OfS Announcement

Spurgeon’s College is pleased to announce that the Office for Students (OfS), has approved our registration. We are delighted that following this decision we can continue with increased vigour on our core mission to train men and women for Christian ministry.

This decision comes off the back of considerable effort from our staff, Governors and wider family. We would like to thank everyone including our friends in Parliament, the House of Lords and the wider Christian community for their efforts and prayers. 

Spurgeon’s College, one of the UK’s leading Christian Colleges and a Baptist institution with almost 100 years’ history in Croydon, London, has a distinguished and ongoing history of quality theological education. The College has been training Baptist ministers for over 163 years and our alumni are working across the world to support their communities. We thank the OfS for working with us in a constructive way on this matter.

Postgraduate Programme Survey

Recently, the College’s Postgraduate Programme Committee has formed a working group to review our postgraduate programmes and how we might deliver them in the future (residential, online, etc.). Therefore, we are rolling out this short survey to investigate the need and interest of our students, staff, graduates, ministers, potential students and friends of the College.

The survey should take no more than 5 minutes, so we would be grateful if you could fill in this short survey and share it with your friends who may be interested in postgraduate programmes in theology. This survey will close on 11 December 2019. 

Here is the survey link for sharing – https://fs30.formsite.com/HelenStokley/1xwvcg2a0b/index.html

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Christmas After School Event

We are holding a Christmas event for local children and their families on Tuesday 3rd December this year. The event will take place at the College from 4-6pm.

Aimed at ages reception to school year 6, activities will include a treasure hunt, games, crafts and refreshments. This event is completely free and there is no need to register.

Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Open Lectures – 4th December 2019

You are warmly invited to Spurgeon’s College for a special event on 4th December 2019

Christian Mission and the Abolition of God –Learning from History

Professor Alec Ryrie

Special guest speaker Professor Alec Ryrie will give two lectures, the first on the early history of (or lack of) protestant mission, the second on the recent history of un-belief:

11.15 – 12.45 ‘Evangelicals against Evangelism: Why Early Protestants Were Not Missionaries’

13.45 – 15.30 ‘Jesus, Hitler and the Abolition of God’

The event will be followed by marking the publication of Professor Ryrie’s new book, Unbelievers – An Emotional History of Doubt (copies will be available for purchase at the end of the event). (This paper will be followed by a short response from Nick Spencer, senior fellow of Theos Thinktank).

Alec Ryrie is the Professor of the History of Christianity at Durham University , a co-editor of the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, and the author of numerous highly acclaimed books. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (2019- ), the Gresham Professor of Divinity (2018-21), and the President of the Ecclesiastical History Society (2019-20).

Both lectures will be open and free to the public, although donations are welcome. Lunch will be available between the two sessions. Lunches start at £2 per person. Please confirm your attendance by 12pm on 29 November and let us know if you plan to purchase a lunch.

Telephone: 020 86530850             Email: enquiries@spurgeons.ac.uk

Live streaming will be available (by prior request only) for those who cannot attend in person. You will need to book as described above and provide us with a valid email address. A link will be sent to the email address provided within 24 hours of the event start time.

You will need a device capable of streaming a live video feed, access to a web browser and a stable internet connection in order to participate in live streaming. Please note that we cannot be responsible for individual technical issues on the day.

Abstracts of the papers:

‘Evangelicals Against Evangelism: Why Early Protestants Were Not Missionaries’

‘Preaching the gospel to all peoples has been part of Protestant and evangelical identity from the Reformation onwards. But until the eighteenth century, there was very little Protestant cross-cultural missionary work – and this at a time when energetic Roman Catholic missions were putting down deep roots all round the globe. This lecture will ask why, concentrating on the handful of exceptions to the general rule – attempted Protestant missions in North America, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, South Africa and even the unsettled fringes of Europe. It will look at the structural and institutional obstacles to early Protestant mission, at the theological and conceptual barriers that had to be overcome, and at how the tempo finally came to change. The story suggests how cultural preconceptions of what mission is can, in practice, predetermine the outcome.’

Jesus, Hitler and the Abolition of God’

‘In the last half-century the mainstream culture in Britain and many other western societies has, as the anarchist philosopher Mikhail Bakunin predicted, decided to abolish God. This lecture will trace the roots of this momentous shift back to the religious crises of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, arguing that this is a story not about science or metaphysics, but about emotion and about ethics. In particular, the shattering impact of the seminal moral event of our age – the Second World War – has left secularism feeling intuitively and emotionally compelling in much of the western world. This lecture will trace the story down to our own times and ask where the emotional history of belief and unbelief might be going next.’

Announcement: Partnership with Anderson University

Left to right: Dr Michael Duduit, (Dean, College of Christian Studies and Clamp Divinity School
Dean of the Chapel), Rev Prof Philip McCormack MBE (Principal of Spurgeon’s College), Dr. Ryan Neal (Anderson University Provost), Mrs Ann Themistocleus (Director of International Studies)

Spurgeon’s College has just entered into a partnership with Anderson University, South Carolina’s largest private university. This partnership is a first for Anderson University and currently, the only partnership Spurgeon’s College has in the United States.

Dr Ryan Neal, Provost of the University said that “We are excited to enter into this partnership with a quality sister institution in the UK, and look forward to many opportunities for joint programs that will serve students of both institutions.”

Dr Michael Duduit, Dean of the University’s Clamp Divinity School commented that ‘‘London is an ideal setting for the next generation of ministry leaders to learn about sharing the gospel in a cross-cultural setting.’’

The Revd Professor Philip McCormack, Principal of Spurgeon’s College said that ‘ our partnership with Anderson University and Clamp Divinity School is full of exciting possibilities and potential opportunities for students and members of faculty of both institutions. Anderson University is an excellent higher education institute and we look forward as a College community to exploring joint programmes with our sister institution.’ 

Located in the vibrant city of Anderson, South Carolina, Anderson University is ranked as one of the best regional universities in the South by both US News and World Report and The Princeton Review. In addition to our top tier academic ranking, AU has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as the #7 Most Innovative Regional University in the South.

Signing ceremony at Anderson University (October 2019)

Press Release: OfS registration

Spurgeon’s College, one of the UK’s leading Christian Colleges and a Baptist institution with almost 100 years history in Croydon, London, has a distinguished and ongoing history of quality theological education. Today the College regrets to announce that the new regulator, the Office for Students (OfS) has turned down its registration application.

The OfS determined that the College passed 4 of its 5 tests for registration, but did not meet its financial sustainability test. The College fundamentally disagrees with this financial assessment and believes it has been made on seriously flawed assumptions.

This unfair and misguided decision by the OfS means that some of our hardworking students will be negatively impacted. In some cases they will no longer be able to access any kind of student loan or financial help from the Student Loans Company. Those students still eligible for loans will not be able to access the full amount.

It is important to note that no question has been raised regarding the high quality of the College’s educational offer. Despite the OfS decision, Spurgeon’s College will remain open and will continue with its core mission to train men and women for Christian ministry. The College has been training Baptist ministers for over 163 years. Our alumni are working across the world to support their communities. The OfS decision won’t stop this vital work, but it is a significant blow to the College and its students,  and we believe it is contrary to Government policies encouraging diversification of the higher education market.

We are fully committed to doing everything we can to minimise any impact for students arising from this decision. The College is a charity with a robust balance sheet, funds in the bank and plans for the future. We are considering our options in relation to the OfS decision – including possible legal action.

We call on the Minister for Universities, Jo Johnson, to undertake a review into this flawed registration process.

Media Contacts:

Lodestone:

Martha Dalton – Martha.dalton@lodestonecommunications.com

Tel: 07971138459

Harry Padfield – harry.padfield@lodestonecommunications.com

Tel: 07896140920

Fran O’Leary – fran.oleary@lodestonecommunications.com

Tel: 07980582254

Important: availability of online units for study

From 1 August 2019 there will be some changes to the availability of online units of study.

It will no longer be possible to purchase single units for assessment and credit. Anyone who wishes to submit work for assessment and gain Higher Education credit for their work will need to enrol on a course through the normal application process. Courses available are as follows:

  • Spurgeon’s College Award in Theology (60 credits)
  • University of Manchester Certificate in Higher Education in Theology (120 credits)
  • University of Manchester Diploma in Higher Education in Theology (240 credits)
  • University of Manchester Bachelor of Arts in Theology (360 credits)

All these courses are available via both taught and distance learning modes of delivery.

Those who have already completed a ministerial training course but are required, or wish, to supplement it with specific practically-focused units of study may enrol on the Spurgeon’s College Commendation in Ministerial Formation (total credits variable, but normally between 10 and 30). This will be available from 23 September 2019.

Those who wish to study one or both of the biblical languages Greek and Hebrew may enrol on the Spurgeon’s College Commendation in Biblical Languages (total credits variable, but normally between 10 and 60). This will be available from 23 September 2019.

Single units will continue to be available for purchase but this will be for audit only. There will be no assessment or award of credit. Taught students will attend classes and have access to all support materials on Moodle, including recordings of sessions where available. Online students will have access to all the relevant study materials on Moodle, including recordings of sessions where available.

Press Release: BMS World Mission/ Spurgeon’s College Partnership

BMS World Mission and Spurgeon’s College announce major new partnership.

BMS World Mission and Spurgeon’s College have developed a significant new partnership to enable a joint theological and mission training hub to open in September 2019, located at BMS’ campus in Birmingham.

Warmly welcoming the innovative development, BMS General Director Dr Kang-San Tan comments:

“The strategic case for the partnership is strong. Spurgeon’s academic discipline and administration offers potential for course development and reach, as well as quality assurance. The remote learning capabilities that Spurgeon’s will bring to the partnership will enhance the BMS learning and training opportunities for mission workers, both pre-departure and ongoing. Spurgeon’s academic reputation and knowledge will be of great value as we develop BMS for the future.”

Echoing Dr Tan’s comments, Rev Prof Philip McCormack, Principal of Spurgeon’s College, says:

“Having opened a successful hub in Cambridge last year, we are delighted to mirror that in Birmingham. This new partnership with BMS is strategically important to the future of the College and our governors have accepted a plan to invest towards growth”.

BMS and Spurgeon’s intend to move quickly towards the College offering a whole range of courses from the Birmingham hub. Those may include, over time, BA, MA/MTh and DMin programmes, as well as the Equipped to Minister (EtM) programme which is delivered on Saturdays. An option within the BA programme would be a new pathway in pioneering or missional leadership currently being developed by Spurgeon’s with support from the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

Spurgeon’s Cambridge hub already successfully offers the EtM course, but a hub of the size envisaged for Birmingham is a significant new venture for both partners.

Philip McCormack adds:

“We are both delighted to have support for the venture from the Baptist Union of Great Britain and from the Heart of England Baptist Association. This is a really exciting opportunity for mission and theological formation in the Midlands and far beyond, through online learning opportunities”.

There is much to do, with a range of developments to complete prior to courses beginning, including a new library, software to enable online and remote learning and a range of other academic infrastructure. But, as Kang-San Tan notes:

“Hopes for our joint partnership are high, and there is a shared commitment in our primary aims to see leaders, churches and wider communities transformed through the good news of Jesus. There is a growing sense that this partnership could make a significant impact in the area of mission and theological formation in the UK and further afield”.

Further information:

For BMS World Mission:

Mark Craig, Director of Communications

email: mcraig@bmsworldmission.org

Tel: 01235 517605

For Spurgeon’s College:

Simon Jones, Vice Principal (Director of Ministerial Formation and Training)

email: s.jones@spurgeons.ac.uk

Tel: 0208 653 0850 (ext 218)