Report praises the distinctive identity of St Stephen’s House

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THE Ministry Division of the Church of England has expressed confidence in St Stephen’s House, Oxford, in an inspection report which praised the college for its “clear and distinctive identity which informs all aspects of its life”.

The report published today spoke of “a community at ease and comfortable with embracing a variety of perspectives and traditions on numerous issues whilst situated clearly within a distinct theological and spiritual tradition.”

St Stephen’s House received 12 out of a possible 16 ‘confidence’ outcomes, covering a range of criteria including practical and pastoral theology, teaching, and ministerial, personal and spiritual formation. The report also made 20 recommendations, noting that “the majority of these are for making good practice better rather than highlighting substantive problems.”

Responding to the findings of the report, The Revd Canon Dr Robin Ward, Principal of St Stephen’s House, said: “We are delighted to have received a verdict of overall confidence from the inspection team.

“It is a strong endorsement of the importance of residential formation for the priesthood in the catholic tradition, as offered here at St Stephen’s House.  This is very important at a time of change and renewal for ordination training in the Church of England.
“I would like to thank the inspectors for their work, and the staff and students of the college for their dedication and enthusiasm.”

The full report is available here. 

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

The review framework for Theological Education Institutions

On behalf of the sponsoring churches, review teams are asked to assess the fitness for purpose of the training institution for preparing candidates for ordained and licensed ministry and to make recommendations for the enhancement of the life and work of the institution.

Within the structures of the Church of England, this report has been prepared for the House of Bishops acting through the Ministry Council.

In coming to their judgements, reviewers are asked to use the following outcomes with regard to the overall outcome and individual criteria:
Confidence

Overall outcome: a number of recommendations, none of which question the generally high standards found in the review.

Criteria level: aspects of an institution’s life which show good or best practice.
Confidence with qualifications

Overall outcome: A number of recommendations, including one or more of substance that questions the generally acceptable standards found in the review and which can be rectified or substantially addressed by the institution in the coming 12 months.

Criteria level: aspects of an institution’s life which show either (a) at least satisfactory practice but with some parts which are not satisfactory or (b) some unsatisfactory practice but where the institution has the capacity to address the issues within 12 months.

 

No confidence

Overall outcome: A number of recommendations, including one or more of substance which raise significant questions about the standards found in the review and the capacity of the institution to rectify or substantially address these in the coming 12 months.

Criteria level: aspects of an institution’s life which show either (a) generally not satisfactory practice or (b) some unsatisfactory practice where it is not evident that the institution can rectify the issues within the coming 12 months.

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