Saturday, 30 June 2012

Ministerial Training at Durham

Good news for theological education in the north! Durham University has been selected to become the Church of England's sole validation partner for training its ministers. While training institutions will be able to continue their relationships with other universities, the church will increasingly look to validate its own recognised courses through the one university. Currently the Church of England provides higher education for ordinands through validation links with 19 different universities. There has long been criticism that the plethora of different validating bodies for a relatively small number of students gives rise to confusion, complexity and extra costs. Certainly, when I worked in theological education, I can remeber crazy years when we were being inspected by two or more institutions who made conflicting recommendations. I sometimes spent more time preparing papers for the inspectors than preparing my teaching!
This move which has been set in motion by the Archbishops’ Council, will mean that Durham University will increasingly build relationships with the Church’s training institutes via its Department of Theology and Religion. This department is ranked as the top Department of Theology and Religion in the country with a great emphasis on internationally recognised research.

Cranmer Hall, Anglican Theological College, Durham

The new partnership will continue a tradition of ordination training at Durham that stretches back over 100 years. Durham is one of only a small number of universities, globally, where vocational training is offered at an internationally respected level in Theology and Ministry from Certificate to Doctoral level. The University has, for many years, validated courses within Cranmer Hall, the Wesley Study Centre for Methodist ministerial training, and, until very recently, Ushaw College, the Roman Catholic seminary. Professor Chris Higgins, the Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, said: “Durham is exceptionally well placed to work with the Church in this way because of our world position in theology and religion, and our considerable experience over 100 years of close partnership in ministerial training through St John’s College and indeed at an earlier stage, St Chad’s College. Our history, our current expertise and our long-term sustainability provides a fruitful soil to cultivate such a partnership.We look forward to working with the Church of England on this proposed partnership as we continue to develop the world-leading teaching, research and training available in theology and religion at Durham.”

During 2012, the University and representatives of the Church of England's Ministry Division will be working to develop a suite of common awards. New academic appointments will follow as a research centre for practical theology is set up and the first students will be admitted onto the new programmes in autumn 2014.

Congratulations to Durham University on this exciting new development! Read more at

Church of England announces new validation partnership | Christian News on Christian Today

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