Opened on Sunday 24 February 1957 before a crowd of 3,000 people, St Mark’s grew from the vision of Bishop Ernest Burgmann for “an institution which would become like a permeable membrane between the church and the university work done in a secular city”.
The original library was to provide a place for serious theological scholarship which Burgmann saw as being linked to the very fate of Australia. “Burgie” hoped St Mark’s would become a place of leadership training and postgraduate research in theology.
The original vision has been reinterpreted over the last four decades to reflect unexpected changes and circumstances. In the late 1980s, Burgmann’s biographer concluded, “St Mark’s nevertheless found a niche at levels other than that intended by Burgmann, training clergy and lay people in a variety of theological concerns. It remains a powerful reminder of the Burgmann inheritance.”
Since then St Mark’s involvement as the founding institution of the School of Theology of Charles Sturt University has rekindled and enriched the original vision. St Mark’s has become a place of theological and ministerial leadership in the Australian Church.
In 1995, St Mark’s, together with the United Theological College, entered into a partnership with Charles Sturt University to found the School of Theology. Our affiliates now include St Barnabas’ College in Adelaide, St Francis’ College in Brisbane, and Ming Wa Theological College in Hong Kong. This partnership, which continues today, enables St Mark’s to offer undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in Theology, Ministry, Pastoral Counselling, and Ageing and Pastoral Studies. This is a remarkable relationship and a unique offering, as universities seldom offer theological studies that are grounded in Judeo-Christian tradition.
A large range of subjects is offered each year with lecturers drawn from several denominations to provide an inclusive and ecumenical approach. Both undergraduate and postgraduate study can be undertaken either on-campus or online at St Mark’s.