Trinity College Theological School

Last updated

Trinity College Theological School (TCTS) is an educational division of Australia's Trinity College, [1] the oldest residential college of the University of Melbourne. It is also one of the constituent colleges of the University of Divinity. The School provides theological education and shapes men and women for ordained and lay ministry in the Anglican tradition, as well as providing other programs of study, including higher degrees by research.


Overview and history

The school was founded in 1877 by Bishop James Moorhouse for the purpose of training a "learned and dedicated clergy" in Victoria, obviating the need to send candidates interstate for training. [2] From this founding vision the school's focus has now broadened to modern forms of theological education and formation for lay people as well as ordination candidates. Trinity teaches across the broad-church, moderate and Anglo-Catholic traditions of theology, worship and spirituality and seeks to engage critically and reflectively with the contemporary world. [3]

Until the 1960s, Trinity theological students normally undertook a degree program of the University of Melbourne, followed by the Licentiate in Theology of the Australian College of Theology. In 1969 Trinity became a foundation member of the ecumenical United Faculty of Theology (UFT). This partnership with the Jesuit Theological College and Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational theological schools (later combined as the Uniting Church Theological Hall) created a rare ecumenical context for higher learning in theology.

Trinity was a founding member of the Melbourne College of Divinity (MCD) from its inception in 1910. In 2012, the MCD became the University of Divinity and, with the dissolution of the UFT at the end of 2014, Trinity became one of the present 11 colleges of the university. The University of Divinity is the awarding institution of all the degree programs offered within the college. In 2018, Trinity College appointed the university's first research professor and first post-doctoral research fellow. [4]

Academic programs

Trinity College Theological School currently offers the following award programs of the University of Divinity:

Trinity students have access to the collections of both the Leeper Library at Trinity and the Dalton-McCaughey Library, the joint collection of the Jesuit and Uniting Church colleges, with one of the largest theological collections in the southern hemisphere. [5]

Deans and directors

Leadership of theological education at Trinity was originally the responsibility of the college chaplains under the supervision of the warden. Since the 1970s there have been lecturers specifically appointed to teach in and lead the school, holding the positions of Stewart Lecturer, Director and, more recently, Dean. The following have held these offices:

Notable alumni

Trinity has produced many clergy who have held significant appointments in the Anglican Church. These include:

Related Research Articles

Trinity College, Melbourne

Trinity College is the oldest residential college of the University of Melbourne, the first university in the colony of Victoria, Australia. The college was opened in 1872 on a site granted to the Church of England by the government of Victoria. In addition to its resident community of 380 students, mostly attending the University of Melbourne, Trinity's programs includes the Trinity College Theological School, an Anglican training college that is a constituent college of the University of Divinity; and the Pathways School, which runs Trinity College Foundation Studies, preparing international students for admission to the University of Melbourne and other Australian tertiary institutions, as well as summer and winter schools for young leaders and other short courses.

Moore Theological College, otherwise known simply as Moore College, is the theological training seminary of the Diocese of Sydney in the Anglican Church of Australia. The president of the Moore Theological College Council is ex officio the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney.

Australian College of Theology

The Australian College of Theology (ACT) is an Australian higher education provider based in Sydney, New South Wales. The college delivers awards in ministry and theology and was one of the first Australian non-university providers to offer an accredited bachelor's degree and a research doctorate. Over 22,000 people have graduated since the foundation of the college. It is a company limited by guarantee as of September 2007.

University of Divinity Collegiate university in Australia

The University of Divinity is an Australian collegiate university of specialisation in divinity. It is constituted by eleven theological colleges from eight denominations. The University of Divinity is the direct successor of the second oldest degree-granting authority in the State of Victoria, the Melbourne College of Divinity. The university's chancery and administration are located in Kew, a suburb of Melbourne in the state of Victoria.

Church Divinity School of the Pacific Episcopal Church seminary in California, U.S.

Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) is an Episcopal seminary in Berkeley, California. It one of nine seminaries U.S. Episcopal Church and a member of the Graduate Theological Union. The only Episcopal seminary located in the Far West, CDSP has, since 1911, been designated the official seminary of the Episcopal Church's Eighth Province, the Province west of the Rocky Mountains.

Trinity School for Ministry

Trinity School for Ministry (TSM), formerly known as Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, is an Anglican seminary in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. It is generally associated with low church, evangelical Anglicanism.

Phillip Aspinall Australian Anglican bishop

Phillip John Aspinall is an Australian Anglican bishop. He has been the archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane since February 2002 and was also the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia from July 2005 until he stood down on 4 July 2014.

Ridley College (Melbourne)

Ridley College, formerly known as Ridley Melbourne, is a Christian theological college in the parklands of central Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. Established in 1910, it has an evangelical foundation and outlook and is affiliated with the Australian College of Theology and the Anglican Church of Australia. The college offers on-campus and distance learning and provides training for various Christian ministries in a range of contexts.

The United Faculty of Theology (UFT) was a recognised teaching institution of the University of Divinity in Melbourne, Australia. It was founded in 1969 as an informal association of theological colleges and ceased operating in December 2014.

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne A diocese of the Anglican Church of Australia in Victoria

The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne is the metropolitan diocese of the Province of Victoria in the Anglican Church of Australia. The diocese was founded from the Diocese of Australia by letters patent of 25 June 1847 and includes the cities of Melbourne and Geelong and also some more rural areas. The cathedral church is St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. The current Archbishop of Melbourne since 2006 is Philip Freier, who was translated from the Anglican Diocese of The Northern Territory, and who was the Anglican Primate of Australia from 2014 to 2020.

The National Catholic Institute of Theology (NCIT) is a Catholic theological institute established in Karachi, Pakistan in September 1997. It offers academic courses leading to a diploma in theology, as well as programs for laypeople and religious involved in Church ministries.

The Church of Ireland Theological Institute is responsible for ministerial formation and lay training within the Church of Ireland. It is located in Churchtown in Dublin.

Andrew Brian McGowan is an Australian scholar of early Christianity and an Anglican priest. He is McFaddin Professor of Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School and dean and president of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.

Dorothy Ann Lee is an Australian theologian and Anglican priest, formerly dean of the Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne, a college of the University of Divinity, and continuing as Frank Woods Distinguished Professor of New Testament. Her main research interests include the narrative and theology of the Gospels, particularly the Gospel of John, spirituality in the New Testament, the Transfiguration and Anglican worship.

James Alexander Grant was an Australian Anglican bishop who was the Dean of Melbourne from 1985 to 1999.

Kanishka Raffel British-born Australian Anglican priest (born 1964)

Kanishka de Silva Raffel is a British-born Australian Anglican bishop of Sri Lankan descent, who has served as the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney since 28 May 2021. He previously served as the 12th Dean of St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney from 4 February 2016 until his installation as archbishop.

Joanne Caladine Bailey Wells is a British Anglican bishop, theologian, and academic. Since 29 June 2016, she has been the Bishop of Dorking, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Guildford. Previously, she was a lecturer in the Old Testament and biblical theology at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and then associate professor of Bible and Ministry at Duke Divinity School, Duke University, North Carolina. From 2013 until she fully took up her bishop's role on 29 June 2016, she had served as Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Richard Stanley Treloar is an Australian Anglican bishop. He is the current Bishop of Gippsland in the Province of Victoria.

Colleen OReilly Australian Anglican priest

Colleen Anne O'Reilly is an Australian Anglican priest. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2021 in recognition of her significant service to the Anglican Church of Australia, and to religious education. O'Reilly has been a strong advocate for women's leadership in the Anglican Church and women's ordination since the 1970s and described by Muriel Porter as "the ‘mother' of the movement that was a key factor in bringing about the ordination of women through many years of determined struggle".

Wollaston College Anglican theological college in Australia

Wollaston College is an Australian educational institution in Perth, Western Australia, established in 1957. It provides theological education for both lay and ordained people of the Anglican Diocese of Perth, as well as forms candidates for ordination in the Anglican Church of Australia. Through its partnership with Trinity College Theological School in Melbourne, Wollaston College teaches units within, and its academic staff are accredited by, the University of Divinity.


  1. Trinity College – The University of Melbourne
  2. James Grant, Perspective of a Century (Melbourne: Trinity College, 1973)
  3. "Who we are" (website):
  4. "Trinity Appoints New Postdoctoral Fellow"(accessed 24 Feb. 2019)
  5. Ian Breward, Holding Fast, Letting Go: A History of the UFT, United Faculty of Theology Commencement Lecture, 1999 (Melbourne: The Author, 1999), p. 17.

Coordinates: 37°47′45″S144°57′31″E / 37.79583°S 144.95861°E / -37.79583; 144.95861