New theological college appoints Rev Dr Michael Leyden as Dean

Rev Dr Michael Leyden

The Rev Dr Michael Leyden has been announced as the first Dean of Emmanuel Theological College. 

The independent theological college will offer part-time and full-time formational, vocational training for lay and ordained leaders of the Church of the England.

It will be home to around 250 students once it becomes operational, and will be the sole regional theological educational partner for the North West dioceses.

Dr Leyden is current director of St Mellitus College, North West, and grew up on an urban priority area estate in Huyton, near Liverpool, before studying at Oxford University.  

His experience also includes serving as a parish priest in the Dioceses of Liverpool and Chester. 

He will be supported in his new role by the Bishop of Chester, Mark Tanner, as Chair-elect of the Emmanuel Theological College Board of Trustees, and the Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, who will lead a multi-disciplinary implementation team.

"I am so very honoured to be asked to become the first Dean of Emmanuel Theological College: to help enact the vision to train and equip Christ-centred, mission-minded, and hope-filled leaders for our region is thrilling," Dr Leyden said. 

"I've seen the impressive work that has already been done to prepare for our first intake of students in September 2021, and I'm delighted to be joining such a high-calibre team.

"Together, under God, we will make Emmanuel Theological College an outstanding place to train lay and ordained leaders of all traditions and backgrounds to serve the mission of God in the north west."

The Bishop of Blackburn, Julian Henderson, said: "This is an important next step as we move forward with our exciting new plans for Emmanuel Theological College.

"The college will serve the rich breadth of traditions in the Church of England and I am delighted Rev Dr Michael Leyden has been appointed as the first Dean.

"I'm sure I speak on behalf of the whole Diocese when I say we will be praying for Michael and the whole team working to establish the College in the months ahead."