A new theological college in the north west of England has appointed its first dean.
Rev Dr Michael Leyden will serve as the head of Emmanuel Theological College, which is due to welcome students in Autumn 2021.
“I am so very honoured to be asked to become the first Dean of Emmanuel Theological College: to help enact the vision to train and equip Christ-centred, mission-minded, and hope-filled leaders for our region is thrilling," Leyden said upon news of his appointment.
“I’ve seen the impressive work that has already been done to prepare for our first intake of students in September 2021, and I’m delighted to be joining such a high-calibre team.
"Together, under God, we will make Emmanuel Theological College an outstanding place to train lay and ordained leaders of all traditions and backgrounds to serve the mission of God in the north west.”
Leyden, who is currently Director of St Mellitus College, North West, will be supported by the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Mark Tanner, as Chair-elect of the Emmanuel Theological College Board of Trustees.
Welcoming Michael, the Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Revd Dr Emma Ineson, said: “Michael has an impressive track record as a theologian and educator, and he is also deeply grounded in ministry in the region, all of which will make him an excellent Dean of Emmanuel Theological College.”
Rt Rev Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool, added: “I have seen the fruit of Michael’s ministry over many years, especially his commitment to training candidates from previously excluded groups, and I am delighted that he has accepted our invitation to lead the new college.”
The Diocese of Carlisle said that Emmanuel Theological College will provide full-time and part-time courses, combining "theological excellence with a rigorous formational programme"; it will also seek to "celebrate the rich breadth of traditions in the Church of England" and "enable access for students from a variety of backgrounds, so all may learn, grow, and flourish together as they are formed in Christ’s service".