A Short History of Springdale

Springdale began life in 1980 and was one of the Selly Oak group of mission colleges located in Selly Oak, Birmingham. Springdale was intended to provide contemporary training for Christian leaders primarily seeking to serve within the UK.

Selly Oak was the context in which Lesslie Newbigin taught during the last years of his active ministry. It was here that he began to develop a critique of western culture that led to the creation of the ‘Gospel and our Culture’ movement. The inspiration of that movement encouraged Springdale to re-imagine its future teaching and leadership development.

Part of that rethinking led to a formal merger with Together in Mission who were then running an MA in Missional Leadership and needed a formal validation route through an existing college. Springdale welcomed the imagination of Together in Mission who had thoroughly grasped the implications of seeing the west as a mission field in terms of training for mission.

Springdale has an historic link with the Fellowship of Churches of Christ, training its leaders and church planters. The majority of students are drawn from a wide range of denominations and networks. The present student body represent approximately 20 different ethnic backgrounds and nationalities.

“Mission is the proclamation of the kingdom of the Father, and it concerns the rule of God over all that is…The calling of men and women to be part of his community is and must always be at the centre of mission.”

Lesslie Newbigin, ‘Open Secret’

“We must be global Christians with a global vision because we serve a global God.”

John R.W. Stott
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