The New College Coat of Arms

To coincide with the 175th anniversary of its founding, New College was granted its own Coat of Arms by the Lord Lyon on 3rd June 2021. A beautiful vellum parchment was presented to the School during Welcome Week in September 2021.

Colour Image of the Lord Lyon presenting Professor Susan Hardman Moore with the New College coat of Arms

Our own Coat of Arms

New College was the only one of the four ancient Scottish Schools of Divinity not to have its own coat of arms.  Which is why, Lord Lyon Joe Morrow (an alumnus of New College), suggested that the grant of a Coat of Arms would be appropriate in our anniversary year.

The Lord Lyon King of Arms regulates heraldry in Scotland. The Lyon court maintains the register of grants of arms, known as the Public Registrar of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. Joe Morrow (who studied Law after Divinity) has occupied this role since 2014.

The design 

The purpose of a coat of arms is to symbolise the identity of its owner, therefore the Divinity Coat of Arms includes; the Scottish cross of St Andrew (half of it in purple, the colour of Divinity), a castle (to represent Edinburgh), a book (signifying learning), and the burning bush (a nod to our traditional role as a Church of Scotland ministerial training college). The shield stands on railed greenery representing The Mound, and a helmet and representation of New College are on top, along with purple mantling.

As an exceptional mark of honour, we were allowed supporters on either side of the shield. These are often animals (such as the lion and unicorn on the Queen’s coat of arms), however, Divinity chose two gowned students, one wearing the hood of the MA in Religious Studies, the other wearing the MDiv. The wording on the grant of arms is clear that they should represent diversity

Colour images of the presentation of the New College Coat of Arms

Our motto

Constructing the coat of arms also raised the fact that New College doesn’t have a motto.  To pick something relevant to the School we asked students to suggest one in either English or Latin. The resounding winner was Quaerite et invenietis- Seek and you shall find.

A tapestry

We will also be turning the Coat of Arms into into a tapestry for the Rainy Hall wall, commisioned by artist Andrew Jamieson. 

None of this would have been possible without a generous donation from our good friend and donor, Robert Funk. 

The vellum parchment will be on display shortly in the Rainy Hall


We would also like to extend a huge thank you to Andrej Zeman for capturing this event in such a beautiful way. Andrej is one of our PhD student who loves photography.  For more of his work please see his website below

Zemi Photography