Uniting College for Leadership & Theology x10

 

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I’ve just been reminded that it’s the 10th anniversary of the launch of Uniting College for Leadership & Theology.

After two years of very intensive work – building a new team, forming new networks of support, developing new programs, negotiating the limits of old rules and regulations – the board that oversaw the project was finally ready to give the Synod’s new Leadership Institute a name and a logo.  It was launched at the Synod and Presbytery meeting on the 27th of March 2009.

We offered a video to honour the long history of theological education in South Australia connected to the Uniting Church and its founding denominations. Beginning with the founding of Union College in 1872 the Uniting Church and the denominations that came into union had established fourteen different institutes and colleges devoted to equipping people for ministry and leadership in South Australia. Number fifteen, Uniting College for Leadership & Theology, was to be a continuation of that tradition of innovation in service of the Gospel, not a departure from it. Craig Mitchell was the video’s Producer/Director/Camera Operator/ Recordist. You can view Craig’s video here.

It was my privilege to preach at the launch. My text came from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 and, as is my way, I referred liberally to the Basis of Union of the UCA too. You can read my sermon here: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology launch.

The story of the formation of Uniting College for Leadership & Theology is a contested one. If you’d like to read my (rather longwinded) version of the story, you can read it here: Dutney A Remembering the Future 2018.

Steve Taylor’s Built for Change takes the story further.

And so we’re looking forward again. The team has taken a new strategic plan to the board that will soon be part of our public profile. We’re excited about it. A new Certificate IV in Theology and Ministry has been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders and is already proving to be fit-for-purpose in the missional way we’d hoped it could be. Stakeholders are being contacted and focus groups activated to inform the revision and re-accreditation of the degree programs that we teach.

We take nothing for granted. We understand that the church is dealing with new challenges, has other issues with its colleges, and that the priorities of 2019 are not the same as those of 2009. But we’ve learned that stepping up to these challenges, issues and priorities is necessary if theological education is to be part of what God is doing in the Body of Christ and in the world.

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