Y Coleg Gwyn


A Baptist Institute was established in Llangollen in 1862, and the staff worked diligently in preparing students for pastoral ministry and mission appointment on behalf of the Baptist tradition. In 1884 a new university was created in north Wales, and following much prayer and discussion it was decided to move the Institute to Bangor; and this was realized in 1892; and with the move came a new name. Contacts had already been made with the university, and staff members of the North Wales Baptist College became part of the teaching staff on graduate and diploma courses for those studying Theology and Bible Studies. The college also prepared candidates who were following the approved training courses recognized by the Baptist Union of Wales and the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland.

After 10 years at their original small site, close to the university main buildings, the college moved some four hundred yards to more suitable premises, and this is where we are still located at the bottom of Ffriddoedd Road. The current site is located in two large semi-detached houses which were next door to Bala-Bangor (The College of Welsh Independents), and the two institutions worked closely together in preparing students for ministry and mission, until Bala-Bangor closed at the end of the 1980’s.

In 1996 the college was refurbished and modernised, and the name that had been used by students for generations was formalised as Y Coleg Gwyn (the ‘white college’ because of the distinctive colour of the buildings). By this time it had become very apparent that ideas on religion and worship was changing dramatically within our nation, and we realized that the college had to adapt. The main change we saw was the need for closer co-operation between our friends from other denominations.

At the beginning of the 21st century, three of the Welsh Nonconformist traditions met and planned for the future. They decided to co-locate their Directors of Training at our site so that we could all co-operate in ministerial formation training for trainee pastors on behalf of the Baptists (BUW and BUGB), the Presbyterian Church of Wales (PCW), and the College of Welsh Independents. This proved to be a very successful innovation, with many of our ex-students now occupying ministerial and denominational appointments. Following a strategic change at Bangor University, and the move of Theology degree courses and staff to Lampeter in Ceredigion we faced another new period in our history, and training has had to adapt to new challenges.

Today we still work very closely with our colleagues from PCW, and have established new links and co-operation with the South Wales Baptist College in Cardiff. Y Coleg Gwyn (The North Wales Baptist College) is an independent Educational Trust registered with the Charities Commission (No. 525779), and is recognised as a training centre by the Baptist Union of Wales and the Baptist Union of Great Britain.


We are a small training centre, utilising part-time staff to organise courses and activities throughout Wales and beyond. We are also partners in other Baptist and inter-denominational projects. Today, ministerial training has changed significantly, and we have adapted to the needs of students and denominations. Our courses respond to the work and family circumstances of our students, and are flexible in their structure. We use modular training methods which lead to the award of a college Certificate or Advanced Certificate. If candidates require higher academic qualifications, these can be arranged through our colleagues at the South Wales Baptist College, who are closely linked to Cardiff University.

Since 2004, we have concentrated on distance learning, and this has assisted with the individual student’s circumstances. We use a combination of directed and general reading, discussions and preparations; writing and presenting assignments; and specific practical elements dependent on course requirements. Written work can be presented through the internet or on paper through the post. We also use locally tutored sessions during the week, or at ‘Saturday Schools’ as required. Although the college is in Bangor, we have catered for students from as far away as Patagonia and the United States of America. Therefore, we are able to meet our student’s needs through being flexible. Soon we hope to be able to offer more training support via the internet through the use of ZOOM and Microsoft TEAMS.

Ministerial Courses

For those hearing a call to be a minister for Christ, we can assist you along your journey. Remember, for Baptist candidates, this is a process involving others. Before beginning our course you will need to have been baptised by immersion and be a member of a recognised Baptist church; having had the recommendation of your church, and have preached in three churches in your Baptist Association; have had the recommendation of your Association; and been interviewed and recommended by the ministry Board of the Baptist Union of Wales or the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

The course contains the following modules and requirements:

  • Introduction to the Holy Scriptures and directed Bible Studies
  • Church History (including Baptist History and Traditions)
  • Christian Doctrine
  • Pastoral Studies and Pastoral Practice
  • Preparing Services and Preaching
  • Formation Training (including Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable         Adults)
  •  Church Placement (in co-operation with your Association and BUW/BUGB)
  • Working with your Tutor

The training is flexible, and each course recognises each student’s previous training and experience.

Lay Preaching and Lay Ministry Courses

For those called to help local churches, you will require the recommendation of your church and Association. You will normally complete the following modules:

  •         Introduction to the Holy Scriptures and directed Bible Studies
  •         Church History (including Baptist History and Traditions)
  •         Introduction to Christian Doctrine
  •         Local Pastoral Work (including Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults)
  •         Preparing Services
  •         Conducting Church Services and Preaching (Practical)
  •         Working with your Tutor

For those who are already Lay or Local Preachers, we can modify the course to one that assists in preparing for Lay or Local Ministry.

Courses for Church Officers and Sunday School or Children’s Club Leaders

We can prepare one day courses at the college in Bangor, or in your Association, and present options from the following modules:

  •        Introduction to Working with Children and Vulnerable Adults (incl. Safeguarding)
  •        Introduction to Bible Studies
  •        Health and Safety and the Church
  •        Working in Teams
  •        Running a Simple Financial Account in your Church
  •        Organising and Recording Meetings

We can conduct one day courses during the week or as a Saturday School, but we will need at least 6-10 students to justify their creation. If there is enough need, we can work with churches or associations to prepare other modules and courses. Individuals may also follow any of these modules through distance learning and the internet. Where necessary we will be try to be flexible in order to assist you.

Facilities at the college site

You can request to use our facilities at Bangor to organise a training session, meeting or conference, for a morning, afternoon, or the whole day. We have facilities for up to 25 people, plus a refectory and kitchen for food preparation.


Our Hostel is next door to the college, and has accommodation for six students or researchers. The facilities are self-catering, with separate kitchen and bathrooms/WC. The site is close to the university, the city centre and the railway station. Due to Council Tax regulations we are only allowed to cater for our college or university students and recognised researchers. Accommodation can be short-term, or for the academic year or semester.

Y Coleg Gwyn Staff

  • Warden and Director of Studies: The Reverend Dr D. Densil Morgan
  • Secretary and Director of Training: The Reverend Ieuan Elfryn Jones
  • Administrative and Financial Co-ordinator: Mrs Rhian Hughes

Informail Enquiries

For further information please contact Reverend Ieuan Elfryn Jones at The North Wales Baptist College, 6-8 Ffriddoedd Road, BANGOR, Gwynedd LL57 2EH, 01248 362608, e-mail: coleg-gwyn@hotmail.co.uk  or by telephone (home) 01407 761231 in the evenings or at the weekend