Aberdeen University has been awarded a substantial grant to develop their studies into the New Testament.
The £1.2m sum was gifted by the Kirby Laing Foundation to fund postdoctoral research in New Testament Studies.
The money will allow the university to offer a recurrent three-year postdoctoral research fellowship for emerging scholars.
The establishment has a pedigree in divinity, which stretches back more than 500 years and Professor Philip Ziegler, director of research for the school of divinity, history and philosophy, said the award would boost the institution’s reputation internationally.
He added: “This significant endowment from the Kirby Laing Foundation will enable us to offer a model of post-doctoral training which is highly successful elsewhere, but for which few opportunities exist in the UK.”
The eponymous Kirby Laing Foundation was established in 1972 and supports a wide range of charities both in the UK and abroad.
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, principal and vice-chancellor of the Aberdeen University, said: “This generous gift will allow the university to consistently recruit the finest of the coming generation of scholars from an international field.
“This will not only advance divinity research, but make a valuable contribution to core teaching in biblical studies and the history of early Christianity.”
More than 270 students study divinity in some form at the university.