Church of Ireland Theological Institute

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Church of Ireland
Theological Institute
Former names
Church of Ireland Theological College,
Divinity Hostel.
Motto"Growth, Unity and Service"
AffiliationChurch of Ireland (Anglican)
DirectorMaurice Elliot
Location, ,
AffiliationsUniversity of Dublin[1]

The Church of Ireland Theological Institute (formerly the Church of Ireland Theological College) is responsible for ministerial formation and lay training within the Church of Ireland. It is located in Churchtown in Dublin.[2]


Traditionally Church of Ireland clergy were trained for the priesthood by attending Trinity College Dublin, studying at the divinity school. In 1873, following the Irish University Bill, Trinity officially became a non-denominational university, yet professors of theology had to be Anglicans.[3] In 1911 an arrangement was formalised by which the House of Bishops and the college board governed the divinity school. In 1913 the "Divinity Hostel" was set up in two buildings in Mountjoy Square, Dublin.[4]

In 1969 the Church of Ireland Library was moved to the site of the Divinity Hostel, a number of other archives of Church of Ireland organisations are held here.

Over the years as the Church of Ireland bishops' presence in the governance of Trinity diminished (where before 1980 as members of the board of the divinity school, the bishops could nominated the professors of theology), the divinity school at Trinity has been effectively replaced by the non-denominational School of Religious Studies and Theology.

In 1980 the Church of Ireland Theological College was set up in the Divinity Hostel, which had moved to Rathgar in 1964. In 2007 Church of Ireland clerical training was reconstituted into the current institute.

Following a report commissioned by the bishops and proposals to the synod (which were accepted), the institute was formed in 2007 out of the Church of Ireland Theological College to modernize the training of Church of Ireland clergy and other people for lay ministry. The Revd Maurice Elliot was appointed the director of the institute.


The Institute has maintained the links with the University of Dublin.[5] The Master in Theological Studies degree was first offered in conjunction with Trinity College, Dublin in 2009, replacing the B.Th. degree which was offered until 2010.[6] The institute also offers a Graduate Certificate in Theology, Ministry and Mission, in partnership with St John's College, Nottingham, and validated by Durham University as part of the Church of England's Common Awards programme. This course is a prerequisite for ordinands hoping to study for the M.Th., and is also used for the training of lay readers within the Church.


  1. ^ "Bishops and Trinity College Dublin sign new Theological Institute agreement", Church of Ireland Gazette, 31 October 2008.
  2. ^ Theological Institute, COI website.
  3. ^ The Gospel and CITC - A brief historical survey.
  4. ^ The Church of Ireland: 1869-1969, R. B. McDowell.
  5. ^ Establishing the Institute, Church of Ireland Theological Institute website.
  6. ^ "New Course for Training Clergy Approved by Trinity College Dublin and the Church of Ireland" Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine, press release by Trinity College Dublin, 20 October 2012.