Ridley College began on 1st March 1910 (we have celebrated 100 years). It was established by a group of Evangelicals, including the Bishops of Bendigo and Gippsland, who were anxious to ensure that there was a place to train future generations of gospel-focused leaders.

Their plan was to open a residential College where people could train for Christian ministry, including ordinands and future missionaries. They could study at Ridley for qualifications from the Australian College of Theology, the Melbourne College of Divinity, and Melbourne University.

Ridley was an Affiliated Residential College of the University of Melbourne from 1965-2005. It was the first College of the University to be co-residential for men and women.

The Principals of Ridley College have been:

  • George Aicken, 1910-1917
  • Eustace Wade, 1918-1938
  • Bishop Donald Baker, 1938-1952
  • Stuart Barton Babbage, 1953-1963
  • Leon Morris, 1964-1979
  • Maurice Betteridge, 1979-1992
  • Graham Cole, 1992-2001
  • Peter Adam, 2002-2012

Ridley's honorary archivist, Wei-Han Kuan, has developed an important historical resource which has been widely utilised by those researching Ridley's centenary book Proclaiming Christ: Ridley College Melbourne 1910-2010. Contributions are welcome and our archive policy and information is available here.

Dr Nicholas Ridley

Ridley College is named after Dr Nicholas Ridley who was Master of Pembroke Hall, University of Cambridge, 1540-1554. A key figure in the English Reformation after the death of King Henry VIII, Ridley was burned at the stake for his beliefs in Oxford on 16 October 1555, by order of Queen Mary Tudor ("Bloody Mary").

He was considered a “learned and quick-witted scholar”, and was a keen advocate of education and health care, especially for the disadvantaged, instigating the foundation of several schools and hospitals, and encouraging new colleges.

A word from our students

Duku Wolikare

I chose Ridley because it has very strong biblical teaching and approach to theological studies