The College was the brainchild of William Gowland, opened in April 1957, with the active encouragement of W.E. Sangster. Beginning in the run-down Chapel Street premises, Luton, it expanded into two tower-blocks, initially with the support of Lord Rank. Its threefold purpose was set out in its Charter. At the centre was Gowland's concern to make the Christian faith relevant to industrial society. Its courses were designed for non-Christians as well as Christians and for both trade unionists and management. Before long theHome Mission Department placed all the training of industrial chaplains in the hands of the College, but Gowland continued to stress that industrial mission was the task of the local church as well as of individual ministers. A number of lectures given by experts in various fields were published. Methodism's support was often equivocal. In 1985 Harold S. Clark (1940- ; e.m. 1967) became Principal. The College closed in 1996.