So what’s it really like?


Necessarily, the information on a website is brief and relatively formal. But we wanted to take the opportunity to welcome you to these pages and to give you a slightly less formal introduction to life at Northern College.

We are very much a community, and very much at the heart of the wider community of Luther King House. As a staff body, we all feel privileged to be part of the colleague-ship and friendship that exists across the different ecumenical “boundaries” (which just are not boundaries here) and teaching specialisms.

At some point on their journey, every student will feel challenged but we believe that they also experience this as a place where they feel supported pastorally, academically and practically. For example, one student says:

“I gave up a lot to train for ministry. Put a few ministries down, left my jobs. Basically put down my nets to follow Jesus. You gave up something too. Your prayers and donations make it possible for me to train to follow where Jesus calls me. Thank you.

“But what of this training? Finding pearls can be tough work though. For me, at college, finding pearls is putting gritty uncomfortable truths under pressure. Then I find out what is just sand and what is material for the pearl. What is not useful and what is God’s kingdom building stuff.”


A former student, alongside whom I trained, said:

There is a saying… ‘you often don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone’. In many ways that would be true of my time at Northern College. However, to place more of an educational spin to it perhaps it should read… ‘You often don’t appreciate training until you use it’. When I look back on my time at Northern, as I now minister in a busy two-church pastorate I realise how much that time equipped me for the role I now find myself called to. Studying theology in context was so important as it prepared me to face the challenges of modern day ministry and mission. I cannot imagine having done theology where I was not being asked to look beyond the classroom walls to the placements I was in and being encouraged to ask the question ‘where is God in this?’ So today as I minister I am constantly reminded that my theology, my context and my pastoral response all combine to further the mission of God’s church.”


After a recent inspection, the visitor said that he was struck by the fun and humour that was part of our life here – present in teaching as well as in community life. He commented that this was of immense value, showing the warmth of the feel of this community.

Would it help to visit us? If you are thinking about candidating for ministry of word and sacraments, or for church-related community-work ministry, you would be welcome to visit Northern College and chat to staff and students. We hope that you would find that such a visit helpful in your prayerful reflection upon the call of God in your life. Contact me at 

Beyond initial training for ministry (EM1)

As the current student’s comments above show, each student has a clear awareness of the ministry to which God is calling them.

But we are each called in different ways and to different ministries and Luther King House is a place where exploring a vocation can take place at the same time as undertaking academic work – and it is also a place where lectures, quiet days, church Saturdays, lay preaching conferences or short courses help equip the whole people of God in the ministries they are already exercising.

This is also a good place for existing ministers to continue their studies in EM2 and EM3 using the courses and days and lectures.  But our Guided Reading Programme could also support your sabbatical time.

This is the where browsing the wider programme of Luther King House could be helpful:  View events here

You can also contact us, or the registry, to find out more.