Stmichael S College, Llandaff

Stmichael S College, Llandaff

StMichael’s College, Llandaff

College Strategy

The College began in 1892, and on its current site since 1905. It has been in partnership with the SouthWalesBaptistCollege and the Cardiff University School of Religious and Theological studies since the 1960s. The College is now the ProvincialCollege for the Church in Wales and is also in partnership with the MethodistChurch.

In 2008 the Trustees accepted a strategic plan for the period 2008-13.This strategic plan is part of a programme of diversity which was launched in 2004, when the current Principal (Canon Dr Peter Sedgwick) was appointed. The strategic plan has four objectives. First, the College aims to provide ministry training of the highest quality to meet the challenges facing the Church(es) in Wales. This includes residential, non- residential and ministry development training. The College is developing a “cradle to grave” training strategy for Church in Walesclergy, providing training at key points in their ministry from selection to pre-retirement. The College spans all church traditions, and all ordinands in the Church in Wales who are trained residentially come to the College. The Dean of Residential Studies, who is also the Vice Principal, is Revd Stephen Roberts.

Secondly, the College has developed an expertise in chaplaincy studies, across the areas of teaching, research and consultancy. In 2008 the College launched the Centre for Chaplaincy Studies in partnership with CardiffUniversity. The College now provides training for chaplains from the armed forces, healthcare, prisons and the education sector. It is already the foremost centre in Britain for chaplaincy studies and aims to have international prominence in this field in five years. The Director of the Centre is Canon Dr Andrew Todd.

Thirdly, it aims to provide research led teaching. The College has six doctoral students at the moment,holds a major N.O.M.S. research contract on prison chaplaincy, and anotherBritishAcademyproject on military chaplaincy. It is the practice for staff to contribute to academic journals and conferences. The publications of staff contributed to the Research Assessment Exercise of Cardiff University in 2008. The College is a constituent member of the Collegiate Faculty of Theology at CardiffUniversity, in partnership with the University’s School of Religious and Theological Studies (RELIG) and the SouthWalesBaptistCollege. The University Council’s Academic Board recognises the members of the College staff as teachers in the Faculty of Theology. This means that the College can prepare its students either for the Cardiff University Bachelor of Theology Degree (BTh); the Diploma in Theology; the BA degree or a postgraduate degree. The Faculty of Theology is currently merging with History and Archaeology (HISAR) and the colleges are very involved in this discussion. One important aspect of this change is the very strong community outreach which HISAR has in partnership with the School of Lifelong Learning (LEARN). There are exploratory conversations with LEARN about how this might in future include learning for discipleship and ministry, which will need to be related in the near future to the discussions with partner churches described below.

Finally, the Collegeseeks engagement with the life of the Church in Wales by working with parishes in the development of ministry. All Church in Wales provincial in- service training is the responsibility of the Dean of Ministry Development, Revd Stephen Adams. The Deans of Non-Residential Training and Ministry Development also work closely with diocesan Training Officers to provide training for readers and clergy locally. The CollegePrincipalis alsothe Ministry Officer of the Church in Wales, and is a member of working parties on clergy terms of service, developments in the Anglican Communion, and other issues.Part of the engagement with the Church in Wales is the resourcing of the Vocations Initiative led by the Bishop of St. Asaph, in which the Dean of Non-Residential Training has a key role.

The 2009 Inspection Report

The College went through an inspection in 2009. The report was very affirming of the College and is available online at

Among some of its comments are the following quotations:

  • A well-motivated and creative staff under firm but sensitive leadership.
  • The ‘joined-up thinking’ about ministry and ministerial formation which underlies the recent diversification of the college’s operation, and which wellembodies key insights of the Hind Report.
  • The pace of change in the college since 2003 has been relentless …this is now a very different college from that inspected in 2003.
  • The portfolio scheme is a valuable and impressive contribution to the formation process, enabling students to trace a consistent line of development in pre- and post-ordination training.
  • The combined academic competence of the college-based staff (together with the BaptistCollege staff who share in the university teaching programme) provides a high level of expertise across an impressive range of subject areas, and a number of them have significant publications to their name.
  • St Michael’s College is an impressive institution. We have become aware of a wide and increasing level of trust in the College among church people in Wales, particularly among those who know the College as it now is rather than judging it on the basis of its past history. We believe that that trust is justified, and that as the College continues its ambitious programme of development its contribution to the life of its sponsoring churches will grow even more significant, chiefly but not only in the preparation of candidates for ordained and Reader ministry who will be well equipped to lead their churches through the changing patterns of church life and ministry in twenty-first century Wales.

College Investment

The College has launched a vibrant new website this year ( There has also been an ongoing programme of refurbishment over the last few years, and we will spend over £1 million this summer. This work will make all our bedrooms in the accommodation block en suite, with internet access; enable full access for disabled students; and create a new common room for students and a separate lounge for visitors. We already have new catering facilities. That will make us an excellent conference and training centre. The CollegeBusiness Manager is Mrs Judith Lewis, who has a background in both the commercial and charity sector. The College has a business plan in addition to its strategic plan.


The Non-Residential Team

The team is made up of the Dean, Deputy Director, the Team Administrator, and the Tutor in St. Asaph diocese. Luke Curran is the Deputy Director, and is also Director of the MethodistChurch in Wales Training Network;Sharon Walsh is the full time Team Administrator; Manon Parry is the Tutor in St. Asaph.

Non-Residential training includes both courses for lay people training to become Readers, and ordination training for Anglicans and Methodists.The training on the Non-Residential course is delivered from Carmarthen and Wrexham through partnerships with TrinityUniversityCollege and GlyndwrUniversityrespectively, in addition to the Llandaff base. The non-residential team has also recently developed a pre-selection course about vocation (Who me, Lord?) that has proved very popular. 28 people took this course in 2009, including residential weekends. This course is also part of the Church in Wales Vocations initiative.

Discussions about the future of learning for ministry

St Michael’s College is engaged in important discussions with the Ministry Course at Bangor (Minicab). The aim is to explore how the two courses may work together and develop an integrated strategy for training across Wales. The significance of these conversations has been strengthened by the Church in Wales working group on Future Patterns of Ministry. Both St Michael’s and Bangor (Minicab) are key partners in the group and integrated training across Wales has already been identified as a priority. Beyond this discussion, there are also ongoing consultations with other providers and the MethodistChurch in Walesabout future patterns of learning for discipleship and non-residential training for ministry.The Dean of Non Residential Training is central to these conversations.

Serving the Churches in Wales

St Michael's serves the Church in Wales, which is an autonomous province within the Anglican Communion. The Church in Wales is a bi-lingual church serving a nation with many different cultural groups and identities. The ministry students on the non-residential course reflect the variety of backgrounds, cultures and languages within Wales itself.Roughly, a fifth of the inhabitants of Wales speak Welsh, and weencourage Welsh speakers and learners to develop their liturgical and ministry skillsin Welsh as well as English (the St Asaph Tutor is a fluent Welsh speaker). The strength of the College lies in its ability to bring people together from diverse contexts and church traditions, to worship and learn together. The experience of living, studying and worshipping together for three years is irreplaceable. St Michael’s College is the only institution currently capable of providing this unique aspect of training.

There is also a Memorandum of Agreement with the MethodistChurch in Wales; students train through the College on a part-time basis for ordination. We also welcome ordinands from the Church of England and other provinces of the Anglican Communion for residential training.

For further information about the College please go to our website

April 12, 2010