Students train on either a part-time or full-time basis.
We work on an academic year that runs from a residential Summer School for ordinands in the week before the August Bank Holiday (other candidates are invited in for the Sunday of that week), and goes through to mid to late July. Final year students finish at the beginning of June.
The work is paced through the year, and a fortnight’s break is given both at Christmas and Easter.
Students who train part-time are asked to give 16 hours a week to their study, to attend 6 residential weekends a year and an annual residential week. In the first year particularly there are also some extra Saturdays to attend, including for safe-guarding training.
The 16 hours is an average that includes formational work, including involvement in church on Sundays and during the week. Students take four modules a year, in which we ask them to meet twice a module with their Training Supervisor, and they will need to give an hour and a half to a tutorial or their Local Learning Group on most of those weeks. Each module contains 10 to 12 hours study material .
Full-time Training ‘Context Based’
This pathway complies with Church of England Ministry Division requirements, that the student works an average of 40 hours per week for 45 weeks of the year. Included in this, we ask that they work one day a week (voluntary) in the parish as ministry experience for the purposes of their training, in addition to involvement on Sundays. They attend 8 residential weekends a year and an annual residential week, and there are also some extra Saturdays to attend, including for safe-guarding training.
Students take six modules a year, some of which run concurrently and require students to be able to organise their time effectively to manage this. We ask them to meet once a month with their Training Supervisor.
These are big commitments for our students, especially those in full time jobs or those doing the full time course. But it is manageable!
Our experience is that students need to begin by dropping other commitments, particularly in church, to make space for the work required on the course. It might seem counter-intuitive to students to stop being involved quite as much in church life as they have been, but it is easier for them to gradually build up again to a comfortable level with their study rather than trying to do too much and it becoming a crisis.
If there are emergencies such as sickness, staff are fully supportive in enabling the student to manage the situation and the work.