The college was formed in Bristol in 1967 by the amalgamation of Headingley College and Didsbury College (which had moved from Manchester in 1951). Under its first Principal, Rupert E. Davies, it fought for survival during the second round of cuts in theological colleges in the early 1970s and escaped closure by a close vote in Conference in 1972. It built up a strong reputation for biblical studies and church history through the contributions of Kenneth Grayston, W. David Stacey and R.E. Davies and others to the Department of Theology in the University of Bristol. In 1993 links with the West of England Ministerial Training Course were formed and in 1994 a new BA degree was validated by the University of the West of England. But in 2011 the threat of closure became a reality as Methodism continued to contract.