up 65 per cent of the church in the UK, 62 per cent of these women have experienced some form of sexism in church. More than half of the respondents also indicated that this was a problem that existed on an institutional rather than on an individual level. To see the full report, please click here. These statistics and others make it clear that research on gender, both in the Bible and the church, is sorely needed. The BGC Research Centre aims to foster research in biblical gender studies, as well as through various projects to affect change in the church and academia so that both women and men can be empowered to ‘live life to the full’.

The centre is a joint initiative between Cliff College and The University of Manchester.

The inaugural lecture for the BGC took place during Cliff Festival, on Monday the 27 May 2019. Rev’d Dr Susan Shooter delivered a lecture entitled ‘Yet in my Flesh Shall I See God: Researching Faith With Survivors of Abuse’. Please click here to see her book on the subject. This was followed by responses from Dr Holly Morse and Dr Kirsi Cobb, as well as a reception for all participants. To view the lecture and the responses, please go to


To celebrate the anniversary of the inaugural lecture, the BGC is launching a weekend course on Women in the Bible, taking place from the evening meal on Friday 15th May to lunchtime on Sunday 17th May 2020. The course is an exciting initiative with the Cliff College Short Course programme, available to anyone interested in discovering more about female characters and related topics in scripture. No previous experience is required, but an enquiring mind and a thirst to learn would be most welcome. Over the weekend Holly and I will be delivering  sessions focusing on subjects from Eve to Pauline texts and asking how these stories can be both interpreted and applied in our daily lives. For more information and to book your place, please see

You can read an interview with Dr Kirsi Cobb about the first year of the BGC Research Centre here.

Cliff College is a registered charity: No. 529386

Call: +44 (0) 1246 584200

Cliff College, Calver, Hope Valley, Sheffield, S32 3XG

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