New theological college in Yorkshire
St Hild College will train Anglican ordinands, Baptist ministers in training and independent students in Yorkshire and the north of England
The new college launched in January and has been created by the merger of the Yorkshire Ministry Course (YMC) and St Barnabas Theological Centre.
It will operate with teaching centres in Mirfield, Sheffield and York. Across these three sites, St Hild College trains over 100 students including ordinands from York, Leeds, Sheffield, Leicester, Derby, Manchester and Southwell and Nottingham dioceses. It trains Baptists in association with Northern Baptist College - the Revd Dr Sally Nelson is the college's Baptist tutor, in addition to other Baptist lecturers such as the Revd Dr Keith Jones and the Revd Dr Chris Ellis. The college also has a range of independent students on its undergraduate and postgraduate pathways.
Mark Powley, previously Principal of the YMC and before that Director of St Barnabas Theological Centre, is the new Principal of St Hild College. He leads a team of 11 staff plus a wide associate faculty team including tutors from a range of theological traditions. He said the new college will expand contextual training in the North, thereby keeping ministers in the region.
'We’ve seen significant growth in contextual training in recent years - it is something we believe can retain people in the north and train them to read their context better. The approach we have taken is to build on new models that have emerged in contextual training, but to do so in close partnership with the institutions that already exist.
'The extent of that cooperation is really quite striking - we are bringing together diverse partners, from the brothers of the Community of the Resurrection to the resource churches committed to church planting.'
Alongside the Yorkshire dioceses and Yorkshire Baptist Association, the St Hild College governing body includes representatives of three larger resource churches - St George’s Leeds, St Thomas Crookes and The Belfrey York - as well as the Community of the Resurrection, at whose Mirfield home the new college’s residential weekends take place.
The Service of Commissioning for St Hild College took place at Dewsbury Minster on Saturday (14 January), led by Rt Revd Peter Burrows, Bishop of Doncaster, Rt Revd James Bell, Bishop of Ripon, and the Revd Graham Ensor, Team Leader of the Yorkshire Baptist Association (pictured second left with St Hild College staff and the Bishops).
Graham praised the cooperative spirit of the launch process, commenting, 'This new college is an example of gospel partnership, where everybody is committed to a higher goal then that of their own organisation, namely the equipping of women and men of God for missional ministry to regospel the North of England.'
Bishop Peter, Chair of Trustees for the new college, added, 'I feel that St Hild College will be a powerhouse for theological education, and one that holds the confidence of the church.'
On choosing a name, Mark said: ‘Obviously, naming a new college is a complicated business, but we realised we had a great candidate in St Hild. It is now 1,360 years since she established her monastery in Whitby.
'Bede writes of her wisdom, diligence and integrity at a crucial time of evangelisation. She seems an ideal symbol for 21st century mission and the creative forms of training it requires.'
The new prospectus will be released by early March. For more details, or to
register your interest, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.