Ripon College Cuddesdon

Ripon College Cuddesdon

Ripon College Cuddesdon is a Church of England theological college in Cuddesdon, a village 5.5 miles (8.9 km) outside Oxford, England.

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Ripon College Cuddesdon was formed from an amalgamation in 1975 of Cuddesdon College and Ripon Hall. The name deliberately contains no comma.

Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford founded Cuddesdon College in 1854 as the Oxford Diocesan Seminary to train graduates from Oxford and Cambridge. It quickly became known as Cuddesdon College. The college buildings, most of them designed by G.E. Street, were built opposite the Bishop's Palace. Traditionally "Cuddesdon", as it is commonly known, was in the Catholic tradition of the Church of England.

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 the then Bishop of Ripon, William Boyd Carpenter. 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, Oxford and was renamed Ripon Hall. There it became known as a liberal Anglican college. In 1933 Ripon Hall moved again, 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.[1]

The college today

Currently, men and women who come with a range of previous experience, but are not necessarily graduates, take a two or three year course of study incorporating pastoral and academic training. Courses of study are validated by Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University. Nowadays, Cuddesdon students come from across the spectrum of the Church of England but it remains a predominaltly liberal catholic institution. It maintains a regular and disciplined approach to prayer, and seeks to train students in a modern critical approach to the Christian tradition of the Church of England. Recently[when?] the part-time Oxford Ministry Course has been integrated as part of the college.

Staff members

Among the college's previous staff members are:

When Robert Runcie retired from the archbishopric he took the title Baron Runcie of Cuddesdon.

The current principal is the Revd. Canon Professor Martyn Percy, who is apparently the only living author to be referred to in Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code.[citation needed] The Revd. Dr. Mark Chapman is college Vice Principal. The Revd. Gerald Hegarty is Vice Principal for the Oxford Ministry Course which is a part of the College. The Revd. Dr. Margaret Whipp is Dean of Studies. The Revd. Dr. David Heywood is Director of Pastoral Studies. The Revd. Dr. Andrew Teal teaches Patristics; the Revd. Dr. Helen-Ann Hartley and Dr. Michael Lakey teach New Testament and Greek; Dr. Hywel Clifford teaches Old Testament and Hebrew. The Revd. Canon Charlotte Methuen and Revd. Dr. Philip Tovey teach liturgy. Revd. Dr. Tim Naish teaches mission. The college also incorporates the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology, headed by Dr. Helen Cameron.

Notable alumni

See also Category:Alumni of Ripon College Cuddesdon.

Sources and further reading

  • Chapman, Mark D. (ed.), Ambassadors of Christ: Commemorating 150 Years of Theological Education in Cuddesdon 1854-2004, Burlington (Ashgate) 2004.
  • Chapman, Mark D., God's Holy Hill: A History of Christianity in Cuddesdon, Charlbury (The Wychwood Press) 2004.


  1. ^ Seeking God - the Story of Ripon Hall in Oxfordshire Limited Edition, supplement to the Oxford Times, May 2009

External links

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

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