Personal Identity and the Bible


Pre-reading, intensive, 26 contact hours; 6 credit points (standard pathway) or 4 credit points (accelerated pathway)
This unit is taught as part of Ridley’s MA Gold program and may only be taken by those enrolled in the ACT MA degree or nested awards (GradCertTheol/Min or GradDipTheol/Min)
8,000 words (standard pathway); 7,000 word (accelerated pathway)
To be advised. Contact the College Registrar to indicate your expression of interest registrar@ridley.edu.au
Brian Rosner

Who are you? What defines you? What makes you, you?

Traditionally, a person’s identity was more predetermined than it is today: where you would live, what you would do, the type of person you would marry, your basic beliefs, and so on. In recent years, identity has increasingly become a do-it-yourself project. Despite the attractive possibilities that this raises, many factors weigh against finding a stable and satisfying sense of self. Many people today suffer from identity angst and being true to yourself can seem more like a cruel taunt than a piece of realistic advice.

Along with exploring the process of identity formation in our day this subject considers the teaching of the Bible on the subject of personal identity.  Key concepts include being made in the image of God, being known by God, union with Christ, the role of memory and destiny, and the function of various aspects of the church life in confirming the identity of believers in Christ.  The links between identity and conduct and the task of faithful preaching on personal identity in our day will also be explored.

Children’s and Youth Ministry Stream
Graham Stanton, Ridley Lecturer in Practical Theology will also offer his expertise in specialist tutorials for those in Children’s and Youth Ministry, addressing questions such as how do you minister to children and young people as they ask these questions against the backdrop of their growing physical, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual development?

Dr Brian Rosner is principal of Ridley College, having previously taught at the University of Aberdeen and Moore Theological College. He is author or editor of over a dozen books, including most recently, Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity.  In 2017 he gave the New College Lectures at the University of New South Wales on personal identity and the Bible and he continues to research and write and speak on the subject at both popular and academic levels, most recently:


  1. What the Bible teaches about being true to yourself and following your heart
  2. Contemporary and biblical answers to the questions: Who or what defines you? What makes you, you? How important are your ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, occupation and so on to your identity?
  3. Being made in the image of God
  4. Being known by God
  5. Divine adoption
  6. The relevance of personal identity for significance, humility, comfort and moral direction

We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built. Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E. © 2019 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.