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Statement from Revd John Grundy
President of Northern College's Board of Governors

It is with great pleasure I am able to announce that Rev. Dr. Adam Scott has been appointed to the role of Principal of Northern College.

Adam currently serves as Tutor for Ministerial Formation at Northern College and comes with experience of Pastorate and Chaplaincy Ministries along with extensive experience in the field of Psychology.

We greatly look forward to working alongside Adam in this new role.

After a period of transition, Adam will succeed Rev. Dr. Rosalind Selby as Principal and we will greatly thank her for her devoted service and caring leadership when she retires in 2023.

Adam Scott



My hometown is Dublin, but I’ve lived most of my adult life studying and working in the UK in Scotland, London and Manchester. I grew up in the Church of Ireland, with Presbyterian and Roman Catholic family influences, so ecumenism is something I hold dear. This is also reflected in my ministerial calling, as I trained at Spurgeon’s College and was ordained in the Baptist tradition, moving to the roll of URC ministers.

My ministry has been worked out in chaplaincy, community and urban church settings in London and Manchester. I love our URC expressions of what it means to be church, but also am passionate about finding new ways to share the message of God’s love and acceptance with those who do not connect with traditional forms of Christianity.

After some time in local church ministry I felt a call to further study and completed a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at the University of Manchester. I have experience of working in clinical and third sector settings as a chartered psychologist, and have been a manager, therapist and clinical supervisor, all the while seeking to sensitively maintain my identity as a minister of Word and Sacrament.

My areas of academic interest are in psychological resilience, trauma resulting from sexual abuse, pastoral care, mental health, the applications of mindfulness and spirituality.

I live in Manchester with my husband and two dogs.

Graham Adams

Tutor in World Christianity (including Mission Studies) and World Faith Traditions


I started as a full-time tutor here in 2012, and I really enjoy the work. My specific role, with ‘world’ in the title twice, constantly reminds me that I will never be on top of it! After all, global Christianity and religious diversity are vast, diverse and very dynamic subjects. Nevertheless, I enjoy glimpsing, and helping others to glimpse, the array of perspectives which invites us to see our faith in new ways, build relationships across all sorts of borders, and act in solidarity with any who suffer injustice.

My particular interests are: mission in the contemporary context of ‘Empire’ (the complex of economic and cultural forces dominating the globalised world); the theology of Andrew Shanks and its interaction with mission; theologies of religion (how might we account for and assess religious diversity?); and, more locally, developing links with the Faith Network 4 Manchester.

I am a Congregational minister. I was prepared for ministry at Northern College and ministered with Lees Street Congregational Church in inner Manchester (2002 to 2012, part-time), where I also supervised some student ministers. Alongside that, first I studied for a PhD with the University of Leeds, with the vital help of the Mona Powell Fellowship (Northern College) and a CWM scholarship. As my research drew to a close, I taught at Luther King House half-time (2007-8), then reworked my thesis for publication (Christ and the Other (2010)) and was employed by the Congregational Federation in training development. I continue to be a volunteer tutor on the CF’s Foundation Degree in Practical Theology. Several CWM experiences have been hugely significant, including a global ecumenical conference concerned with theology and economics, and a Bible Study project: ‘mission in the midst of Empire’.

I am married to Sheryl and we have a young daughter, Bethan.

Alison Davis

Support and Development Tutor


25 years after ordination I’m becoming a member of staff at the college I trained for ministry at and I am looking forward to this next phase of my ministry serving Northern College and two local churches in Thames North Synod.  How the patterns of training have changed!

I was brought up in various non-conformist denominations, which ever one was the OD’s (other denominations) on RAFs camps, eventually settling in the United Reformed Church in 1975.

Initially I studied law at UCW Aberystwyth and qualified as a solicitor after articles in local authority and the court service. I practised for some years as a clerk in the magistrates’ court using my administrative skills in organizing courts and magistrate. My theology degree and ministerial formation at Manchester University and Northern College was followed by a Master’s degree in Theology at Cardiff University whilst in my first pastorate.  My experience of ministry has ranged from local ecumenical partnerships, team ministry, chaplaincy to higher education and training and development as well as local church ministry.

In my spare time I enjoy gardening, jigsaws and reading

Noel Irwin

Tutor in Public Theology and Church-Related Community Work (CRCW)


I grew up in Belfast…I think I have lost my accent, but no one else agrees with me! My initial studies were in philosophy and political science. Afterwards my ministerial training, for the Methodist Church, was all in Queen’s University Belfast. In my theological studies I focused on the Hebrew Bible and language with the highlight of undertaking a course in Jerusalem. I served in two appointments in Ireland (one in the north and one in the south) both of which were a mixture of church and university chaplaincy work.

I moved to inner city Sheffield in 2000 to work as a community outreach worker for the Church of England and then became Superintendent of the Methodist Mission in the centre of Sheffield. Meanwhile I was doing my PhD and I began training and teaching people for Methodist ministry through the Urban Theology Unit. Initially I combined my ministerial duties with working at UTU; I was then seconded to Luther King House to work for Hartley Victoria College and then Northern College.

My academic passions are political and public theology. I am very excited to be working with the Church-Related Community Work ministry programme which, hopefully, will keep me away from anything that looks like an ivory tower.

I relax by running (mostly up and down mountains), doing martial arts and working on my modern Hebrew. I am so chuffed to be part of Northern College!

Meg Warner

Tutor for Old Testament


I grew up, and did my theological study, in Australia. I moved to London in 2014, taught at King’s College London and Exeter University, and began at Northern College in 2019. My father is a priest in the Anglican Church, and I grew up with him telling me Bible Stories from the Old Testament, so – guess what! – my field is Old Testament. After having flirted with law along the way, a lot of my work interests are related to the Torah. In particular, I love the Book of Genesis – it is so modern and gritty and real.

I’m proud to be a layperson – licensed as a Lay Minister in the Church of England and a member of its General Synod. I’ve always enjoyed visiting congregations and larger church groups to talk about the Bible, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the URC and Manchester in this way.

I love writing – both for academics and for ordinary Christians. The thing that shapes all of my writing is an interest in stories. I’m fascinated by how we tell stories and why, and the fact that we need them to be healthy human beings. The Hebrew writers built and charted their relationship with God through stories, and I’m learning all the time that we need to do the same. I’m chuffed to bits that Northern College is the next chapter in my story.

Paul Barrett

College Administrator


Since starting my first job at 14, I have held a number of varied positions including cinema projectionist, theatre box office, marketing assistant, arts administrator, activities co-ordinator, script writer… to name but a few. I started my journey with Northern College in October 2021 but have worked closely with them since 2014 when I was employed as the Assistant Registrar at Luther King House (the move was easy; just two doors down the corridor).

In my spare time I am an eager amateur baker and I enjoy reading, knitting, gardening (although with minimal success) and writing. I also have a keen interest in classic films and golden age detective fiction.

I currently live with my partner in St. Helens, with an imminent move to West Yorkshire in 2022.