Lincoln Theological College

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Lincoln Theological College
Chad Varah House - - 126505.jpg
TypePrivate, Christian
CampusDrury Lane, Lincoln, LN1 3BP

Lincoln Theological College was a theological college in Lincoln, United Kingdom.



Founded by Edward White Benson, when he was Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral, the college opened on 25 January 1874. It was also known as Scholae Cancellarii. The building it occupied on Drury Lane, which was originally the county infirmary, closed in 1995 after having its permit as a college recognised for ordination training withdrawn by the Church of England owing to reduced numbers of residential ordination candidates nationally, with an increasing number training on part-time non-residential courses. The college had wanted to remain open, developing itself as a research institution, possibly affiliated to a nearby university. The buildings are now owned by the Lincoln Theological Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (a registered charity), based at the University of Manchester, established in 1997 by Martyn Percy.

Once Lincoln Theological College had closed, the only Anglican theological college in the East Midlands offering training for those entering stipendiary ministry was St John's College, Nottingham, in Bramcote.


At the time of closure the Scholae Cancellarii offered training leading to externally validated and conferred BTh and MA degrees.


Lincoln Theological College worked closely with the then-named Bishop Grossteste College, which at the time was a Church of England teacher training college, and shared courses. It also worked with the University of Nottingham, which validated the BEd degrees of BGC.

In 2009 a School of Theology and Ministry Studies was formed following the signing, in Lincoln Cathedral, of an agreement between the University of Lincoln, Bishop Grosseteste University College, the Diocese of Lincoln and Lincoln Cathedral on 14 November 2009. [1] [2]

Current situation

The College's chapel Chapel at Chad Varah House - - 126509.jpg
The College's chapel

The college's former building on Drury Lane was renamed Chad Varah House, [3] in honour of the Samaritans' founder, who was educated at the college and served his title in Lincoln. The building itself is a Grade II Listed building. The original County Hospital was built 1776–77, designed by John Carr of York and William Lumby. The Chapel was added in 1906, by architect Temple Moore. At some point in the late 19th century a large house and water tower were added, and in 1962 the building was extended at the rear. [4]

Notable alumni

Notable staff

Former Sub-Wardens

Former Wardens

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  1. "Church training school to go back to its roots". Lincolnshire echo. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  2. "Signing will develop Lincoln School of Theology". Lincoln, England: University of Lincoln. 13 November 2009. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  3. Joanna Lumley (12 November 2008). "A Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Chad Varah CH – Extract adapted from a letter by Chad Varah to the Eagle Times 2002" (PDF). The Samaritans. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012. When De Montfort University spread to Lincoln, they bought my old theological college, no longer in use, and renamed it "Chad Varah House".
  4. Historic England. "Lincoln Theological College, Attached Chapel, Water Tower and House (Grade II) (1388510)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 2 August 2013.

Coordinates: 53°14′01″N0°32′23″W / 53.2336°N 0.5397°W / 53.2336; -0.5397