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'Who am I?' is fundamentally a theological and pastoral question. It's one that resonates widely with issues of identity in contemporary culture. Yet without a robust understanding of the biblical teaching on the image of God, we often find ourselves scrambling in the messiness of ministry.

At the 2018 School of Theology we want to deepen and strengthen your exegetical, biblical-theological and practical grasp of this key doctrine and help you to apply it rigorously to ministry in the real world. As the programme for the day attests, the Oak Hill faculty have been thinking about this together and want to join up their academic, theological and ministry experience to further equip you.

The question 'Who am I?' directs us back to the God who made us, to the riches of his Word and then out into everything we do in ministry – evangelism, preaching, counselling, discipleship – with more satisfying answers rooted in our doctrine of the imago dei.

Download the programme for the day


The School of Theology includes three plenary sessions, plus three breakout sessions. In outline, the plenary sessions are:

Session 1: The Origin of the Image: Genesis 1-2
Eric Ortlund

What does it mean to be created in the image of God? The opening chapters of Genesis hold the key to a biblical view of human identity. In its original context, the imago dei is not an abstract concept but a royal figure. Humans as images are designed to represent, to relate and to reflect. The implications of this for human dignity, dominion, and destiny are immense, especially in a modern secular context.

Session 2: From Glory to Glory: A Biblical Theology of the Image of God
Brad Bitner

The identity given to humans at creation unfolds within the narrative of redemptive history. Images designed for glory are warped and broken by sin. Images divinely commissioned are re-scripted. Images stripped naked are re-clothed. Only in Jesus Christ, the true Image, are human images re-created to represent, relate and reflect according to design.

Session 3: Ministry Among Images
Graham Beynon

In this final session, we consider how the story of the image of God provides an orientation to ministry in understanding ourselves and those to whom we minister; the ministry values that flow from that story which guide how we act towards people; and the ministry direction the image of God gives us, which enriches and fills out our understanding of discipleship.


Attendees at the School of Theology are able to go to two out of the three breakout sessions, which take place between plenary sessions 2 and 3. These are:

Images of Sentimentality
Dan Strange

There is a sticky sentimentality which pervades our contemporary society. It's harmful to us as God's image bearers, individually and corporately, because it detaches us from reality. In this session we will explore how Christians and churches can connect and confront sentimentality with the truth of the gospel.

Images and Youth Culture
Mel Lacy

How can our youth ministry be shaped by a robust understanding of the doctrine of the imago dei? How do we affirm the God-given dignity of all of young people while maintaining a doctrine of sin? In this session we consider how to disciple young people in light of biblical teaching on the image of God.

Images Crossing Cultures
Dave Baldwin

In our multi-cultural society, the discontinuities between us surprise, arrest and shock us. In this session we discuss how corporate sin distorts our relations and breaks our connections and how the re-creating gospel of Jesus – the ultimate Image – is our only hope for cross-cultural mission.


On Tuesday evening, we'll be serving a hog roast between 6pm and 7pm. So whether you want to eat at the end of the School of Theology day, or arrive early for a Language Refresher (or both!), take the opportunity for a relaxed catch up over food on the College's back lawn.


Oak Hill School of Theology
Tuesday 10 July 2018

Bookings are now closed for this event.

plus language refreshers for ministry

Following the School of Theology, we are offering Language Refreshers for Ministry on 11 and 12 July, with a choice of Greek or Hebrew. Participants will spend two days covering the language they have chosen.

Click here to find out more.

Cancellations and refunds

Please note our policy for cancellations and refunds:

Cancel before 11 June 2018:
100% refund (excluding deposit)

Cancel in 11-25 June 2018:
50% refund (excluding deposit)

Cancel after 25 June: no refund


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