Entrance Hall

This main entrance hall on the west side of the College is an impressive sight with its sweeping staircase, rich panelling, ‘burning bush’ mosaic and atmosphere of academic hush.

The Ulster-Scots always placed a high premium on education, not only in terms of an educated ministry but also in having a literate membership. With its ornate frontage designed by Charles Lanyon, the Union Theological College (also known as Assembly’s College) opened in December 1853, at a cost of £5,000, as an institution training candidates for the Presbyterian ministry.

Prior to the 19th century, the overwhelming majority of Presbyterian ministers received their university education in Scotland, for the most part in Glasgow. However, the opening in 1815 of Belfast Academical Institution with its collegiate department, meant that it was now possible for Presbyterians to receive a higher education without having to travel to Scotland.