York St John University (originally established as York Diocesan College) is a university located on a large urban campus in York, England. It is one of several higher education institutions which have religious foundations; others include Canterbury Christ Church University, Liverpool Hope University,St. Mary's University College, University of Chester, University of Chichester, University of Cumbria, University of Derby, University of Gloucestershire, University of Winchester, and Bishop Grosseteste University.
As of July 2011, there were 6,057 students, reading a wide variety of subjects, in four faculties: Arts; Education and Theology; York St John Business School and Health and Life Sciences.
The university descends from two Anglican teacher training colleges, which were founded in York in 1841 (for men) and 1846 (for women). In 1862, the women's college relocated to Ripon. Over the next century, the colleges gradually diversified their education programmes. The colleges, St John's College and Ripon College, merged in 1974 to form the "College of Ripon and York St John".
In 1990 the combined institution formally became a college of the University of Leeds; this arrangement allowed it to award degrees in the name of the latter, while remaining in practice largely autonomous. Between 1999 and 2001, all activities were transferred to York and the college received the name "York St John College".
In February 2006, the College was granted the right to award degrees in its own name and the right to call itself a University College. On 10 July 2006 thePrivy Council approved a request from the college to become a full-fledged University; the name became "York St John University" on 1 October 2006 once granted by Tony Blair.