In early 2019 the Scottish Baptist College (SBC) agreed with the Baptist Union of Scotland (BUS) to explore ways the College could expand its provision of education to a wider audience in the Scottish Baptist constituency. As a first step in this process, Professor Andrew Clarke has been appointed to operate from a Northern Hub. Under his supervision the Northern Hub aims to deliver training and education as an extension of the College, and facilitate flexible learning opportunities for church members.

It is designed to:
1. Serve the Baptist constituency in Scotland, initiating conversations with churches about training and education.
2. Advise ministers about courses delivered by the College that will enhance their work and offer opportunities for CMD.
3. Support students, individually or in small groups who are undertaking College modules on a blended-learning or distance-learning basis.

SBC Principal, Rev. Dr. Ian Birch explains the vision behind the project: “For a number of years we have been dreaming of making the resources of the College more accessible and more available to more people across the Baptist denomination. At last we can see this vision being fulfilled and we’re glad for this partnership with Andrew who is the ideal person to head it up.”

Andrew Clarke has taught New Testament for 20 years and is an Honorary Professor at the University of Aberdeen. His research focuses on ways in which the earliest Christians formed communities of learners, and the different models of leadership they adopted. Over the past 12 years, he has helped to develop a model of Simple Church in North Aberdeenshire, exploring ways of sharing faith and expressing worship in all-age groups. He is committed to working with students, pastors and church leaders in exploring holistic ways of integrating faith, life and mission.

The Northern Hub will facilitate wider access to SBC’s modules, as well as further training opportunities for BUS churches. It will be operational from September 2019 and enquiries can be directed to graham.meiklejohn@uws.ac.uk.