Mission and Evangelism
We examine the place of Christian ministry in God’s mission to the world. Students develop their own perspective on mission by evaluating contemporary missiologies and contextual understandings of mission. We survey broad topics, such as theologies of mission, the agents of mission, and the contexts and cultures within which mission takes place. We also look closer at local mission practice and study of particular mission theologians and missiological themes.
Growing Together in Christ: Worship and Spirituality
This module introduces students to some principal Christian traditions of personal and corporate spirituality. We concentrate on some major biblical, historical and liturgical foundations, looking at their development and contribution to Christian spirituality. Students will develop their rule of life, they will be introduced to the forms and contents of corporate liturgical and non-liturgical worship, and to the theologies, liturgies and practices of Eucharist and Baptism in their own church traditions.
This is a very different module, responding to the teaching of our residential week with a group work exercise. Teaching subjects alternate between doctrine, bible and practical topics. This module is also completed at a higher level later in the course.
Bible in Context
This module will enable students to develop their understanding of the nature of the exegetical task involved preparation for preaching, as well as developing their skills in the art of preaching itself. This is a task which requires some understanding of the nature of the biblical and scriptural text, and of the task of exegesis. Accordingly, equal time will be devoted to the study of one major Old Testament text and one major New Testament text, alongside careful investigations of the nature of Scripture and the task of proclamation.
Reflective Practice in Context
Students have an extended (supervised) experience in an unfamiliar context – a different church setting, a chaplaincy, a para-church organisation or internationally. Placements are arranged to fit in with individual life situations for each student. Students bring together theological understanding and reflection skills to observe and analyse a different context, drawing from ethnography and social psychology. The resulting insights help students to discern God at work wherever they are deployed in ministry.
This module considers the church from three perspectives: (a) the church as a whole, (b) the church as made up of particular churches regionally and denominationally and (c) analysis and reflection on the experience of participating in the life of the church. We cover four main topics: (1) origins and development, (2) the changing church, (3) systematic, pastoral and missional theologies of the church, and (4) church structure and organisation. This is a key module in support of the student’s supervised training in the local church and it informs their engagement with the policies and expectations of their sponsoring churches.
Topics in Christian Doctrine
We explore ways in which God has been conceived, imagined, and experienced within Christian tradition, and how language about God and to God may be understood and evaluated. There is a focus on God as Trinity and as personal agent. We engage particularly with contemporary debates about God in the light of both scientific discourse and post-modern critiques. Students experience and reflect on ways in which doctrines of God may be articulated and embodied in the mission, and practices, of the church.
Christian Faith and Ethical Living
This module has as its central motif the notion that Christians are called to be certain sorts of people in the world. Because of this distinctiveness, and because they are formed by specific stories found in the Bible and tradition, Christians respond to the moral issues of the 21st Century in particular ways. Here we engage with some of these issues (beginning-and-end-of-life issues, sexuality, and the care of creation), looking at both Christian-specific and non-Christian-specific responses to them. All students will present on an ethical issue during the module.
New Testament Text Study in Context
This module is a study of a single New Testament text at greater depth, in this case Hebrews. We ask students to identify and work on points of connection between their own theology and context and those of the writer and their audience. This enables students to develop their ability to draw upon the resources of academic biblical studies for public ministry in practical theology, preaching or teaching.
Christian Theology, Ritual and Pastoral Care
We look theologically, liturgically and pastorally at different stages of the human life cycle. Students begin with an exploration of the concepts of rite and ritual, and will reflect critically on the implications of devising new, potentially hybrid rituals to address pastoral needs at different stages of the human life cycle. The stages of Birth, Middle Age, Aging and Death will be investigated theologically with opportunities for the student to reflect on their own experience and on ministerial practice. There are accompanying studies on the Psalms.
Leadership and Theology for Ministry and Mission
We introduce students to patterns of leadership in the Church with particular attention to the task of leading collaborative ministry. We ground this in a theological understanding of anthropology and ecclesiology and will introduce students to current thinking on organisational theory and leadership. Students will analyse their own preferred team role and leadership styles and conduct a research project evaluating the leadership style demonstrated in a specific situation.
The Creative Arts and Christian Ministry and Mission
An exploration of potential areas of engagement between, on the one hand, Christian belief and practice and, on the other hand, the creative arts. We consider how engagement with the arts might help to nourish and extend theological wisdom, and, in some cases, re-articulate and re-conceive it. As well as investigating a range of theoretical perspectives, students will engage with a wide variety of case studies, encouraging habits of informed theological and aesthetic reflection.
Christian Doctrine in Context
We address an area of pastoral or apologetic concern, such as faith in the public square, on the local, national and international level.
Preparing for Public Ministry
This is about making the transition from the course to the next phase of ministry in whatever context. Students self-review their growth in relation to the relevant denominational criteria, they review their vocational development and identify further developmental needs. We look at the transitional liturgies such as ordination that they will be participating in. We also seek to anticipate other practicalities associated with moving into a new phase, and offer appropriate biblical and spiritual resources to enable students to approach these changes thoughtfully and prayerfully.
Dissertation in Theology, Ministry and Mission
This allows students to investigate a topic of their own choice, relevant to the Church’s ministry and mission. It encourages autonomous study, with limited supervision.