Spurgeon’s College secures Full Degree Awarding Powers, a key step towards becoming Croydon’s first home grown University

Spurgeon’s College, one of the UK’s leading Christian Colleges based in South Norwood has successfully secured Full Degree Awarding Powers from the Office for Students (OfS) following its assessment by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Students joining the College on its courses from next academic year will have their qualifications awarded in the College’s name for the first time, marking an important step towards the College’s ambition to become the first home-grown University in Croydon. The award is not subject specific allowing the College to create new degrees in other disciplines.

The College plays an important role in supporting underrepresented groups within Croydon into Higher Education – with 38% of the student body identify as Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) – and delivers courses flexibly as weekday, evening or weekend courses.

In securing Degree Awarding Powers, the College has shown itself to be “an emerging self-critical, cohesive academic community with a clear commitment to the assurance of standards supported by effective (in prospect) quality systems.”

For the theological education sector this is a significant moment, helping to secure the future of theology in the United Kingdom.

Principal of Spurgeon’s College, Rev Professor Philip McCormack said:

“Securing degree-awarding powers marks a critical step in the College’s journey towards becoming Croydon’s first home-grown university, and we are incredibly proud to have secured approval from the OfS. This decision is the result of many years of work at the College to provide high quality teaching and develop a strong community of students and are looking forward to awarding degrees to our students in the College’s name.”  

Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and MP for Croydon North, Steve Reed said: 

“Spurgeon’s College has a crucial role to play in supporting opportunity and access to quality higher education in Croydon. The OfS’s decision to award Full Degree Awarding powers is a vital step in the College’s journey and ambition to become Croydon’s first home-grown university, and I want to congratulate them for this fantastic progress.”

Spurgeon’s College announces the appointment of former Director of Fair Access to High Education as new Chair

Spurgeon’s College, one of the UK’s leading Christian Colleges based in South Norwood is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Sir Leslie Ebdon as the new Chair of the College. As the former Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, Prof Sir Les Ebdon has a wealth of experience in promoting inclusivity across higher education institutions and will play a key role in developing the College’s work to increase educational opportunity in Croydon and achieve its ambition of becoming the first home-grown university in Croydon.

Prior to his appointment, Prof Sir Les Ebdon has worked in a variety of roles across higher education, including as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire between 2006 and 2012 and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Luton between 2003 and 2006. During his tenure as Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, he worked to increase the number of students from under-represented and disadvantaged groups attending universities and colleges. He has also been on the Spurgeon’s College Board for over two years.

As Spurgeon’s welcomes Prof Sir Les Ebdon’s appointment, the College wants to thank its outgoing Chair, Sarah King. Since her appointment as Chair in 2012, Sarah has provided the College with invaluable guidance and support, helping the College to secure registration with the Office for Students. She was also instrumental in the institution strategy of the College seeking full degree awarding powers, as it journeys to become the first home-grown university in Croydon.

Speaking on his appointment, Prof Sir Les Ebdon said: “I am delighted to be working with Spurgeon’s College at this important time in its development. The College has become a ceaseless advocate for expanding access to education and supporting the development of its local Croydon community, and I am excited to be able to support it in these missions as the College’s new Chair.”

Principal of Spurgeon’s College, Philip McCormack said:? “We are very pleased to be welcoming Prof Sir Les Ebdon as the new Chair of Spurgeon’s College. His vast experience across higher education will be a vital asset as the College continues to pursue its ambition of becoming the first homegrown university in Croydon, and as we continue to focus on expanding access to higher education in Croydon.”

“On behalf of the whole College, I also want to say thank you to our outgoing Chair, Sarah King who has worked tirelessly to support the development and strategic mission of the College. I know that all of us wish Sarah all the best for the future and I have no doubt that her extensive experience working in the higher education sector will continue to be brought to the fore.”

New CTI Packs Available

There are four exciting new Church Training Initiative resource packs available in our online shop.

  • Wanting to Write
  • Exploring Generosity
  • Listening with Two Ears
  • Images of Mission

The Church Training Initiative provides practical Resource Packs for churches and individuals in order to develop skills and insights useful in church settings. Each Pack has its own style, depending on the nature of the subject it addresses, but the material is practical rather than academic in character.  Each Resource Pack will require about 6 hours work.

Packs can be purchased from our online shop and will be delivered immediately via email.

If you are new to CTI then you will need to complete an application form before we can process any assignments for you.

Volunteering Opportunity

Learning Support Department

Spurgeon’s College has a Learning Support Department which focuses on enabling students with particular learning needs and difficulties to reach their full potential.

It is staffed by a part-time Learning Support Co-Ordinator, who works with teaching staff to provide support to those students who are identified as needing it most. The Co-Ordinator is assisted by a small team of volunteers who work according to guidelines agreed by the College.

We are looking for additional volunteers to enable us to maintain and expand the service we can offer to students. Volunteers are not expected to be proof-readers, but to work with students in such a way that they can take ownership of their learning and understand how to manage their studies and present assignments effectively in written form. Support can be offered in a variety of ways, for example, through scheduled one-to-one tutorials, drop-in sessions or group workshops.   We are particularly keen on hearing from people who can offer students guidance about how technology can help them with their written work.

We would welcome expressions of interest from anyone who is willing and able to give approximately two hours a week during the teaching semesters, which run from late September to mid-January and mid-February to late May. Ideally you would be able to come into college to meet students face-to-face, but some support (especially for distance learning students) can be given at a distance, e.g. via email or Skype.

We would be glad to hear from anyone who has any experience/training in

  • working with students who have learning needs such as dyslexia
  • teaching English as a foreign or additional language
  • helping students whose mental or physical health affects their learning
  • working with any students in an HE or FE context.

However, you do not need to have such experience/training to be able to offer real help to our students. All you need is a good grasp of the expectations of academic writing, willingness to spend time to understand an individual student’s needs, and the ability to relate to them in a practically supportive way.

Volunteers are invited to the meetings of the Learning Support Committee which are held two or three times a year, and we encourage them to share in the development of our work in this way.

If you would be interested in exploring whether the role of Learning Support Volunteer might be for you, please contact the Academic Director, Dr Stephen Wright and we will be very happy to have an informal conversation with you.    

Telephone: 020 8653 0850 ext. 228

Email: s.wright@spurgeons.ac.uk





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.

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)