Established in 1907 as a 'training institute for Sunday School workers', it was one of the founding members of the federation of Selly Oak Colleges. The Methodist Church was one of the founding trustees and still has a connection through what was formerly the Methodist Youth Department. A connexional representative and the Chairman of the Birmingham District serve on the governing body. Successive heads of the Community and Youth Department were the Revs. Brian H. Reed (1946-52), Douglas S. Hubery (1953-60) and Fred W. Milson (1960-77). The College is recognized by the Department of Education and Science for the training of teachers, youth leaders, community workers and others engaged in Christian education. Many students come on scholarships from overseas Churches. Its Christian Education Section is the lineal descendant of the original institute. In 1999 the College became a full partner with the University of Birmingham.