Rick Warren appointed first chancellor of Spurgeon's College

(Photo: Spurgeon's College)

Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren has been installed as the first-ever chancellor of Spurgeon's College in London.

The college is the UK's leading Baptist theological institution and was founded by Baptist preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, in 1856. 

Warren recently retired as pastor of the Baptist megachurch he founded, Saddleback, in California, but remains active, founding the Finishing the Task coalition to spread the Gospel among other projects. 

He has a strong personal connection to Spurgeon's College as his great, great grandfather studied there and was led to faith, commissioned to Christian service and sent to the US to plant churches by Spurgeon himself. 

Commenting on his appointment, Warren said, "I am delighted to have officially joined Spurgeon's College as its first chancellor at this important time in its development and mission.

"I have a deep personal family connection over four generations to Charles Spurgeon and the ministry of the College he founded, and he is responsible for my family moving to America.

"Further, my understanding of the meaning of ordination and conviction from Scripture on ministry leadership are identical to Charles Spurgeon's published views.

"I am grateful to God and the college for this opportunity to give back to this community."

His appointment is another significant milestone for the college after it was granted full degree awarding powers in 2022

In his role as chancellor, Warren will support the college in its vision to train men and women for Christian mission, ministry and leadership in the contemporary world, and make Jesus known in light of the continuing decline of Christianity in the UK. 

Spurgeon's College vice chancellor, Rev Prof Philip McCormack, said he was "absolutely thrilled" to welcome Warren to the Spurgeon's College family.

Deputy vice chancellor, Rev Helen Stokley, said, "In his long and distinguished ministry, both in the US and around the world, Pastor Warren has spoken of his link with the great Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon.

"His incredible work and experience to-date will be vital as the College continues to expand its civic engagement across London and supporting faith organizations throughout the UK."