It's not about how we do church online but why & when we should or should not do it

What We Do

What does the Center for Digital Theology USA do?

We are a research center affiliated with Durham University with centers in Europe, Asia, and now the USA. Our staff write both academic papers and publications as well as writing for a more general audience. A report exploring some of our work on digital millennials and the Bible was recently published in partnership with Barna and Bible Society. We supervise postgraduate students researching at Durham and elsewhere. Our MediaLit course offers an excellent opportunity for those seeking an introduction to theological reflections and practical training on digital culture.

About the Center

The Centre for Digital Theology is a place of research, inquiry, translation, re-coding, and re-engineering between faiths millennia old and the contemporary digital world. We aim to research and to transform the theological conversation concerning digital culture and thereby be at the forefront of Digital Theology. Our research is both theoretical and applied – listening to voices from the public, from the pew and the academy, both a servant of the Church and a prophetic voice to the Church and society; developing the practical outcomes of our research into reports, resources and training opportunities. Apart from the in-house staff, the Center for Digital Theology includes a much more extensive network of people. Together we are all exploring the impact digital culture is making on contemporary pedagogy, the world of faith and discipleship, and on our engagement with the Bible and other sacred texts. Click here for further information.

Group Discussion on Digital Theology
What is Digital Theology?

What is Digital Theology?

A Working Definition

Digital Theology involves reflecting on the digitalization of society and its implications for Christian faith and practice. Technological innovations are causing a whole raft of social changes across many aspects of life in the twenty-first century. The Christian Church, too, like many other religions, is changing through its engagement with social media, its communication through websites, and increasing the use of digital technology in worship, in pastoral practice, and evangelism. The basic premise of Digital Theology is that this emerging digital culture is a new condition in which the church finds itself. This demands new theological conversations and new approaches. 

Who we are

Rev. Dr. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes

Rev. Dr. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes

Rev. Dr. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes

Rev. Dr. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes

The President of the Center for Digital Research USA. Andrew holds his Doctorate from Durham University and is currently the Senior Pastor at Roberts Park UMC. He holds a Research Fellowship at St John's College in Durham.
Key areas of interest include

  • Technology in worship and online worship production as an expression of the body of Christ. 
  • Discipleship in a digitally mediated church.
  • Technical Director of the Indiana United Methodist Church Conference annual gathering of clergy & laity.
  • Supervision of MA students in the USA undertaking the Masters in Digital Theology.
  • Development of the Center for Digital Theology as a center of excellence for ongoing research and a repository for academic work related to the studies.

Andrew began his working career in professional theater and broadcast television in several production roles. He then established his own production company and produced promotional and training videos and presentation courses for large corporate clients and television studios. After seven years in the Northumbria Police, where he headed up the video production unit and later in technical support, Andrew oversaw the technical aspects of the introduction of on-street CCTV surveillance in Newcastle upon Tyne and the broader force area. He was seconded to the Home Office to help advise on the use of CCTV in criminal cases. He now leads seminars: training courses and lectures on aspects of Digital Theology.


Rev. Dr. Pete Philips

Rev. Dr. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes

Rev. Dr. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes

Director of Research for the Center for Digital Theology USA. Pete is the Research Fellow in Digital Theology in the Department of Theology & Religion at Durham University in the UK.

Key areas of interest include:

  • Bible in the Digital Age
  • Human adaption /transhumanism/ imago dei research,
  • AI - and its use both as machine reading of texts and the more revolutionary general AI - authentic machine intelligence
  • Digital Humanities and its intersection with Theology in our research on Digital Theology.

During his time at the Center, Pete has pioneered new ways of exploring Theology among the Digital Humanities and also developed the world's first MA in Digital Theology, hosted within Durham University's suite of MA programs. Pete loves playing with tech, hacking new data, developing new opportunities for research. A lot of Pete's work takes him outside of Durham – working with the Church of England's Digital Team, exploring new funding opportunities, and speaking at major international conferences. With a background in New Testament teaching and research, Pete moved to St John's College, Durham, in 2008, taking up the challenge to foster and develop a cutting edge digital theology research program. The Center for Digital Theology in the UK was the outcome of that work - exploring Biblical Literacy, Preaching, and Communication in a Digital Age. He also taught NT in Cranmer Hall, supervised research students, and worked half-time for the Methodist Church in Great Britain as their Faith and Order Secretary.