The Trustees of Sarum College and those of the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme (STETS) have this week decided to seek to merge.
This step would integrate the ordination training of STETS and Sarum College’s Christian research and study programmes to offer a broad spectrum of innovative theological education and training.
“Our organisations have always worked alongside one another in a complementary way,” says Canon Keith Lamdin, Sarum College Principal. “We share an ecumenical history with roots in Anglican ministerial training. Together we offer programmes for lay and ordained people to learn together in a community that mirrors the nature of the emerging church where collaboration and welcome are fundamental.”
While a merger would give the opportunity to develop new educational programmes, throughout the discussions, STETS and Sarum courses will carry on in the same way as before, sharing library resources and accommodation in Sarum College.
“This is an exciting new chapter in our shared history,” says the Revd Dr Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, STETS Acting Principal. “We look forward to bringing together the excellent theological and educational resources of STETS and Sarum to serve the church in growing disciples, in mission, in ministerial training and in rural ministry.”
The news has been welcomed by the Bishops of Salisbury and Bath and Wells, who are foundation governors at Sarum and major sponsoring bishops for STETS.
“This is good news for all concerned,” says The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury. “Sarum College and STETS are unique in providing theological education set in a cathedral close with access to a cathedral’s daily life of worship as one of the bases for formation. Their combined expertise will bring to bear greater excellence in formation and discipleship at regional, national and international levels.”