The Church of England has announced today:
The Church of England today publishes inspection reports on two of its ministerial training colleges.
The Church has a long track record of ensuring the quality of the initial training of its clergy by regular inspection of its training institutions. Theological colleges and part-time training courses are inspected every five years by teams of inspectors appointed by the bishops of the Church of England. Where training is delivered ecumenically, Church of England inspectors work in partnership with teams from the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union.
In the past the reports have been confidential to bishops and church leaders, but from today inspection reports will appear on the Church of England website. Inspection reports on the institutions of partner churches will appear on their websites. At first there will only be a limited number of reports, because training institutions are only inspected every five years. Over the coming years a full set of reports will appear.
The first two reports are available as PDF files from this page:
Statement by the Bishop of Liverpool (Chair of Council)
Bishop of Chester (Chair-designate of Council)
Bishop of Birmingham
17 March 2009: We are grateful to the Inspectors for their work, and for the wide endorsement which they give to Wycliffe Hall and its work. We are pleased that the Inspectors have confidence in Wycliffe, and we note their qualifications. In particular we welcome their recognition that the difficulties of recent years in relation to staff relationships are now largely overcome.
We welcome the recommendations of the Inspectors, and the Council and staff will do their utmost to ensure that they are given very careful consideration, and are acted upon.
We regret that the Inspectors have judged it right to declare that they have no confidence in one area of the Hall’s life, in relation to aspects of Practical and Pastoral Theology. We doubt that the evidence which the Inspectors adduce merits such a stark assessment, but we will ensure that the recommendations which are made in relation to this area are given speedy and particular attention. We share the confidence that the Inspectors have that Wycliffe Hall is fit for purpose, and look forward to maintaining its high academic standards and formation of both men and women for ordained ministry in the Church of England.
+ James Liverpool
+ Peter Cestr
+ David Birmingham
Several downloads are available here, which contain submissions made to the inspectors.
St Stephen’s House has also published a press release: Response to the Publication of the Inspection Report 2008