SEI is the sole training agency for authorised ministry in the Scottish Episcopal Church; it is now in its seventh year, having begun transitionally from September 2014 and officially from October 2015. Its predecessors were Edinburgh Theological College (1810–1994) and the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church (1994–2014).
SEI was created to address formational and governance issues in ministerial training in the Scottish Episcopal Church. Thus a new board was set up, the Scottish Episcopal Institute Council, described below, which initiated partnership with the Common Awards scheme in 2016. SEI began with a staff of two, an Administrator and the Principal, and has since added a Director of Studies (2015) and a Director of Mixed Mode Training (2018), bringing the core staff team up to full complement.
As an outworking of the EMU partnership agreement signed on 23 January 2010 at St Ninians SEC Cathedral in Perth by the Rev Lily Twist (Chair of the Methodist Church, Scotland District) the Rev John Humphreys (Synod Moderator URC National Synod of Scotland) and Most Rev David Chillingworth (Primus of the SEC), SEI welcomes candidates from those two denominations. Candidates from the URC who wish to receive their academic training through Common Awards are currently part of SEI’s student cohort.