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St John's College, Nottingham - Discipleship, Mission and Leadership in a World of Change


David Hilborn to be the new Principal at Moorlands College

Prayers and Best Wishes for Our Principal as He Announces Move to Lead Moorlands College

David Hilborn PORTRAIT


Our Principal, the Revd Dr David Hilborn, has announced that he has been appointed as the new Principal of Moorlands College in Sopley near Christchurch, Dorset. He will be taking up his post in January, after completing a period of research leave here at St John’s. He will succeed the Revd Dr Steve Brady, who will be returning to pastoral ministry after two decades on the staff of Moorlands. David becomes only the third Moorlands’ principal in the last half-century.

The Chair of the Moorlands Board, Steve May-Miller, told students and staff there that David “arrives with an enviable academic record, including major roles at the Evangelical Alliance and St Mellitus College” in addition to his seven years as Principal of St John’s. He added that David is “deeply committed to a well-grounded, evangelical and orthodox faith, and is an excellent fit for Moorlands at this point in its history. Throughout the recruitment process, many have been impressed by David’s character, spiritual maturity and professional skills. As the College continues to resource the 600 or so students on its various courses, ranging from introductory to Masters level, it is with confidence in the Lord that Moorlands faces the challenges of training men and women for gospel ministry in today’s and tomorrow’s worlds.”

Moorlands is an interdenominational learning community that has been celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, having been founded in 1948. In recent years its mission and ministry has expanded into regional hubs in Torquay and Birmingham, with plans for a further hub in Brentwood, Essex. It recently completed a major building programme. Its vision is ‘to equip people, passionate about Jesus Christ, to impact the church and the world’ (for more see ).

One of the more immediate of challenges that David will take up in his new role is the path to obtaining Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP), effectively giving Moorlands university college status. Steve May-Miller said: “We believe David comes to Moorlands ‘for such a time as this’, and will, by the grace of God, enable the College to steer a steady path to TDAP and beyond.”

Steve Brady, announcing the news at a weekly chapel, told staff and students that he was “absolutely delighted and excited about David’s coming to Moorlands at this time. I leave the College in David’s most capable hands with an excellent team around him!”

David said of his new role: “It is a wonderful privilege to be succeeding my good friend and brother in Christ, Steve Brady, as Principal of Moorlands. Steve’s leadership of Moorlands has been a tremendous inspiration to me and others in the Association of Bible College Principals, which he has chaired with great distinction for a number of years, and which I am now blessed to chair. Steve has worked with a fantastic faculty and staff team, and with amazingly committed and energetic students. My profound prayer is that by God’s grace I will be able to build on his legacy while fulfilling Moorlands’ aim of securing its own Taught Degree Awarding Powers and extending its national and international reach.”

David added: “As I prepare to depart from Nottingham and move back ‘down south’, I do so knowing that St John’s is in good hands under my colleague Sally Nash, who has been covering day to day Principal’s duties while I have been on research leave, and who will be steering St John’s into the coming year. Please be assured that I will be praying for Sally and for St John’s as a whole as it continues to develop in meeting the needs of God’s mission in the East Midlands and beyond.”

The Chair of St John’s Council, Chris Smith, said: “David has served St John’s with distinction, great commitment, loyalty and hard work, ensuring that St John’s has maintained the highest academic standards. I wish David and Moorlands every success in the future.”

David is married to Mia, a full-time hospital chaplain, and they are blessed with two grown children, Matthew and Alice. Our prayers are with David and Moorlands as he looks to move into the locality and take up the reins in his new post.

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Contact: Jane Travis, Communications Manager –