Fr Michael Holman SJ appointed Principal of Heythrop College

Michael Holman SJ

Michael Holman SJ

The Governors of Heythrop College, University of London, have appointed Fr Michael Holman SJ as Principal of Heythrop College to succeed Dr John McDade SJ on his retirement after 13 years of distinguished service.

In making the appointment the Governors consulted the Superior General of the Society of Jesus who has given his support for Fr Holman’s appointment.

Fr Holman, who was Headmaster of Wimbledon College from 1995 to 2004, is at present the Provincial Superior of the British Jesuits. He will take up his appointment at Heythrop after the end of his six-year term of office as Provincial in July next year.

Fr Holman was educated at Campion Hall, Oxford, Heythrop College, London, Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Fordham University, New York. He holds degrees in Philosophy, Theology and Educational Administration. He will bring with him educational, pastoral, administrative and leadership skills to lead the development of the College, which in 2014 celebrates the 400th anniversary of its foundation.

In making the announcement, Michael Malone-Lee, Chairman of the Governing Body, said:  “The Governors of the College are delighted to appoint Fr Holman as Principal. He will bring with him wide experience and his appointment demonstrates the commitment of the Society of Jesus to Heythrop College. Fr Holman will lead the College, which begins this year with 1000 students, towards the 400th anniversary of its foundation in 2014.

He will build on the legacy of his distinguished predecessor Dr. John McDade. Part of that legacy is the new Centre for Philosophy of Religion, which includes as researchers Professor Keith Ward and Professor John Cottingham. The quality of Heythrop’s postgraduate research provision has been recognised by the recent award of prestigious studentships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to three of its students.”

About his appointment as Principal, Fr Holman said: “I am pleased and proud to be given the opportunity to serve Heythrop College in this way, not least as it prepares to celebrate the 400th anniversary of its foundation in 1614. Heythrop has a long and distinguished record of service to the Church and wider society in this country and around the world, providing as it does excellent resources for the study of philosophy, theology and psychology and for the formation of future priests and ministers. Together with all associated with the College, it is that Jesuit tradition of excellence which I plan to maintain and develop in the years ahead”.

Heythrop College was established in 1614 in Louvain by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) for the study of philosophy and theology. Since 1970, it has been a College of the University of London, while retaining a modern Catholic ethos, and offers an educational experience that respects all faiths and perspectives. In addition to undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, it also provides a resource for faith communities and others, especially through the work of the Centres and Institutes.

College staff have a wide range of expertise, with particular research strengths in interreligious dialogue and comparative theology, Middle Eastern Christianity, practical and pastoral theology, Catholic theology, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind/psychology, and aesthetics. Research is an increasingly important part of the College's academic life and Heythrop participated for the first time in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, gaining recognition for its work at an international level. Heythrop is also the Lead College for the University of London International Programme's Bachelor of Divinity degree and Diploma in Theology.

Professor Keith Ward is a Professorial Research Fellow of the new Centre for Philosophy of Religion at Heythrop College and was formerly the Regius Professorship of Divinity at the University of Oxford for over a decade.  Before that he was the F D Maurice Professor of Moral and Social Theology at the University of London, where he was also Professor and Head of Department of History. Professor Ward has delivered numerous prestigious public lectures and is the author of many books. He is an ordained priest in the Church of England and was until 2003 Canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

Professor John Cottingham is a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Philosophy of Religion, Heythrop College, University of London and Professor Emeritus at the Philosophy Department at the University of Reading, where he was for many years Head of Department and subsequently Director of Research/Graduate Studies. He is also an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford.
Professor Cottingham is the author of numerous articles on early-modern philosophy, and on ethics and the philosophy of religion. He has held the Radcliffe Research Fellowship in Philosophy, and has served as Chairman of the British Society for the History of Philosophy, as President of the Mind Association, President of the Aristotelian Society and President of the  British Society for the Philosophy of Religion.

Source: Jesuit Communications

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