When Uniting College was launched at a meeting of Synod on 27 March 2009, it was on the proud traditions of the Parkin-Wesley Theological College, which had its beginnings over 100 years before.
First known as the Brighton College, after its beach-side location, the College was given to the Methodist Conference in 1922, by Dr WG Torr, a Bible Christian layman. It operated successfully for five years at this location until the Conference decided in 1927 it needed to be closer to Adelaide University, and relocated to larger premises at Wayville. To coincide with this move, the Brighton College changed its name to Wesley College in honour of the Wesleyans who first trained their ministers at Prince Alfred College.
Operating at the same time was the Parkin College, which was located in Kent Town and was funded by a trust established by Congregationalist, the Hon William Parkin. In 1930, after operating independently, Methodist Parkin and Congregationalist Wesley began sharing lecturers and teaching facilities until 1950 when they were joined by the Baptist College to further enhance an ecumenical approach to the study of theology and ministry. This arrangement continued until 1969 when the Methodist Conference and the Parkin Trust, through the Congregational Union of SA, joined with the Presbyterian Assembly, to establish the Parkin-Wesley Theological College.
In 1997, Parkin Wesley joined St Francis Xavier Seminary and St Barnabas’ Theological College at a single site in Brooklyn Park to provide teaching for the Adelaide College of Divinity; a Higher Education Provider and Registered Training Organisation now affiliated with Flinders University.
In 2009, Parkin Wesley became Uniting College in response to the demands and opportunities of modern mission. The move breathed life into a new style of study where flexible academic study is enriched with lessons learned ‘on the job’. This unique approach assists students to harness the passion that brought them to live as a follower of Jesus; be they ministers or lay preachers.