Union School of Theology degrees validated by the Open University We are delighted to announce that Union School of Theology is now a partner institution of The Open University. It has been approved by The Open University as an appropriate organisation to offer higher education programmes leading to Open University validated awards. This means that UST will offer Open University validated awards for our BA (Hons), Graduate Diploma and M.Th degree programmes in theology. These degrees are validated as being of the same level of quality and standard as other universities and higher education institutions. Union School of Theology emphasises flexible and accessible ways of undertaking theological education through delivery at its campus and in its Learning Communities, and the Open University is an excellent partner in this approach. We are thrilled to begin a new chapter of the School’s history with such a creative and renowned institution supporting our strategic direction. The Open University is the UK’s largest undergraduate institution and is well known for its excellence in teaching, research, and innovation, winning in the Teaching Excellence and Digital Innovation categories in The Guardian University Awards 2018. Dr Ian Shaw, Provost of Union School of Theology, commented on this news ‘As a result of the creative and thorough process of validation, in which faculty, students, and our partners in churches took key roles, we have developed validated courses that combine high academic standards with a strong emphasis on studying the Biblical text and the application of theology in practical training. These courses thoroughly prepare students for future Christian ministry. The input of The Open University and its process of external academic peer-review has been greatly valued’. Professor Michael Reeves, President of Union, said, ‘Union’s vision is to see leaders raised up for Christian ministry who are profoundly shaped in both their character and their learning. Working with a world class institution like The Open University, we can confidently invite our students to an experience of personal formation and preparation that is academically robust and theologically rigorous.'