Belfast Bible College
Belfast Bible College
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Dr Cynthia Bennett Brown

Dr Cynthia Bennett Brown


Lecturer in Systematic and Historical Theology

Cindy joined the staff at BBC in 2011 as Lecturer in Systematic and Historical Theology, having completed a PhD on the theological methodology of Emil Brunner at Queen’s University Belfast. She is originally from the United States, though since 1995 she has worked and studied in France, Canada, and Northern Ireland.

Along with lecturing Cindy is also the Advisor of Studies for the Cumbria at BBC. She is a member of the Society for the Study of Theology (UK) and the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics (UK), a board member for Southern Theological Seminaries (Argentina) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She serves on the Religious Studies Research Forum steering group at Queen’s and is a member of QUB Institute of Theology Committees.

Cindy is interested in taking on research students in the area of systematic theology and modern theology.  


Study Skills
Thinking Theologically
Christian Doctrine
Christian Faith in Historical Context
Christian Ethics
Personal Development III


Personal Encounter and the Theological Task
History of a Doctrine: Ecclesiology
History of a Doctrine: Atonement
Historical Events: 19th Century Britain

College Courses

Sacred Expressions: Theology and the Arts (winter 2015)
The Doctrine of Salvation (Women’s Study Fellowship)
Holy Habits: Sacraments for Today (2013)

Cindy's particular research interests revolve around modern theology, including trends, themes, and methodology since the nineteenth century. Her most specific focus is the work of Emil Brunner, his theological methodology and its relevance for the life and work of the church today. In relation to this focus she is also interested in the work of Karl Barth and Søren Kierkegaard as well the impact of the World Wars on the church and faith in Western Europe.

She has supervised or second-supervised MTh and PhD research in the areas of:
•    dispensationalism 
•    atonement theology 
•    German Confessing Church as the body of Christ
•    theatrical exploration of the doctrine of providence
•    non-violent atonement theology
•    Helmut Thielicke's theological thought from the standpoint of eschatology
•    Cardinal Ratzinger and ecumenical rapprochement 


(book chapter, forthcoming) ‘Reformational Relevance? Suffering and the Christian Faith for a Post-Christian Generation’

Believing Thinking, Bounded Theology: The Theological Methodology of Emil Brunner. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2015.


Brown, Cynthia Bennett. (book review) Theology in Scotland, Vol 22. No. 2, Autumn 2015: David Andrew Gilland, Law and Gospel in Emil Brunner’s Earlier Dialectical Theology (T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology, v 22, London: Bloomsbury, 2013). 

'The Personal Imperative of Revelation: Emil Brunner, Dogmatics and Theological Existence', Scottish Journal of Theology / Volume 65 / Issue 04 / November 2012, pp 421 – 434.

Academic Papers

‘Reformational Relevance? Christian Faith for a Post-Christian Generation’: Rutherford House Dogmatics Conference, Edinburgh, August 2017 

‘A Theological Framing of Gender’: Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Being Human lecture series, November 2016

(forthcoming) ‘Reformational Relevance: Christian Faith for a Post-Christian Generation’ at Rutherford House Dogmatics Conference, August 29-31, 2017, Edinburgh

2015: Society for the Study of Theology conference (Nottingham), seminar paper: "Arcana spiritus operatio: Brunner on the Spirit and the Church"

2013: QUB Institute of Theology Post-graduate Seminar: "Emil Brunner, dogmatics and theological existence"

2011: Society for the Study of Theology conference (York), seminar paper: "Does scripture's personal correspondence necessitate theology's personal commitment?"

2009: Society for the Study of Theology conference (the Netherlands): "Emil Brunner and the limits of the doctrine of the trinity"

2009: QUB Institute of Theology Postgraduate Seminar: "The impact of Søren Kierkegaard's existentialism on Emil Brunner's theology"


Before moving to Northern Ireland Cindy worked for ten years with a mission agency in France and a number of countries in Europe. This work afforded her a deep appreciation for cross-cultural life and work, as well as an acute awareness of the needs of the church in a post-Christian context. She believes strongly about the role the local church should play, does play, and must play in the work of God in the world. Towards this end she remains committed through her participation as an elder in her church as well as an active board member in Southern Theological Seminaries (, which is the only identified source of theological education in the Patagonian region of Argentina.

Cindy’s specific ministry roles outside of higher education have included preaching, evangelism, and Christian education; being a parish assistant, university chaplain, and youth worker; teaching at a mission Bible school, leading short-term mission trips, and mission promotion.