On Wednesday 7 May, the University of Divinity Council approved the application of Trinity College Theological School to become an affiliated College of the University.
This decision signals a new beginning for the Theological School. Currently, we are in the process of appointing a new and expanded faculty, and developing an exciting new curriculum to take effect from 1 January 2015.
The United Faculty of Theology (UFT) announced on 18 May 2014 the closure of its operations at the end of 2014, and the forming of two new Colleges for 2015. Jesuit Theological College will, in the words of the UFT statement, ‘cease to be a theological institute in its own right’.
Current students will be able to complete their studies and enroll for 2015 either at Trinity or the newly-named Uniting Church ‘Pilgrim Theological College’.
Trinity acknowledges with sadness the ending of an era of ecumenical co-operation. Since 1969 students of theology at Trinity College have benefitted from a unique and remarkable educational partnership with Jesuit Theological College and Uniting Church Theological College. This represented a commitment to scholarship and ecumenism that has had few parallels in the world.
As well as sadness, however, the passing of the UFT is also a cause for gratitude for the many years of fruitful co-operation and ecumenical partnership.
The operations of the Theological School from 2015 will have a stronger identity within the breadth of Anglicanism, and will continue its commitment to ecumenical theological education. Co-operation with other Colleges of the University of Divinity (UD) will be integral to this arrangement, including with the Uniting Church. In a very real sense, the ecumenical venture will continue, but on a broader canvas.
The affiliation of Trinity College Theological School as a College of the UD represents an exciting new chapter in our relationship with the University, a new way of being Anglican, and a host of new opportunities for ecumenical co-operation. We are grateful to God for the blessings of the past and for the guidance that is unfolding before us.
For more, you can read Professor Andrew McGowan’s blog post.