What we stand for

Southlands aims to play its part in enabling the University of Roehampton to make a distinctive, values-based contribution to higher education in the UK. The college property was offered by the Methodist Church to the University for that reason, and the college ethos, collegiate structure and college chaplaincy are all fundamental parts of what will continue to define Southlands. In line with the University’s values and against the background of its Methodist foundation, Southlands seeks to provide an environment for staff and students in which:

  • human dignity is recognised and there is mutual respect between all members of the College community
  • College members learn to live as responsible citizens and as part of a diverse and supportive community

Arising from this, College members are encouraged

  • to take responsibility for themselves and others
  • to develop human, social and organisational skills
  • to explore their own spiritual needs and religious identity
  • to grow in understanding, maturity and confidence and have every opportunity to reach their potential
  • to widen their horizons and to engage in discussion and/or action on contemporary issues
  • to make a real contribution to the College and the University and to the wider community.

Methodist culture/ethos

The Methodist Church has developed a distinctive culture as a discipleship movement with a mission focus.  This can be hard to define in words, but is easy to recognise when it is embedded in a community like Southlands.  Some, but by no means all, of its characteristics are:

  • a warm and natural personal interest in each individual, irrespective of their role or status
  • practical care and thoughtfulness, shot through with generosity, in mutual relationships and in community service
  • respect for authority, but a suspicion of “hierarchy” or pomposity
  • concern for justice and fairness, especially for those whose voice is least likely to be heard
  • commitment to integrity, truth telling and the highest professional standards
  • searching for ways of exercising responsibility towards the world’s most disadvantaged people
  • a matter-of-fact spirituality, which integrates faith and everyday life, and which becomes focussed in acts of worship which are relatively uncluttered, heartfelt and widely accessible
  • a good sense of humour, which avoids hurtfulness and radiates esteem of others

We do not claim a monopoly on these points, recognising that we share them with people of other Christian traditions and other faiths, though they take a characteristic form in the Methodist culture.  We also gladly affirm that people who espouse no explicit faith often endorse many of these points in their relationships and daily work, and we look to explore these shared approaches and viewpoints as points of engagement with those of different beliefs.