- Community Life
- News & Events
In the middle of World War Two, a group of ministers, missionaries and business people came together with a vision for an interdenominational, evangelical college that would counter the rising tide of liberal scholarship in Western universities and prepare Christians to interact with post-war world.
Based in central London, the college originally offered only correspondence courses and evening classes. By 1944, over 300 students were enrolled, and two years later the number was up to 1,400, and London Bible College (LBC) evening classes were being taught all over the UK. In autumn 1946, the first full-time students started their studies.
In 1970, LBC moved to Northwood and onto the campus previously occupied by London College of Divinity, an Anglican training college. The 1990s saw the opening of a dedicated postgraduate centre (Guthrie Centre), which also houses the Centre for Islamic Studies.
In 2004, LBC became London School of Theology (LST), a new name but with the same aim.
LST continues to be known throughout the world as a place where intellectual thoroughness and rigour go hand in hand with a passion to see students grow personally and spiritually.
In 1943 the idea of London School of Theology (LST) was born. London Bible College (LBC) started its first evening classes and correspondence courses. From its earliest beginnings, there was a commitment to flexibility of study.
In 1946 LBC opened its doors to full-time students, demonstrating its passion to provide full-time theological training. Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones preached at a service of dedication.
In the autumn of 1946, the first class began the first full academic year. There were 23 students, 4 women and 19 men.
Angus Macmillan taught one of the early classes at LBC in Marylebone Road, London.
An early LBC student in a typical Marylebone Road study room.
In 1958 two thousand people packed into 19 Marylebone Road to dedicate the new LBC building, replacing the old building that had stood on the site. It was an exciting celebration of the college’s first owned premises.
At the end of one decade, the 1960s, London College of Divinity moved from Northwood to Nottingham opening opportunity for LBC to move and expand. The start of the 1970s was marked with a new building, a new location, a new era for LBC.
In1970 Billy Graham gave an address to LBC students entitled 'The man God can use', and addressing men and women equally he challenged them, 'What would it be like if 200 spirit-filled people were unleashed on London. I mean men and women really filled with the Holy Spirit.'
The1980s saw the library extended and the collection of books, journals and periodicals grew. LBC had a commitment to providing the best theological resources and today LST is no different, boasting the best stock of any seminary library in the country.
In 1995 the Guthrie Centre was opened, providing a dedicated postgraduate centre and a future home for the Centre of Islamic Studies.
The Rt Rev and Rt Hon Lord Carey visited LBC in 1997 continuing his long-term involvement with the college. Lord Carey first attended evening classes in the 50s. 'How well even now I can recall Ernest Kevin's great lectures, how he inspired me and others.' He went on to study for his MTh and PhD between 1963 and 1968. Now as the current President of LST, Lord Carey supports the activities of the college, 'This college's pre-eminent task to equip the leaders of tomorrow’s Church.'
Worship has always been at the heart of LST and central to all of its activities. In 1997, the Theology, Music & Worship course was launched, and in 2000, the first four students graduated. They celebrated with Graham Kendrick who received his honorary award of Doctor of Divinity.
In 2002, the first students graduated from the Theology & Counselling course. LST recognised the need for Christian Counsellors who are both theologically articulate and professionally trained. That’s why a partnership was formed with CWR to provide a theology and counselling programme unique in the UK.
In 2004, LBC became LST, London School of Theology – a name more suitable for its work in the 21st century in a range of cultures and contexts. The School had a new name, but with the same ethos and direction, with the Bible at the centre.
LST is committed to communicating about theology and the life of the college beyond its immediate community to provide a service to the wider Christian community.