You are supported in your training for ordination and lay ministry 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. You learn in three ways:
The residential weekends include face-to-face teaching on the module material, which in turn supports the individual learning. Residential time also includes formational learning in practical aspects of ministry and self-care, ongoing theological reflection, and opportunities to lead and experience liturgical and non-liturgical worship.
You come together to share in a larger group, explore a variety of traditions, and enjoy food and fellowship.
From these a sense of community is developed and then maintained informally through emails, phone calls and social media. Staff are always available for students.
(Those training for Licensed Lay Ministry will have some differences on residency, often attending the Saturday only as a study day, but with additional training days supplied by the Diocese. Those on a Licensed Lay Ministry pathway should discuss the details with their Diocese.)
Learning in Context
You will reflect theologically and imaginatively on mission and ministry, and ground your academic learning in practice throughout the course. Your main context is usually (but not always) your home church. We will appoint a Training Supervisor, often the incumbent or pastor of your main context, who will meet regularly with you help relate your training to practice.
You also explore 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 include prison and hospital chaplaincies, different local church settings, and various cathedrals.
Residential weekends on rural, urban and interfaith ministry themes contribute further engagement with different contexts and form part of the learning in community.
Our online modules enable you to pursue your personal study at a time and place to suit you. These modules also incorporate practical and reflective activities and assignments.
This guided study contains a wealth of material, including reading activities, reflection and multimedia. You have small group tutorials online with the module leader, which is efficient with time and costs. Those who travel for work find this very helpful, allowing them to attend tutorials online wherever they are.
We also challenge you to attend to your own cultural setting and apply what you learn by leading a regular ‘Local Learning Group’ of people, chosen by you, who come from your own home context. These groups allow you to share your learning experience with others wanting to support you.