BIAPT Stories

A Short History of BIAPT

by The Revd Dr David Lyall, President of BIAPT

Practical Theology is a discipline in transition. When I was a Divinity student in Edinburgh in the early nineteen sixties we were given a few lectures under this title but these were essentially of the ‘hints and tips’ variety, they were only for ordinands and they were certainly not part of an examinable discipline within the structures of the BD degree. There were hints on preaching and the conduct of worship and how to visit (without getting too involved). Today Practical Theology is an academic discipline in its own right and courses have flourished in Britain and elsewhere. We now have our own national organisation (BIAPT) and 1993 saw the inauguration of the International Academy of Practical Theology. What has brought about this change?

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Frankie Ward –  BIAPT 25 Years Celebration Dinner Address

Wednesday 10 July 2019

It was a heady conference – 1994. The first time I’d been with such a vibrant community where the welcome and friendship meant I felt I belonged, almost immediately. 

A heady conference: particularly as the phrase The Living Human Document took hold of my imagination – inspired by such as David Lyall and John Foskett, of blessed memory. 

A heady conference, as BIAPT was born, and we thrashed around the difference between pastoral and practical, seeking to honour roots, but also to bear fruit in different directions. 

A heady conference – but also one where, in the final session, we did theology from our bodies. Where is your theological passion located, I asked the participants? What does it mean for theology to be truly embodied in you?

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