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Jack - background to the PhD
Name: Jack
PhD discipline: Theology
Area(s) of work: University teaching; religious ministry
Year of graduation: 1995
Date of Interview: 29/07/2009

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Jack recounts how he came to embark on a PhD.

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I came to Oxford from a, what you might think of as quite a non-Oxford background. I came from a school which didn't send people to Oxford or was at all used to that idea and I was sort of sickeningly captivated by academic life in rather a sweet sort of way. I mean I can patronise myself about it but I was a very dedicated student who was very, very interested in what he was doing and I suppose I saw postgraduate work chiefly as an opportunity to further that so it was really something that I was doing that I was interested in and there was the opportunity to do more of it. I didn't take the decision to do a doctorate as, as it were, a career decision though at that point I was still thinking that perhaps I'd like to go into the academic life. And it was during my time doing research; there wasn't anything about the research that turned me off academic life per se but I think I was always clear that whatever I did was going to be something in the church and that if I ended up working in a church or an institution that was academically related then that would be a sort of a bonus as it were. And in that respect, I suppose doing the doctorate gave me more options, with hindsight it gave me more options as to the sort of places where I might work or where I might minister in the Church of England specifically. But I didn't decide to do it for that reason because I hadn't decided what I was going to do with my life at that point.

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