About EKC

The Edward King Centre for Pastoral Theology (EKC) is named after the key founding figure of St Stephen’s House, Bishop Edward King (1829-1910). The Centre provides online pre-recorded and live lectures, formational talks, events, and open access resources. Pastoral Theology is understood in this context as the meeting point of traditional Christian theology, contemporary contexts, interdisciplinary dialogue, a forum for theological reflection on pastoral practice and religion in the public sphere.

How to Engage with the Centre

The Open Forum presents recordings and live streamed events from St Stephen’s House to the wider public. Upcoming events are listed on that page.

Key teaching of Pastoral Studies Units is made available to clergy, laity, pastoral workers and practitioners. Book places now for upcoming events.

Those clergy on Church of England contracts may qualify for continuing degree level education. Church of England pastoral assistants can engage in propaedeutic formation, either as a group or individually and accumulate initial credits before entering formal theological education. Just a registration fee will be charged for this level of engagement. To contact the EKC to find out more then please either complete our contact form or email ekc@ssho.ac.uk

The Edward King Associateship (EKA) offers prime access for those subscribing to more regular interaction and theological reflection with the Edward King Centre. Lectures on theology in the public sphere delivered by eminent theologians, politicians, philosophers or figures of public interest, are exclusively available to Associates. An ‘open questions’ theology lecture and seminar style learning is part of the offer for associates who also gain priority access to College events. Membership of the 1876 Society is deductible from the EKA annual subscription. In order to enrol on the Associateship please contact our Development Officer development@ssho.ac.uk

About Bishop Edward King

Edward King was born in December 1829 to a clerical family, as son of Walter King, Archdeacon of Rochester and grandson of another Walter King, Bishop of Rochester. Having graduated from Oriel College Oxford he was ordained and soon became chaplain at Cuddesdon Theological College (now Ripon College), becoming its Principal from 1863 to 1873, when William Gladstone as Prime Minister, appointed him Regius Professor of Pastoral Theology at Oxford and Canon of Christ Church. In that role he exercised a great influence on a generation of ordinands.

Together with fellow clergy formed by the Tractarian Movement, Edward King founded St Stephen’s House in 1876 as a new model of seminary education in the Church of England, combining rigorous academic and pastoral theology in one institution.

In 1885, upon Gladstone’s invitation when he again became prime minister, King accepted consecration as Bishop of Lincoln, though his long tenure there sparked a measure of controversy owing to his ‘Romish tendencies’. But he was also noted for his devotion to pastoral work in his diocese, particularly among the poor and dispossessed, and prisoners.

He died on 8th March 1910 in Lincoln, and was interred in the cathedral’s cloister.

Bishop Edward King