Records of St Andrew's College, Selly Oak

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises minutes, correspondence, register of members, and student records. The collection contains some annual reports and financial statements, but the sequences are not complete; overall there is very little material from the first ten years of the college's operation (1946-1956). Most of the material dates from 1956-1966, and provides information about the administration of the college, its attempts to expand and its negotiations with its sponsors, Selly Oak Colleges Council and Carey Hall prior to amalgamation. The collection reflects the debates of missionary societies and educators, especially around the issue of integration, in the mid-twentieth century.

Administrative / Biographical History

St Andrew's College was founded in 1946 as a centre for the training of male missionaries. Missionary organisations had previously focused on training for female workers, but at the World Missionary Conference of 1938 it was resolved that missionary training was necessary for all candidates. At the conference of British Missionary Societies the following year, it was agreed that a men's college should be established in Selly Oak and Edward Cadbury offered to found and equip the new college. These plans were disrupted by the outbreak of war and the college was not formed until 1946. St Andrew's was supported by the Baptist Missionary Society; Church Missionary Society; Church of Scotland; London Missionary Society; Methodist Missionary Society; English Presbyterian Church and Welsh Presbyterian Mission (though later CMS and Church of Scotland left the group of cooperating societies). Representatives from the supporting missionary organisations sat on the college council alongside the treasurer, secretary and warden.

St Andrew's College was based in a building known as Elmfield on Bristol Road, Selly Oak. Elmfield contained the chapel, library, dining room and common room, as well as providing accommodation for the warden and his family and the students. Rev. H. D. Northfield was the warden of the college from 1946-1956, and in its first term the college had 6 students. Each candidate studied the culture of the country he expected to work in, the history of the church there, the principles and practice of missionary work and practical courses such as book-keeping and linguistics. Students had access to the shared amenities of the Selly Oak Colleges, including the Central Library and the Central Staff lecture programme.

Student numbers varied during the first few years but increased to around 20 per term in the mid-1950s. As well as candidates from UK missionary societies, the college accepted missionaries on furlough and students from overseas missionary societies for training. The majority of students could only attend for one term, although the college preferred them to train for two or three. In 1956 the college started offering training to the wives of male candidates, who were now recognised as full students of the college. Female students undertook the usual courses on biblical studies, church history and book-keeping but there were also separate courses on topics such as 'the meaning of vocation for a missionary's wife' and 'work amongst women and children, running the house, family planning'.

St Andrew's began leasing No.11 Kingsmead Close to provide accommodation for the increasing student numbers, but the college still needed more space. In 1956 the college bought 'Lower Kingsmead' and the surrounding land with money from its sponsoring societies. The building, renamed St Andrew's House, provided accommodation for 12-15 students plus the warden and his family. The college planned to use the surrounding land to extend St Andrew's House to accommodate all facilities, allowing the college to terminate the leases of Elmfield and No.11 Kingsmead Close. The Cadbury Trust offered £10,000 towards the extension project, and the college hoped to raise another £30,000 from the sponsoring societies. However it had difficulty gaining support for its plans and by 1960 it emerged that the extension would cost nearer £50,000.

Whilst the college needed to expand it was also questioning its future direction. With the admission of married couples, St Andrew's (and the other missionary colleges in Selly Oak) began considering the benefits of training men, women and married couples together. In the late 1950s St Andrew's, Carey Hall and Kingsmead College began discussing the possibility of combining to create one co-educational, inter-denominational college. Many missionary organisations (including sponsors of the college) supported integrated training and were reluctant to invest in St Andrew's proposed building work until the question of the college's future was settled.

In 1960 Selly Oak Colleges Council offered St Andrew's a site on College Walk where they could build a new college rather than extend - in exchange, St Andrew's would have to sell St Andrew's House to Westhill College. St Andrew's accepted the proposal in 1961. With this deal in place, the college was under pressure to start building (at a cost of about £135,000) but the question of integration was still unresolved. A period of consultation and negotiation between St Andrew's, Carey Hall, the sponsoring bodies and Selly Oak Colleges Council ensued, during which various options for new buildings, extensions, and forms of integration were considered. In October 1961 Carey Hall suggested selling its buildings in order to contribute towards the construction of a united training centre on College Walk. However Selly Oak Colleges Council would not agree to the sale of the buildings to the highest bidder, as they wanted some control over the Selly Oak site. In summer 1962 St Andrew's decided to press ahead with a new building on College Walk, hoping that it could be designed with a view to future integration. However, without the sale of Carey Hall and with one of the supporting societies withdrawing its support for the scheme there was not enough money for the project, and the plans were abandoned by the College Council in October 1962. Westhill took over St Andrew's House in summer 1964, leaving the college with very limited accommodation. Over the next couple of years, many St Andrew's students stayed in the Missionary Guest House or outside lodgings, with Kingsmead accepting the occasional overflow. In September 1966 St Andrew's College and Carey Hall merged to create St Andrew's Hall, based in the Carey Hall buildings.

Source: St Andrew's College papers and publications

Conditions Governing Access

Access to all registered readers. Some records in this collection are closed in accordance with the Data Protection Act of 1998

Other Finding Aids

A temporary handlist is available as a pdf file. Please see the online catalogue for further details

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Director of Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections (email: special-collections@bham.ac.uk). Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Cadbury Research Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History

The records of St Andrews's College passed into the custody of St Andrew's Hall Missionary College in 1966. This college closed in 2000 and the records of both colleges were deposited with the University of Birmingham in 2001 with the agreement of the Baptist Church Missionary Society, the United Reformed Church and the Council for World Mission

Accruals

Further deposits are not expected

Related Material

Cadbury Research Library holds records of other Selly Oak missionary training colleges: Carey Hall United Missionary Training College for Women (1912-1966), and St Andrew's Hall Missionary College (1966-2000), an ecumenical establishment sponsored by the Baptist Church Missionary Society, the United Reformed Church and the Council for World Mission.

Cadbury Research Library also holds records of missionary societies which also include records of their missionary training colleges: Church Missionary Society and the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society