St Marks National Theological Centre

About St Mark's



Our Vision

Bishop Ernest Burgmann. Painting by Judy Cassab(Picture of Bishop Ernest Burgmann painted by Judy Cassab.)

St Mark's vision is to be a scholarly Christian theological community. In pursuing this goal, St Mark's strives to provide a program of high quality university–based theological education, postgraduate studies and research to people throughout Australia and overseas. 

St Mark's also aims to offer programs in Christian education, formation and leadership for people engaged in the full diversity of Christian ministry, regardless of denominational affiliation, while having a special focus on the formation and training of priests and deacons for the Anglican Church.

St Mark's maintains one of the best theological libraries in Australia. It caters for undergraduate and research needs.

St Mark's pursues an active program of public lectures and publications to address critical issues confronting Australian society and publishes St Mark's Review, a journal of Christian thought and opinion, four times a year.

Our Mission

Anglican in foundation and ecumenical in ethos, St Mark’s pursues a mission which, in the words of its founder, Bishop Ernest Burgmann, is to engage the people of God with Australian society.

We believe that a mission statement describes what an organisation should be striving to practise in its own affairs and to promote in its dealings with the world. The Council of St Mark’s National Theological Centre has articulated its mission as:

Transforming lives and communities for Jesus Christ through excellence in public theology, theological education, vocational training and national and international scholarly engagement.

The St Mark’s mission embraces a fourfold commitment to public theology, theological education, vocational training and scholarly engagement. Its vision for the future is shaped by a striving for excellence in its core business so that the lives of individuals and communities are not just touched but invigorated for Christian ministry locally and nationally.

Core Values

We believe that core values are essentially underlying convictions and priority commitments that shape the way the mission of an organisation is identified and in the way its vision is pursued. St Mark’s has five core values. St Mark’s is:

  • Orthodox in being Biblically-based and centrally orthodox in theological outlook;

  • Collaborative in being ecumenical in spiritual mood and organisational affiliation;

  • Practical in connecting theological principles to public and private life;

  • Missional in equipping all God’s people for mission & ministry; and

  • Scholarly in promoting intellectual rigour while striving for academic excellence.

School of Theology, Charles Sturt University

The School of Theology of Charles Sturt University is a partnership of CSU, St Mark's in Canberra, United Theological College in Parramatta , all in association with St Barnabas' College in Adelaide and St Francis' College in Brisbane. Through this partnership they are able to offer undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in Theology.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate study can be undertaken either on-campus or online at St Mark's. 

A large range of subjects is offered each year with lecturers drawn from several denominations to provide an inclusive and ecumenical approach.


Brief History


Opened on Sunday 24 February 1957 before a crowd of 3,000 people, St Mark's grew from the vision of Bishop Ernest Burgmann for "an institution which would become like a permeable membrane between the church and the university work done in a secular city".

The original library was to provide a place for serious theological scholarship which Burgmann saw as being linked to the very fate of Australia.  "Burgie" hoped St Mark's would become a place of leadership training and postgraduate research in theology.

The original vision has been reinterpreted over the last four decades to reflect unexpected changes and circumstances. In the late 1980s Burgmann's biographer concluded, "St Mark's nevertheless found a niche at levels other than that intended by Burgmann, training clergy and lay people in a variety of theological concerns.  It remains a powerful reminder of the Burgmann inheritance."

Since then St Mark's involvement as the founding institution of the School fo Theology of Charles Sturt University has rekindled and enriched the original vision. St Mark's has become a place of theological and ministerial leadership in the Australian Church.

Where are we?