Owen May of RCF Wins Prominent Theological Prize

Owen May, one of the staff team at RCF, has won this year's Churches Together in England MA Mission Prize. The prize is awarded annually to high quality, recently passed MA theses.

Owen wrote his prizewinning thesis, A Theology of Mission for Scriptural Reasoning – Guesthood: The Good Samaritan, The Incarnation, and Mystery while studying an MA part-time over two years at Cranmer Hall, Durham. You can read the dissertation in full, here.

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Responding to his success, Owen said: “It’s wonderful news and totally unexpected. What is really encouraging is that more people are becoming interested in relationships between those of the Abrahamic faiths and finding ways into deeper understanding and friendship.”

Owen coordinates Scriptural Reasoning at RCF, alongside supporting Finance and HR. Owen joined RCF as a volunteer in 2015 before becoming its first staff member a year later, and has played a central role in helping the organisation to grow through many years.

There were more than 20 entries in this second year of the prize. These came from theological institutions ranging from Cliff College to Nazarene Theological college and from Ridley to All Nations. The entries were around a rich range of topics from neurodiversity in mission to the missional significance of mysticism. A shortlist of five dissertations was passed on to the judges, Dr Elizabeth Joy (Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and CTE Trustee) Victoria Turner (PhD Candidate at Edinburgh University and CTE Trustee) and Rev Dr Canon Nigel Rooms (Church Mission Society).

The winner receives a £100 cash gift and an opportunity for the MA to appear in an edited format (6,000 words) in the journal Ecclesial Futures now published in Diamond Open Access format with Radboud University Press in the Netherlands. 

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Rev Dr Canon Nigel Rooms said, “This piece of work was a sophisticated, original argument rooted in evangelicalism yet crossing boundaries into other traditions without giving up on the evangelical position – that was its real strength.”

Victoria Turner, another judge and CTE Trustee commented, “The discussion of scriptural reasoning and evangelism was sensitive, critical, creative and well researched. I am really impressed with the author’s balance of expressing evangelical mentality and also the importance of interfaith with mindfulness towards the receptivity of the “other.”

Dr Elizabeth Joy said, “the work was comprehensive, relevant, and ideal with the focus on hospitality.” 

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