Stirling Theological College

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Stirling Theological College is the federal ministry and theological college for the Conference of Churches of Christ in Australia and a college of the University of Divinity and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework and research) theology degrees. Three presidents of the council of the University of Divinity (UD) and its predecessors, the Melbourne College of Divinity and MCD University of Divinity, came from Stirling College: K. R. Bowes (1978-79), W. Tabbernee (1986-1987) and M. A. Kitchen (2004-05). Currently A. F. Menzies serves as Deputy-Chancellor of the university (from 2012 to present). Stirling also acts as the university-wide Centre for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).


The Conference Essay at the 1886 Conference of Associated Churches of Christ in Melbourne, delivered by A. B. Maston, included the suggestion that a Bible College should be established in Melbourne. The essay was referred to a committee to report upon.[1]

At the 1906 Churches of Christ Federal Conference, a "draft scheme for the formation of a college of the Bible was circulated for inspection", a motion "that this conference approve of steps being taken to form a college of the Bible" was carried, and "it was decided that the location of the college should be Melbourne, and the executive committee were empowered to give effect to the scheme laid before the conference".[2]

The college was established in 1907 in Carlton, Victoria, by H. G. Harward as the College of the Bible. By 1912, there were "44 students in residence, including two women students". [3]

From 1910 to 1988 it was located in Glen Iris. It changed its name to Churches of Christ Theological College in 1989 when it moved to its current location at 44-60 Jacksons Road, Mulgrave and in September 2011 changed its name to Stirling Theological College.

In 1910, the principal, A. R. Main, determined the college's purpose which still stands today, "The chief purpose of the College is to provide Biblical instruction and to furnish ample facilities in education for Christian ministry… to encourage an impartial and unbiased investigation of the Christian Scriptures, and in the spirit of devout faith in the Divine Word, freely to lay under tribute every source of light and truth available to modern scholarship."[4]

In 1975, CCTC and Whitley College established the Evangelical Theological Association. The ETA was disbanded in 2005 when both Stirling (then CCTC) and Whitley became separately registered as teaching institutions of the University of Divinity (then MCD) and both colleges maintain a close working relationship as constituent colleges of the UD.

In August 2011, the college changed its name to Stirling Theological College in honour of former graduate and Vice-Principal, Gordon R Stirling. Stirling ministered in all Australian states and in New Zealand and after retiring became editor of The Australian Christian. His ashes are scatted in the college grounds.[5]

Notable alumni[edit]


1907 - 1910 H. G. Harward

1910 - 1938 A. R. Main

1938 - 1944 T. H. Scambler

1944 - 1973 E. L. Williams

1974 - 1980 K. R. Bowes

1981 - 1990 W. Tabbernee

1993 - 1999 G. O. Elsdon

2000 - 2009 M. A. Kitchen OAM

2010 - present A. F. Menzies


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°55′41″S 145°11′42″E / 37.928°S 145.195°E / -37.928; 145.195