St Francis College to become Melbourne’s University of Divinity’s 12th college

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The University of Divinity is delighted to welcome St Francis College as its newest college – its first ever in Queensland.

Students will commence studying at the University of Divinity directly through St Francis College from Semester 1, 2023.

University of Divinity Vice-Chancellor Peter Sherlock said that he looks forward to seeing the fruit that will be borne from the new partnership.

“The University of Divinity is Australia’s premier provider of theological education and research,” Professor Sherlock said.

“We look forward to the significant contribution St Francis College will make to our shared mission of forming graduates for Christian ministry and service.

“It’s a particular joy to welcome a third Anglican college to the university, with emerging opportunities for national collaboration in Anglican theology and ministry.”

The University of Divinity and St Francis College share a long history of working collaboratively and ecumenically in theological scholarship and research.

With the partnership announcement, there will be new opportunities for collaborative events and symposia between St Francis College and other colleges of the university.

St Francis College Principal Ruth Mathieson said that partnering with the University of Divinity represents a renewed commitment to preparing clergy and lay leaders to serve the church and wider community.

“The St Francis College community is energised by becoming a member college of the University of Divinity, and we welcome the opportunity this new development offers to strengthen our contribution to the ongoing work of theological education at many levels,” The Rev’d Dr Mathieson said.

“Through a refreshed curriculum, attuned to our local context and needs, St Francis will continue to offer quality theological education, especially for those preparing for Christian ministry, and for the churches and communities they serve.”

The admission of a new college to the university follows a process of rigorous assessment, during which candidate colleges must demonstrate the capacity to meet the academic, governance and financial obligations required to deliver education and research at a tertiary level.

Archbishop of Brisbane Phillip Aspinall said that the new partnership will help foster the Church’s mission.

“At their best, Anglicans prize freedom of intellectual inquiry as we correlate the revelation of the scriptures with advancing knowledge and new discoveries in a rapidly changing world,” The Most Rev’d Dr Aspinall said.

“The University of Divinity provides fertile space for St Francis College to pursue this vocation, together with other Anglican colleges, in a rich, broad ecumenical context.

“It is an exciting development.”

The University of Divinity was established in 1910 as an ecumenical provider of theological education.

It is the oldest collection of theological colleges in Australia.

The University of Divinity currently comprises 10 theological colleges, eight of which are in Victoria, that span the ecumenical spectrum.

St Francis College will be the first Queensland-based theological college to join the University of Divinity, marking a significant northern expansion for the university.

St Francis College will continue to be based at the Milton campus, where students can access the Roscoe Library.

Founded in 1897, St Francis College is the provider of theological education and ordination formation for diverse Anglican Church Southern Queensland students.

Called affectionately by locals as “an oasis in the city”, St Francis College is located on a sprawling 3.8 hectare bushland site in Milton, just 3km from Brisbane’s CBD.

The Roscoe Library is one of the best theological libraries in Queensland, with a substantial collection of theological books, journals and electronic resources.

The college is part of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland’s wider Ministry Education Commission (MEC).

MEC hosts a number of important ministries, including FormedFaith, which educates lay people; Anglican Youth Children and Families, which organises Ichthus camps; Community of The Way, which is an intentional community of young people; a spiritual direction formation program; and urban farm project, Baroona Farm.