How Study Works for Private Students

The course for private students is similar to that for ordinands, but leaving out some of the formational aspects of the training that ordinands and licensed lay ministry candidates take.

This effectively means the learning in community is based around study days rather than residential weekends. This also serves to keep costs down for private students.

As for ordinands, each student is supported through our blended learning pattern to achieve a creative combination of in-depth theological teaching and reflection alongside the practical application in a church context.

This flexibility allows students to combine their training with busy jobs and family responsibilities; some work part-time in their churches.

We offer a number of different options for study, but all follow the same pattern.

Students learn in three ways:

Personal Learning


Our online modules enable students to pursue their personal study at a time and place to suit them. These modules also incorporate practical and reflective activities which are integrated with each student’s contextual and community learning.

The modules contain a wealth of material, including reading activities, reflection and multimedia. This aspect of the learning programme is supported by a tutorial with the module leader and a small group of colleagues via video link to eliminate the time and costs of travel. Those who have to travel for work have found this very helpful, allowing them to attend tutorials online wherever they are.

Students will need to have somewhere where they can find some quiet for study on a regular basis. They will a reasonable broadband connection, an up to date computer with wordprocessing software and a camera (many find a laptop most convenient as it allows work at college too), and will need headphones and a microphone for online tutorials. A printer is invaluable for personal study and printing notes.

We also challenge our students to attend to the cultural setting around them and apply what they learn to it by leading a regular ‘Local Learning Group’ of people who come from their own home context.

Learning in Context


Alongside the Local Learning Group, the modules in include learning activities and tasks in the local church or environment.

Each student explores mission and ministry in a new and different setting through a long placement. This is stretching, and could be in a different denomination or country, but is arranged to accommodate work and family responsibilities where possible. Recent placements have taken place in prison and hospital chaplaincies, different local church settings, Westminster Abbey and various cathedrals.

Learning in Community


Learning in community includes support from the staff team, and study days at Sarum College. You join the larger group of students for the teaching on these, and will make connections with them over lunch in college.

Through these three aspects of the blended learning, we ensure that students are supported, encouraged and challenged as they progress through the course.


  • Fees for Private Students