General Assembly 2019

Edinburgh Theological Seminary Report 2019

May 21, 2019

In their opening remarks The Edinburgh Theological Seminary (ETS) Board said they were "pleased to report that the Seminary continues to contribute to the preparation of suitably gifted persons for the work of the settled pastorate as well as providing theological education for individuals pursuing other ministry roles such as church workers, church planters, missionaries and religious education teachers."

The Board offered their sincere gratitude to the tireless and ongoing efforts of all teaching and administration staff at ETS.

The Seminary continues to offer a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses validated by the University of Glasgow. In 2018, the University of Glasgow renewed its Partnership Agreement with ETS as an institution for a further six years.

Over the past year, Dr Alistair Wilson and Professor John Angus Macleod have continued to develop the Centre For Mission. The centre "is intended to provide opportunities for mission-orientated education and training for the people of the Free Church of Scotland and for the wider Christian community in Scotland and beyond."

The centre itself has been used extensively during the past twelve months playing host to training events for elders, deacons and Sunday School Teachers as well as being used by Generation for Church Planting and Church Development events.

Quinquennial Review

In 2018 General Assembly appointed the Quinquennial Review Committee to ascertain the "fitness of the education and training provided by ETS." The thorough review carried out by the Committee made three key recommendations to the way in which the Seminary is governed:

1. The powers of the Senate required to be made more explicit with a remit which did indeed reflect the similarity of the Senate to Senates of UK universities;
2. The powers of the [ETS] Board required to be increased to enable it to hold the Senate and Principal accountable for the planning and strategy of ETS and for the delivery of the more explicit remit of Senate; and
3. The powers implicit in the operation of both Principal and Vice-Principal required to be reflected in an enhanced role of the Principal.

Commenting on their recommendations the Committee "felt that the time was now ripe to suggest some improvements in governance which would enable governance to catch up with the rapid history of change and which would bring a more detailed and explicit underpinning than the current legislation supported."

Click here for the full report.