Creative Writing as Spiritual Practice
Online Practical Theology Short Courses
with Trinity College Glasgow & Theology & Religious Studies, University of Glasgow
This course will enable and support the use of creative writing as a means of theological reflection upon personal, spiritual and contemporary cultural experience. Each week participants will engage with key texts, undertake writing exercises, produce their own creative writing and share their work within small groups. By the end of the course they will have produced a piece of creative writing and a critical reflection on this for assessment and/or feedback. The ethos of the course will be supportive, participatory and require the engaged, respectful participation of all members.
This is an open access course available as a 10-credit course (accredited by the University of Glasgow) or audit-only for those who just wish to engage with the learning programme for their own personal benefit.
Note: This course is limited to 20 participants. You will be contacted after applications close on January 15th and before course fees are invoiced to confirm participation.
Prof Heather Walton is a writer and a practical theologian who uses her creative practice to explore contemporary spiritual challenges. She has published widely in both life writing and theological reflection and enjoys working in an interdisciplinary way across a range of fields. Her works include Not Eden: Spiritual Life Writing for this World, Writing Methods in Theological Reflection and Theological Reflection Methods (with Elaine Graham and Francis Ward). Heather is an elder in the Church of Scotland and she finds that the discipline of preaching continually renews both her academic and imaginative work.
Timetable & Duration
February 8th - April 5th, 2022
This course will take place online on Tuesday evenings, 7-9pm GMT.
This course will be taught over 9 weeks via online real-time meetings & instruction.
Introduction to the course
This course will cover the following topics although the order and concentration will be reflective of the particular circumstances and situations of participants in this course.
Starting with Writing
Writing your Life
Telling God's Story
When Words Fail
This course is suitable for learners from a wide variety of backgrounds including those new to university-level learning, and those already familiar with it.
Learners may choose to undertake assessments, and thus qualify for 10 credit points towards a Higher Education certificate or other Glasgow University approved programmes, or may engage with the learning programme for their own personal benefit without the final assessments. Graduates are equally welcome.
This course is conducted online. The directed online instruction will be explored in weekly real-time conversations along with materials and interaction using the learning platform, Moodle. Zoom as an online meeting tool will be used for the real-time conversations and online group times. Access to these tools will be supported by the course administration. More information about the use of these will be provided once enrolled. For technology you will need to have access to:
broadband/ wireless (at least 1.5 megabites per second up and download)
a computer with Dual core 2Ghz or higher and 4GB of RAM or Ipad with OS 13 or later,
minimum of Windows 7 or Mac 10.7.
a speaker and microphone, built in, USB or wireless Bluetooth
Webcam, built in or USB
Delivery & Assessment
Each class will be taught through a range of online discussion, exercises, and activities, viewing and reading. Each week participants will be introduced to a range of online materials, including video, articles, and tools for use or adapting to your own local context.
In addition, learners who enrol for credit will be able to access digitised materials, articles, and books via the University of Glasgow's library.
The formal assessment for this course is optional and consists of the following:
1250 word piece of creative writing (60%)
750 word critical reflective commentary (40%)
Support, guidance and feedback will be available for all assessment.
Completion of the course carries with it 10 Undergraduate credit points for those who wish to undertake the formal assessments. There is also the option to undertake the course for audit without certification.
£207 (this covers access to all resources and administrative costs).
Funds & Subsidies
Part-funding subsidies from Trinity College are available to leaders from Church of Scotland Priority Area (PA) parishes via separate application directly to us. To be considered for a subsidy email your interest to Principal of trinity College, firstname.lastname@example.org, by 31 January 2022.
Applicants should still register for the course by following the instructions under ‘How to Apply’ below. We are unable to provide the subsidy upfront so we ask you to pay the full fee initially and arrangements will be made for the subsidy as a direct grant subsequently.
Funds or subsidies may also be available through your own church for training or study purposes and we encourage you to approach them with the details of the course.
How to Apply
To register your interest, please email TrinityCollegeGlasgow@gmail.com with the name of the course that you wish to apply for. Formal applications will open shortly.
If you have any difficulties with this process – please contact Mark Johnston or Eleanor Hayes at: