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Sarum College

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Sarum College
MottoLearning to nourish the human spirit
Established1995 (previously 1860 – Salisbury Theological College
1971 – Salisbury & Wells Theological College)
PrincipalJames Woodward
Location, ,
United Kingdom
AffiliationsUniversity of Winchester
Durham University
Websitewww.sarum.ac.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Sarum College is a centre of theological learning in Salisbury, England. The college was established in 1995 and sits within the cathedral close on the north side of Salisbury Cathedral.

The Sarum College education programme ranges from short courses to postgraduate level, including certificates, diplomas and master's degrees courses in Christian Spirituality, Theology, Imagination and Culture.[1]

The onsite theological library holds a collection of more than 35,000 books and journals and is open to students and the general public.[2]

The college is a meeting and conference centre for groups, organisations and businesses and welcomes individuals for private stays, including B&B, study breaks, sabbaticals and retreats.[3]



The history of theological study begins with Saint Osmund and the completion of the first cathedral at Old Sarum in 1092. After Old Sarum was abandoned in favour of New Sarum (or Salisbury, as it came to be known) and the new cathedral was built in the 1220s, several colleges were established.

There is a long-standing tradition that there was a medieval school of theology on the site of No. 19. It was at this time that Salisbury nearly became a university city to rival Oxford and Cambridge, but history took a different turn.

The main building at the front of the site was built in 1677 and has long been attributed to Sir Christopher Wren for Francis Hill, a distinguished London lawyer and deputy recorder for Salisbury. He chose a particularly striking site, at the north end of Bishop's Walk, facing directly down to the Bishop's Palace (now the Cathedral School). The house remained in the Hill family until the end of the 18th century. In February 1952 the main building was designated as a Grade I listed building.[4]



Walter Kerr Hamilton, Bishop of Salisbury, established Salisbury Theological College in 1860 – buying the house (then No. 87) from Charlotte Wyndham – and the first students arrived in January 1861.[5]

In the 1870s the college expanded, with the addition of a residential wing (the Butterfield Wing) to provide accommodation for students, and then a chapel. A donation of £4,750 was given by Sidney Lear, sister of the archdeacon, for the new buildings. The extensions were designed by William Butterfield, one of the foremost church architects of his time and best known for Keble College, Oxford. The chapel was consecrated in 1881.

20th century


Eight students of the college were killed in World War I (1914–18) and a memorial in the chapel records their names.

In 1937 further extensions were added – consisting of study bedrooms for students, a new library (now the common room) – designed by William Randoll Blacking. These rooms are now known as the Baker Wing.

During the Second World War (1939–45) the college was taken over by the women of the Auxiliary Territorial Service and Queen Mary paid them a visit. Apparently the creepers which covered the front of the building were hastily removed, as the Queen did not like them.[citation needed]



In October 1971 the two theological colleges of Salisbury and Wells merged. The Wells students came to No. 19 and the Salisbury and Wells Theological College was formed. The arrival of extra students required more space and two extensions were built: a three-storey block of flats and study bedrooms at the eastern end of the Butterfield building (the East Wing) and a new chapel, refectory and library at the northern end.



In 1994 the Salisbury and Wells College closed, and the following year Sarum College was established on the same Salisbury site to provide a place of ecumenical theological education. It also provided ministerial training through the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme (STETS), which closed in 2015 after the college absorbed its functions.

Present academic staff

  • Paul Burden – Coordinator, Centre for Formation in Ministry and Director of Contextual Learning [6]
  • Beth Dodd – Programme Leader for Postgrad Programmes in Theology, Ministry and Mission.
  • Keith Elford – Programme Leader for Leadership Learning
  • Ellen Farmer – Associate Tutor in Spiritual Direction
  • Jill Hopkinson – Tutor in Rural Ministry, Centre for Formation in Ministry[7]
  • Eleanor McLaughlin – Programme Leader, Theology, Imagination and Culture[8]
  • Julia Mourant – Programme Leader, Sarum Course in Spiritual Direction and Tutor in Spiritual Formation and Biblical Studies[9]
  • Karen O'Donnell – Programme Leader, Centre for Contemporary Spirituality[10]
  • Jayme Reaves – Director of Academic Development[11]
  • Jessica Scott – Tutor and Lecturer, Centre for Formation in Ministry
  • Kim Stephens – Chaplain, Centre for Formation in Ministry[12]
  • James Woodward – Principal
  • Sonia Woolley – Scholar in Residence[13]

List of principals


Sarum College

  • James Woodward (2015 to present)[14]
  • Keith Lamdin (2008 to 2015)[15]
  • Tim Macquiban (2003 to 2008)
  • Bruce Duncan (1995 to 2003)

Salisbury Theological College

Salisbury & Wells Theological College


  1. ^ "Prospective Students". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Sarum College Library". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Conference Venue". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Theological College, 19 The Close (1023595)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Salisbury and Wells Theological College". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Paul Burden". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Jill Hopkinson". Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Jon Morgan". Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Julia Mourant". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Karen O'Donnell". Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Jayme Reaves". Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Ann Philp". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Sonia Woolley". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Canon James Woodward of Windsor Appointed Sarum College Principal". Sarum College. 14 May 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  15. ^ "New principal for Sarum College". Christian Today. 4 September 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Celebrating Canon Harold Wilson". Sarum College. October 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Past and present meet at Sarum College's Anniversary Conference" (PDF). Sarum College. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2014.