Congratulations to The Revd Steve Sheppard who completed his MA at Sarum in 2016, and will embark on a doctorate in practical theology (DTh) at Roehampton University.
The pastor of Waters Edge Elim Church in Poole plans to develop his Sarum dissertation on ideas formed from his 17 years as an iron worker.
His dissertation, ‘I’m an iron worker you can trust me’ explores a model of leadership and teamwork amongst ironworkers.
Steve smiles wryly as he recalls the collective gasp – ‘like “who’s this?”‘ – when he walked into that first module in cut-off jeans, the engine of his Harley Davidson cooling in the car park.
As there were no academic records of study in the area, Steve used photos and articles, historical narratives and says he is grateful for the College’s willingness to support his research without a scholarly back catalogue.
In his conclusion, Steve states: ‘Despite the lack of academic writing on this subject … mutual trust has always been an essential central component in the work ethic of many generations of ironworkers…. Their contribution to the advancement of ironwork mastery which resulted in the Industrial Revolution, not only provided the world with a trusted material to build with, but laid a foundation for the future development of mutual trust in leadership and teamwork. ‘
Steve plans to expand his dissertation into a book complete with some of those familiar and iconic images of ironworkers in high risk settings.
‘Not bad for a former iron worker who didn’t even get an O level,’ he says.
Not bad at all. Congratulations, Steve.