Ripon College Cuddesdon
Ripon College Cuddesdon.jpg
College grounds
Former name
Cuddesdon College
Ripon Clergy College
TypeTheological college
Established1853 (Cuddesdon College)
1897/1898 (Ripon Hall)
1974 (Ripon College Cuddesdon)
FounderSamuel Wilberforce
Religious affiliation
Church of England, Diocese of Oxford
PrincipalHumphrey Southern (2015-Present)
Location, ,
Building details
General information
Architectural styleEnglish Gothic Revival
Design and construction
Architect(s)G. E. Street
DesignationsGrade II listed

Ripon College Cuddesdon is a Church of England theological college in Cuddesdon, a village 5.5 miles (8.9 km) outside Oxford, England. The College trains men and women for ministry in the Church of England: stipendiary, non-stipendiary, local ordained and lay ministry, through a wide range of flexible full-time and part-time programmes.


Ripon College Cuddesdon was formed from an amalgamation in 1975 of Cuddesdon College and Ripon Hall. The name of the college, which is incorporated by royal charter, deliberately contains no comma.

Cuddesdon College and links with Oxbridge

Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, founded Cuddesdon College in April 1853, as the Oxford Diocesan Seminary to train graduates from Oxford and Cambridge. Its original buildings, designed by the Diocesan Architect for Oxford G. E. Street, were built opposite the Cuddesdon Palace. The Neo-Gothic buildings are regarded as the first important design by Street and influenced much of his later work.[1] The College opened in June 1854 and quickly became known as Cuddesdon College. A larger chapel, built at first-floor level and with decorations by Clayton and Bell, was added by Street in 1874–5. The northwest wing opposite the chapel, was built in 1904 by Spencer Slingsby Stallwood. The southeast wing in 1920 and the service wing in 1925.[2] Traditionally, "Cuddesdon", as it is commonly known, was in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England. The 1921 funeral of Gilbert Middleton at St Chad's Church, Far Headingley was officiated by Bishop James Seaton, then principal of Cuddesdon (1914 to 1928). Seaton had known Middleton when both were students at Leeds Grammar School. Seaton also officiated at the Leeds wedding of Gilbert Middleton's daughter, Margaret Joyce, in January 1925. Middleton and his brother Noel were also friends with Canon S.R. Driver who had known Seaton at Christ Church, Oxford in the 1880s. The Middleton brothers attended Driver's funeral at Christ Church, Oxford in March 1914.[3]

Ripon Hall

Ripon Hall was founded in Ripon, Yorkshire, in 1897 or 1898. It was originally a hostel for theological students, known as Bishop's College, founded by William Boyd Carpenter, Bishop of Ripon. In 1902, it was merged with Lightfoot Hall, Birmingham and became known as Ripon Clergy College. In 1919, the college moved from Ripon to a site in Parks Road in Oxford and was renamed Ripon Hall. There, it became known as a liberal Anglican college.

In 1933, Ripon Hall moved again, this time to a house then known as Berkeley House at Boars Hill, near Oxford, the former home of the 8th Earl of Berkeley. The college remained there until the merger with Cuddesdon in 1975, when the site, renamed Foxcombe Hall, became the regional headquarters of the Open University.[4]

Ripon College Cuddesdon

The college incorporated the Oxford Ministry Course (OMC) in 2006 and the West of England Ministerial Training Course (WEMTC) in 2011, making it the largest provider of Anglican ordination training in the UK. The college partners the Diocese of Oxford in the delivery of Ordained Local Ministry training. In 2011 the college began a partnership with the Church Missionary Society to deliver training for Ordained Pioneer Ministers – the first partnership of this kind that pairs a theological college with a missionary society. In 2005, the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology (OxCEPT) was founded, which provides research and consultancy services to the wider church.

In 2010 the college launched a £10 million appeal to build a new education centre and chapel, as well as to raise funds for endowing bursaries, fellowships, studentships and research. The new Bishop Edward King Chapel and education centre (Harriet Monsell House) were completed and opened in 2013. The chapel – by architect Niall McLaughlin – has won many national and international awards for its design and building. Harriet Monsell House also included an enclosure for a community of five Anglican sisters who had moved from their base at Begbroke Priory. The sisters work alongside staff and students, supporting in prayer and spirituality, whilst continuing to develop their own ministries of spiritual direction.

Ripon College Cuddesdon became internationally more active during Martyn Percy's period as principal. It works closely with the Anglican Church in Hong Kong and continues to have links with Anglican colleges in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The college developed a programme of Christian-Muslim dialogue and related work, including a Visiting Fellowship for Islamic Scholars established at Cuddesdon in partnership with the Dubai-based Al Maktoum Institute.


Harriet Monsell House at Ripon College Cuddesdon
Harriet Monsell House at Ripon College Cuddesdon

Men and women with a range of previous experience, not necessarily graduates, take a two or three-year course of study incorporating pastoral and academic training. There are just over fifty full-time students taking courses of study, either as matriculated students at Oxford University or on courses accredited by Durham University through the Church of England Common Awards Scheme which began in September 2014. Prior to this time, students not wishing to study at Oxford University were able to take courses of study accredited by Oxford Brookes University. With the introduction of the Common Awards Scheme, Cuddesdon streamlined its Oxford University offerings. Where previously the college had offered three courses, the Bachelor of Theology (BTh), the Certificate in Theology (CTh) and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Theology, the BTh and CTh are no longer offered and Cuddesdon students wishing to study at Oxford University must now take the BA or MTh. The college also has occasional PhD students

Cuddesdon students come from across the spectrum of the Church of England but it retains a liturgical approach to worship and a broad approach to theology. It maintains a regular and disciplined approach to daily prayer and seeks to train students in a modern critical approach to the Christian tradition of the Church of England.

From 2008 the part-time Oxford Ministry Course, with about fifty ordinands, has been integrated into the college. The West of England Ministerial Training Course, which trains clergy and readers principally in the dioceses of Hereford and Gloucester was incorporated in 2011 and, in 2015, Portsmouth Pathway, which trains ordinands and readers in the Portsmouth diocese.

The college runs a fortnightly part-time programme in theology and ministry; the Cuddesdon School of Theology and Ministry. In 2011 a new programme of training for pioneer ministers was set up in partnership with the Church Mission Society. The college has also hosted a research centre for practical theology, the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology (OxCEPT). It is a sponsor of the Society for the Study of Anglicanism.

The principal, since 2015, has been Humphrey Southern, former Bishop of Repton; the vice principal is Professor Canon Mark Chapman, Dean of College and Reader in Modern Theology at the University of Oxford. Roger Latham is Director of the Gloucester & Hereford Pathway supported by Jacqui Sewell in the Ludlow teaching centre; Susie Snyder is the Academic Dean; Michael Brierley is the Director of Formation, Richard Wyld is Director of the Portsmouth Pathway; Hywel Clifford teaches Old Testament and Hebrew; Sarah Brush is Lecturer in Pastoral Theology and Director of the Context Based Pathway; Rebecca Dean is Tutor for Admissions and Lecturer in New Testament; Tobias Tanton is Lecturer in Doctrine; Michael Dormandy is Lecturer in New Testament; Jen Brown is Director of CSTM. Associate staff include Joanna Collicutt, Ray Gaston, Shemil Matthew, Elaine Flowers and Eddie Howells.

In 2012 the college became the new home of the Sisters of the Community of St John Baptist and the Community of the Companions of Jesus the Good Shepherd as part of a major building programme to provide more teaching and residential accommodation, named after Harriet Monsell, founder of CSJB, as well as a new chapel named in honour of Bishop Edward King, sometime principal of Cuddesdon.[5]

Since 2011, the College has hosted the biennial international "Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives" conference,[6] a gathering of scholars and practitioners across disciplines to discuss issues in contemporary congregational music. It also collaborates with the Bible Reading Fellowship for an annual Festival of Prayer

Bishop Edward King Chapel

Bishop Edward King Chapel
Bishop Edward King Chapel

Main article: Bishop Edward King Chapel

The College is home to the Bishop Edward King Chapel. Generously funded by the Sisters of the Communities of St John The Baptist and the Good Shepherd, who moved from Begbroke Priory to live in the College community. The 120 seat Chapel is elliptical in shape and its distinctive dog-tooth stone banding both complements the existing buildings in its material but remains very distinct in its form. The Chapel has a lattice-work timber frame which comprises curved laminated columns and beams to support a 13m high roof. It also features a series of clerestory windows, to the top of the walls, and floods the interior with light.  The Chapel has won several awards, including:

On 1 February 2013, the Bishop Edward King Chapel was dedicated by John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, at a celebration of the Eucharist for the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester, preached the sermon and Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester, assisted in the solemnities.

List of principals

Ripon Hall
Cuddesdon Theological College
Ripon College Cuddesdon

Notable former staff

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Among the college's previous staff members are:

Notable alumni

See also Category:Alumni of Ripon College Cuddesdon.
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  1. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (Penguin Books Ltd, 1974), p.564.
  2. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (Penguin Books Ltd, 1974), p. 564.
  3. ^ "FUNERAL OF CANON DRIVER". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer Yorkshire, England. 3 March 1914. Retrieved 24 November 2022. FUNERAL OF CANON DRIVER FUNERAL OF CANON DRIVER. The funeral of the late Canon Driver, Regius Professor Hebrew Oxford and Sub-Dean of Cathedral, took place yesterday afternoon, and was attended by a very large gathering. The procession from the deceased's lodgings, in Tom Quadrangle...Mr. Curtis Ingham. Mr. R. Wilson Lieut.- Colonel E. A. Hirst, Sir. ...Mr. W. Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Middleton, [and his brother] Mr. Noel Middleton,...[Also - Leeds Mercury Yorkshire, England 13 Jul 1921 - LATE MR, G. MIDDLETON - Gilbert Middleton, of Glebe House, Hollin-lane,, Headingley, a member of the firm of Middleton and Sons, solicitors, Leeds. The service in the church was choral, and the Venerable Archdeacon J. B. Seaton (principal of Cuddesdon Theological College) officiated at the...Leeds Mercury Yorkshire, England2 Jan 1925 * * * WEDDING IN LEEDS - Miss Margaret Joyce Middleton, elder daughter of tho late Mr. Gilbert Middleton and Mrs. Middleton, [of] Glebe House, Far Headingley,...[at St Chad's Church, Far Headingley]...The officiating clergy were the Rev. J. B. Seaton (Oxford) and the Rev. C. C. Marshall. bridesmaids wore... Miss Mary Middleton (sister)...
  4. ^ "Seeking God – the Story of Ripon Hall" in Oxfordshire Limited Edition, supplement to the Oxford Times, May 2009
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Ripon College Cuddesdon | Christian Music Conference". Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Home". Wood Awards. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  8. ^ Graham, Elaine (17 October 1998). "Obituary: The Revd Professor Anthony Dyson". The Independent. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  9. ^ "The Rev John Langdon". The Times. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2020.

Sources and further reading

Coordinates: 51°43′29″N 1°08′02″W / 51.72472°N 1.13389°W / 51.72472; -1.13389