Our Board of Trustees

Unitarian College are governed by a Volunteer Board of Trustees.

An Academic Committee, made up of Unitarian volunteers with appropriate educational and ministry experience, holds the College to account for academic rigour and the quality of the student experience.

Dot Hewerdine - Board Chair

Dot Hewerdine - Board Chair

Dot Hewerdine was a Founding Trustee of Unitarian College CIO having previously chaired the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches Training and Education Development (TED) project.   This ultimately led to the setting up of Unitarian College.  Dot has been involved in training, education and managing change for over 30 years in both secular and faith organisations.  Dot is currently Chair of the Unitarian College Board of Trustees.

Joan M.M. Cook

Joan M.M. Cook

Joan has been a member of St. Mark’s Unitarian Church in Edinburgh, for over 40 years. She came to Unitarianism via the St. Mark’s Amnesty International group.

Her professional background is in nursing, General, Psychiatric, and Health Visiting, which, together with her degree in Psychology, have provided her with skills which she has utilised in her roles within the Church.

Joan is currently a member of St. Mark’s Ministry, Management, and Safeguarding, Teams, as well as the Church Council, the Scottish Unitarian Association Executive Committee and Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association

Joan is on the GA list of Lay Preachers, and a Unitarian Celebrant. She regularly leads worship across Scotland, and as far south as London.

 As well as a member of the UC board, Joan is also a Director of the British & Foreign association. She has also served the on the Executive Committee of the GA, as President of the Scottish Unitarian Association, and President of the General Assembly of Unitarian & Free Christian Churches.

Joan was active in the Equal Marriage Campaign, and attends the End of Life Choices Cross Party Group at Holyrood, as an observer. Joan has represented Unitarians in meetings with other Faith Leaders, government representatives, MSPs and the First Minister at Holyrood.

Eleanor Watters

Eleanor Watters

Until her retirement in 2019, Eleanor was a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Over the course of her career she has worked in a wide variety business sectors, including Retail, Entertainment, Housing and Further Education. She joined the board of the Unitarian College in 2020 . Along side her work with the College she volunteers with other local and international charities.

Hilda Dumpleton

Hilda Dumpleton

Hilda has been involved with Unitarians all her life.

She has enjoyed being on the Trustees Board of the Unitarian College as education has been a very important part of her whole life. From teacher to Headteacher, she is now retired, but still enjoys doing some private tuition to keep her brain working!

Currently Hilda is involved with the Swansea Church and as well as taking services and being its Treasurer.

This year she completed her term on the Executive Committee with the General Assembly and has now agreed to be the Chair of Unitarians Wales. She is looking forward to this new challenge.

She is very fortunate to be the mother of two sons and a grandson who is now realising the advantage of having a granny who is a teacher!



Cathie Masztalerz

Cathie Masztalerz

Cathie Masztalerz is a life-long Unitarian, born into a Unitarian family and whose father was a minister. She was a primary school teacher for 35 years, retiring as a Headteacher in 2018.

She now spends her time heavily involved in Unitarian College, Unitarian Youth Activities and serves on the Management Committee of The Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow. She also dotes on her 2 year-old granddaughter, Alina, and is a keen gardener and walker.

Cathie believes in the importance of lifelong learning and that it recognizes that humans have a natural drive to explore, learn and grow. It encourages us to improve our own quality of life and sense of self-worth so that we can focus on the ideas and goals that inspire us. Unitarian College provides students with the opportunity and space to follow their educational growth and to become outstanding leaders in our congregations and communities and she is delighted and privileged to be a part of this process.



Marion Baker

Marion Baker

Marion has been a Unitarian for nearly fifty years. She attended the Wythenshawe Unitarian Church in her teens and was Secretary of the UYPL Branch. At that time she was also Secretary of the Manchester District Sunday School Association. In 1981 Marion became Secretary of the Nightingale Centre management committee, and apart from a 10 year gap in the 1990s, she has continued her association with the Centre and is currently the Chairperson.

Marion lives in Sheffield and is Treasurer of the Upper Chapel Trustees and Treasurer of the Sheffield District Association. On the national scene she is a past President of the Unitarian Women’s League and the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches.  She was a member of the General  Assembly’s Executive Committee for eight years until April 2023, and for four of those years she was Convenor of the EC. Marion is currently the Treasurer of the Minister’s Pension fund.  Other Trustee roles she has are with the Unitarian College and the Hollis Trust (Rotherham).



Wyn Thomas

Wyn Thomas

Rev. Wyn Thomas has been a Unitarian minister for 19 years in rural West Wales. He brings a wealth of valuable experience in community ministry and a passion for ensuring that ministry students are well prepared for the challenges and opportunities to develop our faith and to deepen people’s spiritual experiences in an ever changing world.

He lives with his husband Matthew, his dogs and beloved donkeys on a small holding where he also breeds peacocks and ducks.



Our courses & events

Ministry Training & Inquiry Session July 2024

Unitarian College trains those accepted by the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches for Unitarian Ministry.

On 31st July a  zoom meeting is being held to answer questions about the application process. 

Worship studies course

Lay Worship Leadership Foundation Course Sept 2024

Our 8-week online Lay Worship Leadership Foundation Course is being offered to those who would like to lead worship across the country with their unique voice .

Junior Weekend Oct 2024

A fun, residential, Unitarian experience for young people aged 7-11 years at The Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow.


"Unitarian College has opened up a path to Ministry that was previously unavailable for me."
Ministry student

"I feel incredibly supported and valued by Unitarian College."
Ministry student

"The courses are student-centred, thorough and intellectually and spiritually nourishing."
Ministry student

Photo of student Arek Malecki with Rev Jo James minister of Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds"The formation of the Unitarian College has opened up the possibility of ministry training to people like me, who otherwise would not have been able to study due to the confines of the modern life. As a modern institution UC is very much in touch with the reality. The training programme is tailor-made to fit each student’s individual circumstances. The content of the course is incredibly rich, covering a vast spectrum of topics, using various methods of teaching and student engagement. The ministry training programme perfectly balances being “down to earth” on one hand, and “looking up to the heavens” on the other, placing emphasis on the practical application of the acquired skills, knowledge and insights in the 21st century British Unitarian congregations. The staff went above and beyond to ensure that we still get the same rich learning experience under the restrictions posed by Covid.

But UC is much more than just an educational establishment. It’s a support network for those embarking on a journey of professional ministry. It’s a space where we, students, learn just as much from each other as we do from our tutors. It’s a space where new friendships are made and future professional relationships are formed."

Arek Malecki - Ministry student

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