ERMC was founded in 1979 as the East Anglian Ministerial Training Course when the Ely Training Scheme merged with the Norwich Ordination Course. Its founders wanted to establish a ‘theological college without walls’ to train ordinands for the Dioceses of Ely, Norwich and St Edmundsbury & Ipswich as well as candidates of the Methodist and United Reformed Churches. In the early 1990s EAMTC developed links with the Dioceses of Peterborough and Chelmsford as well as the Diocese in Europe.
EAMTC became constituent part of the Cambridge Theological Federation in 1993.
In 2005, with the changes to theological education in the aftermath of the Hind Report (2003), a larger Eastern Region was formed, now including the Diocese of St Albans. As the training course for the new region the Eastern Region Ministry Course was formed as an amalgamation of EAMTC with part of the St Albans and Oxford Ministry Course.
Over the years partnership links were created with the Diocesan Ministry Courses in Norwich and St Edmundsbury. Over the course of seven years the responsibility for formation of ordinands became that of ERMC, leaving Reader/LLM training the responsibility of the Dioceses. The Reader/LLM training courses of the Dioceses of St Albans, Ely and Norwich work in close partnership with us whilst retaining their separate identity.
As result of changes in their ministerial training policy the United Reformed Church and Methodist Church withdrew from regional training courses in 2006 and 2014 respectively. Even if there are no formal links with the URC and the Methodists ERMC aims to maintain its ecumenical ethos. More recently the Diocese of Chelmsford formed a new partnership with St Mellitus College. As a result, there are only few ordinands from Chelmsford studying with us. In 2017 the Diocese of St Edmundsbury started its own Reader Training Course.
Despite these changes ERMC looks into the future with confidence. In 2016 we established a full-time non-residential pathway to ordination with our first context hub in Bedford. This has been a great success and we look forward to set up new hubs in collaboration with our partner dioceses.
During the tenure of our first Principal, The Revd Dr Malory Makower, the principal of ERMC was also Priest-in-Charge of Lode, Cambs and the course was located in the spacious vicarage. With the appointment of a full-time principal in 1984 ERMC moved into Cambridge and has has been located there ever since. For the first few year EAMTC had its offices in Westcott House. From 1997 to 2006 we were located in the Castle End Mission in Pound Hill. From there we moved into offices in Wesley House in Jesus Lane. When Wesley House underwent large scale refurbishment in 2014 we relocated to Westcott House, just opposite of Wesley in Jesus Lane. In 2017 we moved into our current offices in The Bounds in Westminster College, Cambridge.
Principals of EAMTC and ERMC
1977-1984 Malory Makower
1984-1992 John Kemp
1993-1999 Joy Tetley
2000-2007 Malcolm Brown
2007-2015 Ian McIntosh
2016-present Alexander S. Jensen