Higher Education and Methodist Anglican Relationships Posted on July 10, 2011 by samc Love the way WordPress always welcomes me to the blogging page with a cheery, ‘Howdy’. Good turn out in the Minster today – almost a full house! Interesting debate this afternoon on the implications for ministerial training in Theological Colleges of the new higher fees being levied by universities for tuition and validation. The debate compared the cost of a degree in Theology from Oxbridge (£100,000) and a degree in Belgium (800 euros plus accommodation expenses). Paula Gooder challenged us to consider the debate in the wider context of the question of the future of theological education in this country, which she told us is in a parlous state. Richard Burridge called for a joined up system of theological training rather than the current situation where there are a multitude of different pathways to ordination – a situation which is moreover unaffordable. Emma Ineson called for a commitment to confident mission underscored with good theology and for a renewed and essential spirit of collaboration among different denominational training institutions. She noted that some of the most creative theologians today were from independent and free churches. Great maiden speech – one of the best! (She certainly made her mark as the Chair of Synod felt compelled to say that she had made his day, he had called her as a blind date, and she had responded. ….. in other words he hoped it was her when he called the lady in the mauve top, but wasn’t sure!! Much laughter ensued.) Synod accepted wholeheartedly the recommendations from the ministry division (see ministry paper GS 1836). General Synod also welcomed the interim report from the Joint Implementation Committee for the Anglican Methodist Covenant. The report encourages the creation of Covenant Partnerships over Extended Areas which would enable much wider and less bureaucratic sharing of ministry at different levels. CPEAs would encourage Anglicans and Methodists to work together strategically across deaneries / circuits / dioceses and districts. After extensive debate, the report was endorsed with less than 20 against.