The Baptist College in Cardiff is one of the oldest academic institutions in Wales.
For over 200 years it has been training Christian ministers who have served across the UK and in many other countries. Recent graduates are working in churches in Wales, England and Italy.
Its origins date back to 1807 when the Abergavenny Academy was founded under the leadership of the Rev’d Micah Thomas. The missionary concern which gave birth of the college was visible in its first student, Jonathan Davies of Capel Iwan, who went on to become a Baptist evangelist in Pembrokeshire.
In 1836 the college moved to Pontypool where the second Principal, the Rev’d Thomas Thomas, combined leadership of the college with serving as pastor of a newly established Baptist congregation in the town.
When the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire was founded in Cardiff, the decision was made to move the Baptist Academy from Pontypool to Cardiff. This took place in 1893, when Rev’d Dr William Edwards was Principal, and it marked the start of the college’s long and fruitful relationship with what is now known as Cardiff University.
The story of the college’s contribution to teaching theology at the University is told at: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/share/aboutus/religion/the-history-of-the-department-of-religious-theological-studies.html
Under the current terms of the Academic Partnership between South Wales Baptist College, St Michael’s College and Cardiff University, the Baptist College is able to admit students to undergraduate and postgraduate courses in theology at Cardiff University.
The college’s 4 tutors are Honorary Senior Tutors in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University. So in addition to supporting students doing pastoral training at the college, the tutors also have the privilege of teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students at the university.
Further information about the history of the college can be found in a book written by a former Principal, the Rev’d Dr D. Hugh Matthews, which is available from the college.
D Hugh Matthews From Abergavenny to Cardiff: History of the South Wales Baptist College (1806-2006), (Abertawe: Gwasg Ilston, 2007).
D Hugh Matthews O’r Fenni i Gaerdydd: Hanes Coleg y Bedyddwyr, Caerdydd (1806-2006), (Abertawe: Gwasg Ilston, 2007).
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