Media Release from The Cathedrals Group (The Council of Church Colleges and Universities)
For immediate release 30 August 2013
The Cathedrals Group* is delighted to welcome a new member. Heythrop College, University of London*, joins as a full member of The Cathedrals Group from this academic year.
The Cathedrals Group of Church-foundation universities today welcomes into full membership Heythrop College, the specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London.
With just under one thousand students, Heythrop will be the smallest member institution but as a specialist provider of theology and religious studies, it equates to one of the largest providers in the UK and sits well with the other members. Collectively more than 44% of all UK theology and religious studies students (undergraduates, postgraduates and research students) are at Cathedrals Group institutions.
The Group’s newest member institution will also be its oldest. Other member institutions were founded by the Churches from the nineteenth century onwards for the purpose of training teachers for Church schools. The earliest foundation was that of the University of Chester in 1839.
Heythrop College will celebrate the 400th anniversary of its foundation by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church) in 2014. In 1971 a Royal Charter established it as a College of the University of London, with a mission ‘to offer its students an education marked by intelligence, scholarship and generosity of spirit’.
Professor Joy Carter, Chair of The Cathedrals Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester said: ‘I am delighted that such a distinguished institution as Heythrop College is joining The Cathedrals Group. We share an explicit Christian heritage that underpins a strong commitment to common values. These include developing strong ethical principles in all aspects of higher education, and building communities that embrace and value diversity. Heythrop’s ethos and academic strengths in teaching and research within theology and religious studies complement provision in other Cathedrals Group institutions. We look forward to building on our common strengths and values together.’
The Revd Michael Holman SJ, Principal of Heythrop College, said: ‘Joining The Cathedrals Group is an important step for Heythrop as we seek to engage more actively with other institutions with Church-based foundations, in the promotion of theological and philosophical education. The values of our particular, Jesuit tradition complement the collective mission of the wider Group, through our commitment to providing an education which is formative of the whole person and which facilitates understanding, promotes social justice and serves the public good. I look forward very much to our collaboration with The Cathedrals Group in the months and years ahead and believe it will be a mutually beneficial affiliation for staff, students and supporters from across the spectrum of Group members.’