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‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…’  Romans 12:2

Cranmer Hall, St John’s College,

3 South Bailey, Durham DH1 3RJ

Major new investment in theological training at Cranmer Hall

Cranmer Hall, St John’s College is announcing two exciting initiatives which will significantly increase access to theological and leadership training across the North-East: 30 fully-funded bursaries for students to access theological training at Cranmer Hall and a new Leadership Training and Access Officer who will expand Cranmer Hall’s existing partnerships with local churches training people to grow in leadership and serve more effectively within their churches.

Made possible by a long-term grant from the Relay Trust, a charity working in theological education in Africa but now partnering with some key UK institutions, these initiatives represent a substantial investment by Cranmer Hall in enabling much wider participation in theological and leadership training.

10 fully-funded Relay Bursaries, worth up to £17k per annum, will be awarded each year, growing to 30 over three years.  The bursaries will offer women and men, who live across the region or who can demonstrate a call to serve in the region, the opportunity to access a full-time or part-time course at Cranmer Hall which will equip them theologically and practically for leadership in the local church.  Students from any Christian denomination are welcome to apply.

The Leadership Training and Access Officer will develop the existing work which Cranmer Hall is doing in supporting local churches, denominations and networks in their leadership development and training. Currently Cranmer Hall is working with 13 local Free Churches to deliver a CPAS Growing Leaders course for 44 emerging leaders.  This new role, supported by a Leadership Training and Access Assistant, will enable Cranmer Hall to scale up its partnerships with local churches and offer training resources which enable local churches to identify and support potential leaders.

Philip Plyming, Warden of Cranmer Hall, said ‘I am delighted to announce both these initiatives.  Cranmer Hall has always been a college strongly embedded in, and committed to, our region and in the last few years it has been so encouraging to see our partnerships across the North East grow, not least through the Free Church Track.  The bursaries and new Leadership Training and Access Officer enable Cranmer Hall to make a step-change in the offer we are able to make to local churches and potential leaders. I am grateful to the Relay Trust for their vote of confidence in what Cranmer Hall is already doing and what is possible for the future.’

Ian Galloway, Director of the Free Church Track at Cranmer Hall, commented, ‘I thank God for this exciting new development.   Seeing students from all backgrounds training together at Cranmer Hall is very moving, and the huge response to our current Growing Leaders course shows that Cranmer Hall has a vital role to play in supporting leadership development in local churches. Churches flourish when leaders are well equipped, and these initiatives enable us to expand what we are doing to serve all the churches across the region.’


  • The bursaries will be open for students starting from September 2022. Details of how to apply are here Cranmer Hall Relay Bursaries
  • Two roles are being advertised: the role spec for a Leadership Training and Access Officer is here LTAO Role Spec and the Leadership Training and Access Assistant will be advertised in due course
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