About Cuddesdon

With a residential community at its core, Cuddesdon has grown to be able to offer a broad range of full-time and part-time pathways and programmes to meet the needs of people with different circumstances, stages of life, and academic experience:

Ripon College Cuddesdon 

  • full-time residential, context-based and part-time training for ordained clergy
  • ordained pioneer ministry training in partnership with Church Mission Society
  • bespoke programmes for independent students
  • a Retreat and Conference Centre for hosting our own programme of guided retreats and events, and also available for external hire for conferences, meetings, parish away days, summer schools and clergy holidays

Cuddesdon Gloucester & Hereford 

  • part-time training for ordained clergy, Readers and independent students at centres in Gloucester and Ludlow
  • Gloucester Foundations in Theology, Ministry and Mission in partnership with Gloucester Diocese for independent students

Our History

There has been a theological college in the village of Cuddesdon for over 160 years. Cuddesdon College was established in 1854 by Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, whose vision was for a college independent of any specific Church faction, and with a focus on the discipline of daily prayer and spiritual formation. A merger with Ripon Hall in the 1970s, forming Ripon College Cuddesdon, brought in new resources and fresh thinking, and helped develop a new and open approach to theological study.

The incorporation of the Oxford Ministry Course in 2006 (now the Part-time Pathway), and the West of England Ministerial Training Course in 2011 (now Cuddesdon Gloucester & Hereford) has enabled the College to offer a wide range of outstanding part-time courses that have been well established for over forty years. From 2014, a partnership with Church Mission Society has enabled us to offer training for Ordained Pioneer Ministers.

The Cuddesdon Sisters

In 2012, the remaining Sisters from two Anglican religious orders - Communities of St John Baptist and The Good Shepherd - joined the College community, providing a praying presence throughout the year. Due to the pandemic, they moved in the autumn of 2020 to St Mary's Convent and Nursing Home in Chiswick. We miss them being here greatly but keep in close contact with them. 

The Community of St John Baptist funds The Clewer Initiative, the national work of the Church of England in the combat of modern slavery.