Union School of Theology

Union School of Theology is a Reformed Christian educational institution in Bryntirion in Bridgend, South Wales. The School is part of the wider Christian ministry of Union which also involves church planting and the production of theological resources.

Leadership and faculty

The current President of the school is Dr Michael Reeves who also functions as Professor of Theology. He took up the role in January 2016, having been Head of Theology at the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship. Other faculty of the School include Robert Letham, Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., and Richard Turnbull.

Programmes of study

The majority of Union School of Theology students attend the School in order to prepare for Christian ministry.

Campus courses

A three-year, full-time residential BA Hons degree in Theology is offered on the Bridgend campus, covering Biblical Studies, Theological and Historical Studies, and Ministerial and Missional Practice. The Global Ministry Course, also based on the School campus, is designed to teach English to overseas students.

Learning Communities

The School's largest programme, a Graduate diploma in theology, is taught in regional church-based 'Learning Communities' in more than 20 locations globally including Oxford, Athens, Rome, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Calgary, Alberta. The course is designed to combine academic rigor with 'the convenience and added value of sharing and growing together in vibrant local settings under the care and guidance of an experienced Lead Mentor.'

Postgraduate and Research Degrees

The School's Master of Theology is a taught postgraduate master's degree, accessible both on the campus and in Learning Communities, and either full or part-time. Research degrees, up to PhD level are offered through 'a collaborative partnership with VU University Amsterdam'.


The college was founded in 1936 as the Barry School of Evangelism . It was successively known as South Wales Bible College, Evangelical Theological College of Wales, and Wales Evangelical School of Theology. The school was situated in Barry from 1950 to 1985. Eryl Davies became Principal in September 1985, moving the college to the seven acre grounds of the historic Bryntirion House in Bridgend. Jonathan Stephen became Principal in 2006 and the college was renamed Wales Evangelical School of Theology.
The school had 170 students in 2009-10 in undergraduate and graduate degree programs up to the Ph.D. The graduate programme was described by Iain Murray as "well-known British training schools for ministers and missionaries" that attracts evangelical Christians wishing to study for the ministry. The School's research degrees are offered in partnership with the VU University Amsterdam.
Since 2007 the school has maintained a partnership with SaRang Community Church which has added Union and Wales to its worldwide areas of active mission.


The School has been the subject of criticism by the Bible League Quarterly and The Sword and the Trowel for its affiliation with the Korean churches, the involvement of the international director of the Lausanne movement on WEST's board till 2014, and claims of 'ecumenical connections' through the European Leadership Forum. The Bible League Quarterly and The Sword and the Trowel also objected to the appointment of a Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies who allegedly described portions of John's Gospel as 'fiction', is allegedly 'agnostic whether the gospel and the epistles of John have common authorship' and allegedly claims the Beloved Disciple is 'not the author' of the Gospel
The lecturer in question has written publicly about the allegations, which were made about his 2002 PhD thesis. In 2014, he wrote an article in the journal 'Foundations' defending the historical reliability of John's Gospel and explaining his position that 'the author did not produce a strict historical record of the bare facts but employed a legitimate degree of freedom to select, arrange and present his material in order to bring out the theological significance of Jesus’ life and ministry.' The author also withdrew the language of 'fiction' as 'unhelpful'. Lecturers at Union School of Theology are required to sign its doctrinal statement which includes the affirmation of the Bible as 'the inspired, infallible and inerrant word of God.'

Notable alumni