The need to train men for the ministry led to the establishment of the New Zealand Baptist Theological College in Auckland in 1924. Its first session was held in 1926 in rooms of the Auckland Baptist Tabernacle and in the following year it moved to a residential property on the slopes of Mt. Hobson, Auckland. The first principal, the Rev. J. J. North, led the college until 1945 and was followed by the Rev. Luke H. Jenkins, B.D.(HONS.). In 1953 the Rev. E. Roberts-Thomson, M.A., D.D., became principal and on his departure in 1960 for a similar position in New South Wales the Rev. J. Ayson Clifford, M.SC., was appointed. Clifford, a graduate of the New Zealand College, had served on the staff since 1945, following earlier tutors, the Rev. John Laird, M.A., and the Rev. A. J. Grigg, M.A., B.D., afterwards principal of the Victorian Baptist College. A more extensive property is now in use in Victoria Avenue, Remuera, with residential halls erected in memory of H. H. Driver and the Rev. J. J. North. Vigorous support has been given to the work of the college by many Baptist laymen including Messrs H. M. Smeeton (first chairman), F. W. Horner (sometime chairman and present life governor), and N. S. Gaze (present chairman).