In 1971 the Diocese of Dallas began the Diocesan Ordination Course to prepare candidates for ordination who could not pursue training in a full-time residential seminary. In 1975 it was expanded to a five-year program of graduate study, and its name was changed to the Anglican School of Theology. It served exclusively as a diocesan ordination course until 1980, when it received students from the recently disbanded Lay School of Theology. The expanded program prepared students for a variety of lay and ordained ministries. In 1977 the school moved its programs to the campus of the University of Dallas. In 1987 the University started to accept some of the Anglican School courses for credit toward one of two Masters programs. In 1985 the Institute of Contemplative Studies was created to help students pursue the practice of Christian spirituality and to provide training for spiritual directors.