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Our History

Whitley College was established in 1891 by Collins Street Baptist Church as the Baptist Theological College of Victoria. William Thomas Whitley was invited to come to Melbourne from England to take up the position of Principal, and he remained the college Principal for the next ten years.

Whitley was a founding member of the Melbourne College of Divinity in 1910, which in 2012 became Australia’s first specialist university: The University of Divinity (UD).

Originally focused solely on the training of pastors for ordained ministry within the Baptist Union of Victoria, Whitley College grew to educate people from all walks of life, recognising the contribution of theology to a wide range of endeavours.

In 1965, the college was renamed Whitley College in honour of its first Principal.

Whitley maintains the largest specialist collection of Baptist books and journals in Australia. These are held in the much larger collections of the Geoffrey Blackburn Library, together making a total of close to 30,000 items. The Boreham Collection includes books by and about Frank W. Boreham, including items from his personal collection.