Dr Rachel Starr

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Job Title Director of Studies (undergraduate programmes)
Methodist Tutor (Biblical Studies)
Email r.starr@queens.ac.uk
Telephone 0121 452 2622
Room no. Room 34, New Building

I have been a tutor at Queen’s since 2010, and was previously a tutor at the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme (STETS) in Salisbury.

In between, I spent three years in Buenos Aires completing doctoral studies at the Instituto Superior Evangélico de Estudios Teológicos (Instituto Universitario ISEDET). During this time, I volunteered with the Ecumenical Movement for Human Rights (MEDH), accompanying local human rights groups, or defensorías, which train women to challenge violence in the home and in public. My doctoral research uses women's experiences of domestic violence to interrogate Christian theologies of marriage. I graduated as Doctora en Teología (ThD) in 2013.

I completed my BA (Hons) in Theology at St John's College, Oxford and my Master of Sacred Theology at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

Despite my travels, I am originally from Wolverhampton and have worked for Christian Aid in Birmingham, so Queen's feels very much home ground.  

2013 Doctorado en Teología (ThD) Instituto Superior Evangélico de Estudios Teológicos (Instituto Universitario ISEDET), Buenos Aires  
1999 Master of Sacred Theology (STM) Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
1995 Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Theology St John’s College Oxford
Roles within Queen's

I teach undergraduate modules in the area of Hebrew Bible (Introduction to the Bible; Psalms; Genesis) and theology and gender. I teach an MA module in the area of global contextual theologies.

As a Methodist Tutor, I am part of the Centre for Ministerial Formation. I am personal tutor for Methodist ministerial students and am a member of the Queen’s Methodist Oversight Committee.

As Director of Studies (undergraduate programmes), I offer students guidance on the shape of their academic programme.

External roles and responsibilities

I am part of the Methodist Church and my Methodist identity has been shaped by the strong tradition of social engagement of the Methodist Church in Argentina, as well as by studying ecumenically alongside Roman Catholic and Protestant women in Latin America.

I am currently a member of the Common Awards TEI Forum (2014 onwards).

I have been appointed as a Bishops’ Reviewer for ministerial training, Quality in Formation (Church of England, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and Baptist Union) (2014 - 2020).

I am currently a member of the Methodist Church’s Ministerial Candidates Selection Committee (2012 onwards).

Research interests and supervision areas

From a single page of a GCSE textbook about the murder of Oscar Romero, my theological formation has been primarily in dialogue with Latin American theologians. On completion of my undergraduate studies, I travelled to Lima, Peru to explore liberation theologies, spending time with priests, religious sisters and community workers. I returned to Argentina to complete doctoral studies, learning from Latin American women theologians and their struggle against violence. I participated in the Teologanda network of women theologians, predominantly from the Roman Catholic Church, and presented a paper at their first Congreso in 2008. I worked with three women from Uruguay and Argentina to develop a journal article from our papers, all of which explored women’s experience of, and resistance to, everyday violence. My eventual doctoral focus on theologies of marriage was unexpected and opened up a relatively under-researched area within feminist theologies. I am currently developing my thesis into a book, which will bring into critical dialogue Argentine and English contexts of domestic violence and Catholic and Protestant theologies of marriage.

With David Holgate, a former colleague at STETS in Salisbury, I wrote an introductory guide to contextual biblical interpretation; which is being used as part of the Methodist Church’s new local preachers and worship leaders training course, and featured in Preach magazine’s book club series

I am interested in supervising doctoral dissertations on the following areas:

  • feminist, postcolonial and contextual theologies
  • theologies of migration
  • theological responses to violence against women
  • postcolonial and contextual interpretation of the Hebrew Bible.