Because of the historical association between the Kirk and Scotland’s four ancient universities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and St Andrews), these higher education institutions still prepare students for ministry, uniquely with the Church of Scotland.
Other denominations such as the Roman Catholic Church, the Free Church of Scotland and numerous others have to make their own training arrangements for ministers.
This discriminatory privilege should end. One way to discourage these arrangements would be bring in full cost fees for all courses that contribute to the vocational training requirements of candidate ministers of the Kirk or any other denomination. That way public funds would not be used to subsidise the preparation of ministers for a church that now has the adherence of less than one in three taxpayers.
Emeritus professor, Edinburgh Napier University