1. Please introduce yourself and your role at Union Theological College.
My name is Stafford Carson. I am the Principal and Professor of Ministry at Union Theological College.
2. Tell us a little about Union Theological College.
Union Theological College is the denominational college of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and a constituent college of the Institute of Theology at Queen’s University, Belfast. We have 240 students enrolled in both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. Thirty-nine of our students are in training for the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. We offer the Bachelor of Divinity degree, Bachelor of Theology, Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy degrees plus Graduate Diploma in Ministry and Diploma/Certificate in Youth Ministry.
3. Are the courses full time, part time or a mixture of both?
A mixture of part time and full time.
4. How do Union Theological College students fund their studies?
Through the Student Loan Company and through the Students’ Bursary Fund of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
5. Does Union Theological College take student from overseas?
6. What type of ministry is Union Theological College intended to prepare students for?
We prepare students for the ordained ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and many of our students use their theological education for a variety of careers in education, church-based ministry and community work.
7. When students leave Union Theological College what kind of ministries/jobs do they go into?
Ordained ministry of word and sacraments, youth ministry, community work.
8. What is distinctive about what Union Theological College offers compared with other colleges in the UK and overseas?
We are a distinctively reformed and Presbyterian college where all our faculty subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith and catechisms.
9. Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.
Our library, the Gamble Library, has over 70,000 books and 20,000 pamphlets and takes over 70 journals and periodicals. It is by far the largest theological library in Northern Ireland.
10. Does Union Theological College offer a distance or on-line learning option.
My thanks to Revd Carson for taking part in this interview series.