Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne

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Trinity College Theological School (TCTS) is part of Trinity College,[1] the oldest college of the University of Melbourne. The school was founded in 1877 by Bishop James Moorhouse for the purpose of training a "learned and dedicated clergy".[2] This founding vision has been the core of the school's contribution to the church and its focus has now broadened to forms of theological education and formation including lay people as well as ordination candidates.

Overview and history[edit]

Trinity is committed to shaping men and women in ordained and lay ministry in the Anglican tradition. It represents a moderate Catholic tradition of theology, worship and spirituality and seeks to embody the Anglican way in a critical, reflective and articulate style in dialogue with the contemporary world.[citation needed]

The school community consists of around nine full-time and part-time staff and over 40 students in the Ministry Formation Program, many of whom are preparing for ordination. More than 60 students participate in the Theology Online program, founded and administered by Trinity but now shared with MCD University of Divinity as a whole, which reaches all over Australia and internationally. In addition there are over 30 parish groups in regional and metropolitan Australia using the Trinity Certificate in Theology and Ministry.

The original pattern of studying theology at Trinity was based on residence in the college, with participation not only in chapel and other formational activities but full engagement in the sporting and social life of a university college. From the 1970s changes in demography of ordination candidates meant non-resident membership of the school became first possible and then normal.

Since 2002 the activities of the school have been centred on the Old Warden's Lodge ("OWL"), on the southeastern corner of the Trinity College campus. In 2009-10 OWL was renovated and extended to provide a more adequate and self-contained centre for theological education, with two lecture rooms, three tutorial and meeting rooms, common room and academic staff offices. Staff and students nonetheless have access to all the facilities of Trinity College, including the chapel, dining hall, tutorial rooms, library and grounds.

Academic program[edit]

Until the 1960s, Trinity theological students normally undertook a degree program of the University of Melbourne, followed by the Licentiate in Theology of the Australian College of Theology. The teachers were often local clergy and lectures were shared with nearby Ridley College.

In 1969 Trinity became a foundation member of the ecumenical United Faculty of Theology (UFT). This partnership with the Jesuit Theological College and Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational theological schools (later combined as the Uniting Church Theological Hall) created an ecumenical context for higher learning rare in its degree of integration, which continues to the present.

Trinity students normally undertake either the undergraduate Bachelor of Theology degree of MCD University of Divinity or the graduate Master of Divinity degree - formerly Bachelor of Divinity - of the MCD. Additional studies with a specifically pastoral or formational character have often led to the further award of the Diploma in Ministry.

Trinity students are served by the Leeper Library at Trinity and by the Mollison collection, the library of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, which is also held at the college. They also have access to the Dalton-McCaughey Library, the joint collection of the Jesuit and Uniting Church colleges, with one of the finest research theological collections in the southern hemisphere.[citation needed]

Deans and directors[edit]

Leadership of theological education at Trinity was originally the responsibility of the college chaplains under the supervision of the warden. Since the 1970s there have been lecturers specifically appointed to teach in and lead the school, holding the positions of Stewart Lecturer, Director and, more recently, Dean. The following have held these offices:

  • The Revd Max Thomas: Stewart Lecturer, 1971–75
  • The Revd Canon John Gaden: Director and Stewart Lecturer. 1976–85
  • The Revd Richard McKinney: Director and Maynard Lecturer, 1986–1997
  • The Revd Scott Cowdell: Maynard Lecturer and Acting Director, 1998
  • The Revd David Cole: Director and Woods Lecturer, 1999–2003
  • The Revd Canon Andrew McGowan: Director and Munro Lecturer, 2003–2007
  • The Revd Tim Gaden: Dean and Stewart Lecturer, 2007–2010
  • The Revd Dorothy Lee: Dean and Frank Woods Distinguished Professor, 2011–present

Academic staff[edit]

In addition to adjunct teachers, tutors and an administrator, at present the school has seven academic staff formally appointed to named lectureships:

  • The Revd Canon Andrew McGowan: Warden of Trinity College and Joan F.W. Munro Lecturer Professor of Historical Theology (early church history and liturgy)
  • The Revd Dorothy Lee: Dean and Frank Woods Distinguished Professor of New Testament
  • The Revd Canon Ray Cleary: Director of Ministry Formation and Sambell Lecturer in Public and Pastoral Theology
  • David Gormley O'Brien: McMullin Lecturer (patristics).
  • Megan Warner: Bromby Lecturer in Biblical Studies (Old Testament)
  • The Revd Cecilia Francis: Coordinator, Supervised Theological Field Education Program and Certificate in Theology and Ministry
  • The Revd Craig D'Alton: St Mary's Lecturer in Ministry Formation

Notable alumni[edit]

Trinity has produced many clergy who have held significant appointments in the Anglican Church. These include:

  • The Right Revd Reginald Stephen (1860–1956), Bishop of Tasmania and Dean of Melbourne
  • The Right Revd Kay Goldsworthy, first woman bishop in the Anglican Church of Australia

References[edit]

  1. ^ Trinity College - The University of Melbourne
  2. ^ James Grant, Perspective of a Century (Melbourne: Trinity College, 1973)

Coordinates: 37°47′45″S 144°57′31″E / 37.79583°S 144.95861°E / -37.79583; 144.95861