Union School of Theology

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Union School of Theology
Union School of Theology logo.jpg
Former names
Barry School of Evangelism
South Wales Bible College
Evangelical Theological College of Wales
Wales Evangelical School of Theology
Type Private, Christian
Established 1936
President Michael Reeves
Location Bridgend, Wales
51°30′25″N 3°36′25″W / 51.507°N 3.607°W / 51.507; -3.607Coordinates: 51°30′25″N 3°36′25″W / 51.507°N 3.607°W / 51.507; -3.607
Website www.ust.ac.uk

Union School of Theology, formerly known as the Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST), is a Reformed Christian educational institution in Bryntirion in Bridgend, South Wales. Its doctrinal position is conservative evangelical.[1][better source needed]


The college was founded in 1936 as the Barry School of Evangelism (1936–1950) (also called Barry Bible College). It was successively known as South Wales Bible College (1950–1985), Evangelical Theological College of Wales (1985–2006), and Wales Evangelical School of Theology (2006-2016).[2][3] The school was situated in Barry from 1950 to 1985.[1][4][5][6] Eryl Davies became Principal in September 1985, moving the college to the seven acre grounds of the historic Bryntirion House in Bridgend. Jonathan Stephen became Principal in 2006 and the college was renamed Wales Evangelical School of Theology.[2][4][self-published source?][1]

The school had 170 students in 2009-10 in undergraduate and graduate degree programs up to the Ph.D.[2] It is accredited by the British Accreditation Council to grant the PhD, MA, MMin, DMin, MPhil, MTh, LTh, and the BA in Theology.[7]

Graduate programme[edit]

The graduate programme was described by Iain Murray as "well-known British training schools for ministers and missionaries" that attracts evangelical Christians wishing to study for the ministry.[8] WEST has a significant international enrolment, including students from Korea.[9][better source needed] It has trained generations of men for the Reformed ministry.[10][11][12][13][14]

Fund raising[edit]

Soon after assuming the Presidency, Stephen announced major fundraising and expansion campaigns.[1][better source needed] As of 2008, the School was looking for suitable real estate to purchase.[15] The proposal met local opposition from groups that did not want the change to come to the proposed site and difficulties over the high price.[16][17]

SaRang links[edit]

Since 2007 WEST's mission of spreading the gospel has been backed though a partnership with the SaRang Community Church which has added WEST and Wales to its worldwide areas of active mission.[18][19][better source needed][20][21][22][23][24] According to WEST lecturer Sungho Choi, Welsh and Korean evangelicals have a "unique link" because the first Protestant missionary to Korea, the 19th century Robert Jermain Thomas, was from Llanover, Abergavenny, Wales.[25]


The affiliations and practice of the Korean churches, the involvement of the international director of the Lausanne movement on WEST's board till 2014, and claims of ecumenical connections in Poland have generated controversy.[26][27][28][29] The appointment of a Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies who has described portions of John's Gospel as 'fiction',[30] who is 'agnostic whether the gospel and the epistles of John have common authorship'[31] and claims the Beloved Disciple is 'not the author' of the Gospel [32] has been cited to raise doubt about the persistence of the Evangelical character of the college.[33]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Ian Paisley began his theological training at the school when it was known as the Barry School of Evangelism.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Kerry Orchard [1]"West's annual meeting", July 2007, Evangelical Times.
  2. ^ a b c "History of WEST". Wales Evangelical School of Theology. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Taught to Serve: History of Barry and Bryntirion Colleges, Noel Gibbard, Bryntirion Press (1996)
  4. ^ a b "Theological Colleges in Wales". GENUKI. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Preaching--Pure and Simple," Stuart Olyott, Evangelical Movement of Wales, 2005, p. 181.
  6. ^ Bruce, Steve, Conservative Protestant politics, Oxford University Press, 1998, p. 68.
  7. ^ [2] Archived 2 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Murray, Iain. "Reinventing Evangelicalism". Banner of Truth Trust. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  9. ^ [3] Bournemouth Korean Church webpage.
  10. ^ Philip Keevil [4] church web site.
  11. ^ Vehicles of grace and hope: Welsh missionaries in India, 1800-1970, D. Ben Rees (2002) Rev. Ernest Garfield Evans, p. 37.
  12. ^ [5] Rev. Dr. John Wook, Faculty page, Riga International Bible Institute.
  13. ^ [6] Gethsemane Ministry; In Christ's service in India, Rev. V.J.H.S. Nelson.
  14. ^ [7] faculty page of the International Christian College, Rev. David Smith, missionary to Nigeria.
  15. ^ Andrew Harrison [8]" Religious school interest in site of Ogmore Centre", 18 September 2008, Glamorgan Gazette
  16. ^ Andrew Harrison [9]" AM backs Facebook school petition", 9 October 2008 Glamorgan Gazette.
  17. ^ Rachel Moses [10] "Council delay residential home's fate", 30 December 2010, Glamorgan Gazettes.
  18. ^ Jonathan Stephen,East meets WEST; On how Koreans are backing Wales Evangelical School of Theology, May 2011, Evangelicals Now.
  19. ^ Kerry Orchard [11]"WEST" July 2010, Evangelical Times.
  20. ^ [12] (google translate title: "Love Church Discipleship Ministry is expected to expand into Europe.) 11 March 2011.
  21. ^ [13] “서진시대 교두보 역할 감당하겠다” 사랑의교회, 웨일즈복음주의신학교와 파트너십 맺어 (Google translate dateline and title:Church of Love on 27 October, 16:00 WEST (Wales Evangelical School of theology) and the signing of the partnership has promised.) (newspaper name according to Google translate:"Hunan Power News Power Chungcheong News", )
  22. ^ [14] 사랑의교회, 영국 웨일즈 신학교와 조인식 가져 크리스천투데이 김진영 기자 jykim@chtoday.co.kr (Google translate dateline and title:Love Churches, seminaries, and the signing of Wales brought Christian Today reporter Kim Jin Kim Jin, 1 March 2011) Christian Today newspaper. This one has an illustration of the signing ceremony)
  23. ^ [15] 사랑의교회, WEST신학교와 조인식 유럽복음화 위한 전초기지 마련 (Google translate dateline and title:Digital Holiness - 9 March 2011 Namwonjun reporters Church of Love (ohjeonghyeon Rev.) southwest of England and Wales last 27 February the only college in evangelical theology 'Wales Evangelical School of theology) also has illustration of the agreement signing.
  24. ^ [16] 3 March 2011, (Google translate title: Wales Evangelical Theological Seminary and the signing of the Church...)(First paragraph according to google translate: Church of Love (ohjeonghyeon pastor) to go on a European jaebok negative campaign. Five ministers in the Church of the recent Seoul Seocho-loving Jonathan Stephen Wales Evangelical Theological Seminary (WEST · Wales Evangelical School of Theology) have the next president and the signing of a special program for church leaders, missionaries, education and home, including the world jaepasong seminary exchange, the lay Promote global education and decided to get out.
  25. ^ Dai Blatchford[www.westwalesexporters.co.uk/pdfdocs/BusinessLife_Feb09_Korea.pdf]"Deals are Done over the Dinner Table", Jan./Feb. 2010, Business Life.
  26. ^ "The Bible League Quarterly, January 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  27. ^ Dellam Corporation (16 November 2016). "Dellam Corporate Information Ltd, entry on Wales Evangelical School of Theology, now Union Foundation". Dellam.com. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  28. ^ "Abandoning Separation from Biblical Error". Sword and Trowel. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "The Bible League Quarterly, July 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  30. ^ Bennema, Cornelis (2002). The Power of Saving Wisdom - An Investigation of Spirit & Wisdom in Relation to the Soteriology of the Fourth Gospel. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. p. 16. ISBN 9783161477461. 
  31. ^ Bennema, Cornelis (2007). "Christ the Spirit and the Knowledge of God A Study in Johannine Epistemology". In Healy, M; Parry, R. The Bible and Epistemology. Milton Keynes: Paternoster. p. 108. ISBN 9781842275405. 
  32. ^ Bennema, Cornelis (2005). Excavating John's Gospel: A Commentary for Today. Delhi, India: ISPCK. p. 145. ISBN 9788172148638. 
  33. ^ Nicholson, Peter (January 2014). "WEST's Johannine Expert: The Fourth Gospel is Partially Fiction" (PDF). Bible League Quarterly. Holywell: Bible League. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  34. ^ Dr. Ian Paisley's Stand for the Old Bible, Free Presbyterian Church

External links[edit]