Adelaide theology graduate awarded University Medal by Charles Sturt


Adelaide theology graduate awarded University Medal by Charles Sturt

Reverend Ruth Mathieson will be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy and a Higher Degree by Research Medal at her graduation on Monday 9 December.

  • Charles Sturt to award Higher Degree by Research Medal to theology graduate Reverend Ruth Mathieson at her graduation on Monday 9 December
  • The Adelaide-based Anglican Priest will be awarded the University Medal for her PhD research in the discipline of Biblical Studies
  • The Medal recognises Rev'd Mathieson’s outstanding academic performance and research during her studies at Charles Sturt

Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) will soon award a student from Adelaide with the University’s highest level of qualification and highest honour the University Council can confer on a graduate.

Reverend Ruth MathiesonCharles Sturt student Reverend Ruth Mathieson (pictured), an Anglican Priest in the Diocese of the Adelaide, will graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy and be awarded the prestigious Higher Degree by Research Medal at Charles Sturt’s graduation ceremony in Canberra on Monday 9 December.

Rev’d Mathieson’s PhD study in the discipline of Biblical Studies titled, ‘Dress Code for Heaven? Exploring the Textures of the Parable of the Royal Wedding Feast (Matt 22:1–14)’ for which she will receive both awards, was undertaken with the Charles Sturt School of Theology.

Rev’d Mathieson said she is honoured to be awarded a University Medal and is looking forward to accepting both awards at her graduation in Canberra.

“Being awarded the Higher Degree by Research University Medal is a very special honour for me as it has taken me time to develop as a researcher and writer,” she said.

“I undertook a Master’s degree in Ministry after a long gap from study to provide an opportunity for me to become acquainted with latest developments and to test whether I could research and write in a sufficiently academic manner to undertake doctoral studies.

“The awarding of the Higher Degree by Research Medal recognises the accomplishments I have achieved through persistent dedication to my studies, even when failing to achieve sufficient progress one semester and eventually pushing through the limits of my ability.”

Speaking of her PhD research, Rev’d Mathieson said she chose to explore the Parable of the Royal Wedding Feast in the Gospel of Matthew after she became increasing concerned with the troubling ending of this and several other Matthean parables.

“I chose to apply Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation, as developed by Vernon Robbins, to explore the inner-, inter-, socio-cultural, ideological and sacred textures of this parable,” Rev’d Mathieson said.

“This involved viewing it through different reading lenses and employing a variety of methods including literary, narrative, historical, social-scientific, postcolonial and theological.”

During her study, Rev’d Mathieson’s supervisors were Associate Professor David Neville from Charles Sturt and Rev’d Associate Professor Matthew Anstey now from Alphacrucis College, both of whom she said provided her with great assistance.

“I am very privileged to have had these respected biblical scholars as my supervisors,” she said.

“During this study, my primary supervisor, Professor Neville, provided unfailing encouragement and support in all our interactions and would always read drafts carefully, identifying copyediting errors and providing considered critique of the content of my writing.”

Professor Neville said, ”During the course of her doctoral program of study, Rev’d Mathieson demonstrated commendable dedication to her research, so the University Medal is apt recognition of her diligence, perseverance and originality.

“Her thesis turned out to be a genuinely explorative and innovative study that broke new interpretive ground on an intractable Gospel parable, so it was a privilege both to guide her research project and to learn from it myself.”

Even though the Faculty of Arts and Education PhD graduate has achieved the University’s highest level of qualification, Rev’d Mathieson still has plans to study, research and broaden her knowledge of Biblical Studies.

“Since completing my PhD I have commenced a position as parish priest at St Bede’s Semaphore, where I hope my studies have a positive impact on my preaching, pastoral work and bible study preparation,” she said.

“I am preparing my thesis for publication as a monograph in the Emory Studies of Early Christianity Series published by the Society for Biblical Literature.

“I will continue to present papers for biblical studies conferences and plan to prepare a couple of these as peer-reviewed journal article submissions.”

Charles Sturt will host a graduation ceremony in Canberra on Monday 9 December at 9.30am at St Paul's Anglican Church.

Charles Sturt awards one Higher Degree by Research University Medal to one Doctoral student per Faculty in each academic year on the basis of the assessment by at least two examiners that their thesis is at a level consistent with the award of a University Medal.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Rev’d Ruth Mathieson, contact Rebecca Tomkins at Charles Sturt Media on 02 6365 7111 or

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Canberra Charles Sturt University Research Religion and Ethics