Director of St Mellitus College, North West

We are delighted to announce that Revd Dr Michael Leyden has been appointed as the Director of St Mellitus College, North West.

St Mellitus College, North West was launched in 2013 to provide a new full-time ordination training pathway and theological training for independent students in partnership with five dioceses in the north west: Blackburn, Carlisle, Chester, Liverpool and Manchester, the first time full-time ordination training in the North West for 44 years since St Aidan’s College Birkenhead was closed in 1969. Over the first 5 years since its inception it has experienced significant growth, and now has more than 80 students engaging in its various programmes at our teaching centre based in Liverpool Cathedral.

Michael has been a member of the St Mellitus staff team, based at the North West teaching centre since it began in 2013, as Tutor and Lecturer in Systematic Theology & Ethics and, more recently, as Lead Tutor for Academic Development across the college. He specialises in the interface between dogmatic theology and ethics – particularly in the work of Karl Barth – and is a member of the Grove Ethics Group. Michael studied theology in Oxford, Nottingham, and Chester, and has taught in various contexts including theological colleges, regional courses, open-access/public programmes, and as a university visiting-lecturer.

Michael was born and bred in Liverpool, and grew up on a council estate in Huyton before he went off to university. He has served in the Dioceses of Liverpool and Chester since ordination, and is currently half-time Vicar of the Benefice of Weston with Shavington. Michael is married to Anna, a licensed lay-minister in Chester Diocese, and they have two children, two cats, a guinea pig and a vegetable garden.

Michael writes:
“It is very humbling to have been appointed as Director of St Mellitus College, North West, and a real delight and privilege to take up the mantle. After five years as a member of staff at St Mellitus, I remain inspired by and joyfully committed to the College’s values of unity and generous orthodoxy, quality theology in the context of worship, and missional leadership which enables the Church to fulfil its calling today. I love these values because they serve the bigger picture of God’s mission in the world and are shaped by an historic Christian vision for God’s Kingdom. The culture of hopefulness among the staff team, coupled with our commitment to training which is accessible, character forming, and missional has the power to be deeply transformational and I look forward to working with the Dean and staff team to serve the church in the North West and nationally as Director.”

Andy Emerton, Dean of St Mellitus College writes:
“As a member of the staff team since 2013, Michael has been instrumental in helping to pioneer and establish the North West teaching centre. He has been and continues to be a brilliant colleague and as Director he brings a great deal of experience to the role as well as a proven commitment to the vision and values of the college and a passion for and deep rooting in the North West. We are looking forward to this new phase in the life of the college.”

Bishop Mark Ashcroft, Chair of the St Mellitus College, North West Advisory Board writes:
“Michael is hugely respected in the North West for his abilities as a priest, a communicator of the Gospel and a Theological educator. He embodies the St Mellitus ethos of Generous Orthodoxy and is able to connect powerfully with the diverse range of traditions and social contexts in the North West! We warmly welcome his appointment as Director, and look forward to our ongoing partnership in training women and men to bring the good news of Jesus to our communities.”