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.
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 couldfill in this short surveyand share it with your friends who may be interested in postgraduate programmes in theology. This survey will close on 11 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
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.
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’
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.’
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.
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.
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)
courses are available via both taught and distance learning modes of delivery.
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
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
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.
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”.
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