Monday, 30 July 2012

The Highest University in the Land - 25

Here we see Dr Jamie Grant, the Vice Principal of the Highland Theological College UHI.

Dr Jamie Grant gives the blessing

The Members of Faculty are:

Rev Hector Morrison, Principal; specialising in Old Testament
Dr Jamie Grant, Vice-Principal and PhD Co-ordinator; specialising in Wisdom literature and Biblical languages
Len Cazaly, BA Programme Leader; specialising in Missions and other faiths
Dr Jason Maston, MTh Programme Leader; specialising in New Testament
Rev Prof Andrew McGowan, Part-time Lecturer; specialising in Systematic Theology
Rev Dr Nick Needham, Lecturer; specialising in Church history
Rev Bruce Ritchie, Lecturer; specialising in Church history
Dr Robert Shillaker, Lecturer; specialising in Systematic Theology
Rev Dr Innes Visagie, Lecturer: specialising in Pastoral and Practical Theology

In early 1992 the newspapers carried a story about plans for a new university for the Highlands and Islands. This was not to be a traditional university, built on one or two sites close together. It was to be a collegiate university, made up of a number of colleges scattered the length and breadth of the Highlands and Islands. Most significant, however, was the fact that each college would continue to be self-governing, with its own Board of Management. At the same time, however, they would be linked together to form a university. This created an opportunity which had not existed before; namely, the possibility of a new theological college which would be self-governing but, at the same time, part of a university – the best of both worlds!

Many Christian businessmen and ministers were excited by this news and a small group got together to explore the possibilities of setting up a new theological college as part of the proposed university. Over the next two years the complex process of turning the idea into a reality was carried forward, with the help and involvement of ministers, businessmen, and representatives from the ‘University of the Highlands and Islands Project’.

After a generous offer of accommodation from Dr Robert Chalmers, Principal of Moray College, the final decision to go ahead with the project was taken on Friday 15th April 1994. Dr Andrew McGowan and Rev Hector Morrison were appointed as the first two members of staff of Highland Theological Institute and on 1st August 1994 they took up their posts in a small ‘hut’ in the grounds of Moray College, Elgin.

HTI steadily grew and expanded. In early 1999, through a combination of opportunities and generous provision, HTI was able to acquire its own premises in the town of Dingwall. The name was changed to Highland Theological College and, by the start of the new academic year, HTC had doubled its staff, moved into its new home, and was pleased to welcome another increase in student numbers.

Students (and staff) are attracted from many countries, not just the UK. Student numbers continue to grow year on year. New modules are being developed and added to the curriculum. Research is published in well- respected academic journals. HTC is increasingly being recognised in academic and theological circles as a place of excellence.

1 comment:

John the organist said...

Union JAck academic gown? Wow!