College impresses with openness and goodwill

In the latest Periodic External Review (PER) for The College of the Resurrection, reviewers identified its “exemplary history of holding together Catholic Anglican spiritual discipline and patterns of worship with a robust intellectual theology.” They go on to say, “The College has a strong emphasis upon mission, with good provision for worship and preaching, which follows from a model of mission and evangelism through the church. This is a particular strength.” The Review, that gives the College the overall commendation “Confidence”, affirms thirteen of the sixteen criteria with a vote of confidence, with just three marked as confidence with qualifications.

The enthusiasm and positive goodwill of the students was noted by the reviewers who went on to congratulate the residential staff on their good models of teaching and mature engagement of adult learners. There are currently 32 ordinands in training, a high proportion of whom are graduates studying for degrees or postgraduate degrees in theology.

Particular areas of strength included: a college embedded in the life and prayer of a monastic community; handling diversity issues well; a strong academic partnership with Sheffield University – a good complement in the CofE’s training landscape to Durham/Common Awards and Oxbridge; and committed high-calibre teaching staff.
Commenting on areas for improvement, the Reviewers focus on issues of governance, and make just three recommendations directly about the formation of ordinands: for instance, “while admiring the tremendously powerful, motivating and energetic life of the College,” the Reviewers ask whether further help is needed in transition from College to parish.

The Principal, Fr Peter Allan CR, said, “We are immensely grateful to the Review team who listened with great care and made every effort to understand the distinctive ecology of the College, its students and staff. It was heartening that the Reviewers found the College in 2016 far removed from the stereotypical image it has sometimes carried, and providing an excellent formation for the priests of the 21st Century.”