Trinity College Theological School

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

Overview and historyEdit

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 programEdit

Trinity College Theological School currently offers the following award programs:

  • Diploma in Theology (DipTheol)
  • Advanced Diploma in Theology and Ministry (AdvDipTheolMin)
  • Bachelor of Theology (BTheol)
  • Graduate Certificate in Divinity (GCDiv)
  • Graduate Certificate in Theology (GCTheol)
  • Graduate Certificate in Research Methodology (GCRM)
  • Graduate Diploma in Divinity (GDDiv)
  • Graduate Diploma in Theology (GDTheol)
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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 finest research theological collections in the southern hemisphere.[5]

Deans and directorsEdit

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:

  • Max Thomas: Stewart Lecturer, 1971–75
  • John Gaden: Director and Stewart Lecturer, 1976–85
  • Richard McKinney: Director and Maynard Lecturer, 1986–1997
  • Scott Cowdell: Maynard Lecturer and Acting Director, 1998
  • David Cole: Director and Woods Lecturer, 1999–2003
  • Andrew McGowan: Director and Munro Lecturer, 2003–2007
  • Tim Gaden: Dean and Stewart Lecturer, 2007–2010
  • Dorothy Lee: Dean and Frank Woods Professor, 2011–2018
  • Robert Derrenbacker: Dean and Frank Woods Associate Professor, 2019–present

Notable alumniEdit

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


  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″S 144°57′31″E / 37.79583°S 144.95861°E / -37.79583; 144.95861